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Pavlovsk State Museum-Reserve


Sadovaya st., 20, Pavlovsk, St. Petersburg, 196621
Phones: +7 (812) 452-15-36 Weekends: +7 (812) 452-19-65
Web site:
Breathe in the atmosphere of an empire and immerse yourself in the era of Catherine II and Paul I


The Pavlovsk palace and park ensemble was created during the heyday of Russian classicism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The golden-white palace, built on the high bank of the Slavyanka, is visible from afar. It is noticeable by its three-story central building with a flat dome on sixty-four columns, a creation of Charles Cameron. In the premises of the palace, you can see unique collections of fine and decorative arts. They include a collection of antique art, Western European and Russian sculpture, European painting, Russian portrait painting and Russian landscape of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The interior of the palace are decorated with works of French art of the 18th century, including tapestries, silks and draperies, sets, lamps and clocks. Pavlovsky Park is a unique monument of landscape art of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Architect Cameron created a project for an "English" landscape park on the banks of the Slavyanka river. His influence can be seen in the main elements of the park, including the Palace District, the Big Star, the Slavyanka River Valley, the Zoo and the White Birch. Later, the architects Brenna, Voronikhin and Rossi made their own additions without changing the general character of the park.


In 1777, the Empress Catherine II presented her son, Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich, with hunting grounds located near Tsarskoe Selo on the occasion of the birth of his first child. This is how the village of Pavlovskoye arose, renamed in 1796 as the city of Pavlovsk after the accession of Paul I to the throne. In 1780, work began on the construction of a large stone palace in Pavlovskoye, designed by the architect Charles Cameron. He planned to erect a building on the hill above the river, modeled on the Palladian villa. In 1784, the Italian Vincenzo Brenna began to work in Pavlovsk, and completed the decoration of the halls on the 1st and 2nd floors. With the accession of Paul I to the throne in 1796, Pavlovsk became an imperial residence. Brenna added galleries, two-floor square buildings, semicircular service buildings and a church building. Large reception rooms appeared in the new buildings: a picture gallery, Throne and Kavalersky halls, as well as the palace church. In 1803, a fire broke out, as a result of which many palace halls were damaged. Thanks to the architect Andrey Voronikhin, they managed to recreate their beauty. Voronikhin and Giacomo Quarenghi completed the decoration of the palace facades and the ensemble of living rooms. According to the will of the Empress Maria Feodorovna, Pavlovsk was to be inherited through the male line. After her death in 1828, Pavlovsk became the property of her youngest son, the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, who kept Pavlovsk as a memorial. Pavlovsk was then passed on to the second son of Nicholas I, the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich. Under him, the Picture Gallery, the Museum of Antiquities, the Imperial Library, and the Magneto-Meteorological Observatory were opened in the palace in 1872. Pavlovsk was then passed on to his second son Konstantin Konstantinovich, and then to its last owner, John Konstantinovich, who was killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. In June 1918, the Pavlovsk Palace and Park were transformed into a State Museum.

Interesting Facts

In May 1782, the owners of Pavlovsk, Pavel Petrovich and Maria Feodorovna, traveled around Europe under the name of the Count and Countess of the North. They bought and ordered paintings and statues, porcelain and bronze, fabrics and furniture from the finest craftsmen, which allowed the palace to be decorated with first-class works of art. Under the youngest son of Emperor Pavel Mikhail Pavlovich, the first railway in Russia was built from St. Petersburg to Pavlovsk, and the Musical Station was built in Pavlovsky Park. In the Pavlovsk Palace, the order dress of Empress Maria Feodorovna has been preserved – the only genuine female order costume that has survived in Russia. The Women's Order of Liberation under the patronage of St. Catherine the Great Martyr was established by Peter I in 1713. The empress was appointed Minister of the Order. Maria Feodorovna headed the order from 1796 to 1828 until the end of her life.