Pavlovsk is a former Summer residence of Emperor Paul I and his wife. It is a wonderful summer palace with a huge English type landscape park around it. It was constructed at the end of the 18th century. Its delicate, elegant and harmonious classical style interiors will not display bright and luxurious gildings which are so typical for the Russian baroque. Instead it will strike you with its own special charm, impeccable proportions and perfect taste.
Paul, the son of Catherine the Great is the most controversial and tragic figure in our history. Sometimes he is called the Russian Hamlet, for his fate somehow resembles the fate of Shakespeare's character. He had complicated relationship with his Royal mother, who kept him away from power as much as possible. So, though ambitious and full of energy, he had to wait till the age of 42 for his turn to ascend the throne, to have a possibility to play an active role in Russian policy. And after that his reign lasted only 4 years before he was assassinated in his own bedroom.
Empress Maria Fyodorovna, the wife of Paul, is considered the most talented and educated woman in the Royal family. She read books in several languages in different fields of sciences; she was an artist and a poetess. It is mainly due to her taste and effort that Pavlovsk got its grace and beauty. At the same time she was a mother of 10 children, 2 of whom (Alexander I and Nicholas I) became Russian Emperors.
Pavlovsk still bears traces of personality of its owners. It also has a collection of original furniture, clocks, porcelain and other pieces of art and applied art, which is the richest collection among the Summer palaces. Some of the items belonged personally to Paul and Maria Fiodorovna, or were even made by her or some of their children.
If you would like to see the Park as well, we can have a walk or organize a horse-carriage ride around the grounds.
You can find more information about Pavlovsk here.
Pavlovsk is 30 kilometers from St. Petersburg, so usually the tour takes about 4 hours. However we recommend you to take a combined tour of Pavlovsk and Catherine Palace. These two famous residences are just 5 minutes drive from one another. So you will save time on the drive from the city and will need 5-6 hours to see both palaces.
We also recommend you to see:
- Alexander's palace - a palace which was used by the last Russian Tsar Nickolas II and his family as their private home. You can see a number of exquisite modern style interiors designed for the last Royal family and a very interesting exhibition devoted to the story of their life and martyrdom. It is located in Pushkin, 5 minute walk from Catherine Palace, 5 minute drive from Pavlovsk. The tour will take about an hour.
- The monument to the defenders of Leningrad - a monument which is devoted to the siege of St. Petersburg (at that time Leningrad) during the World War II. It also has a small but very impressive museum of the siege telling the story of the most tragic page of the history of the city. The monument is situated on the way from Pushkin to St. Petersburg. The stop will take about 40 minutes.