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Video: Tsarskoe Selo Parks Landscape, Part 1
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 20:34
To the 300th anniversary of the founding of Tsarskoe Selo
How many guests this town near St. Petersburg received this unique look, hardly anyone will be able to count. What official and poetic titles have not been awarded to him, and this noble competition continues!
The most beloved and main title remains for the indigenous Tsarskoe Selo and, of course, the graduates of the Imperial Lyceum, from the "light pen" of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, this is exactly:
Wherever fate threw us, And happiness wherever it took us, We
are the same: the whole world is a foreign land for
us, our Fatherland is Tsarskoe Selo!"
"Sari Mois", Saar manor, Tsarskaya manor, the former small capital of the Russian Empire, the Summer Parade Imperial residence, and the most beloved for three empresses - Catherine I, Elizabeth Petrovna and Catherine II; The city of muses and military men, Detskoe Selo, the city of Pushkin - and this is all about him, his beloved, unique and inimitable Tsarskoe Selo. In recent years, our city is increasingly called Tsarskoye Selo, under this name it appears in the chronicle of events when foreign guests come to us on official and friendly visits.
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Now it seems incredible that the magnificent parks and the palace arose on a swampy area covered with a dense spruce and pine forest at the very beginning of the 18th century, following the construction of St. Petersburg. For two centuries of tireless work, they have turned into a masterpiece of Russian and world landscape gardening and architectural art.
The complex of Tsarskoye Selo parks is designed in such a way that there are no sharply defined boundaries between them in the form of barriers of natural or architectural origin. There are five parks in it - Ekaterininsky, Aleksandrovsky, Farmersky, Babolovsky, Otdelny (Kolonistsky).
They merge into a large green massif, riddled with ribbons of bizarre branches of the Kuzminka river bed and associated ponds, canals, large and small lakes. Over three centuries, over three centuries, these huge green bushes with a total area of more than 800 hectares have been thrown by the skilful hands of architects, artists, gardeners and their countless assistants a network of variously curved, intertwining with each other, converging into nodes and rings of alleys, roads drawn by several radial linear perspectives. Behind every turn of the alley, on a radial perspective, at any time of the year, there is its own landscape, painted in bright, juicy or gentle, watercolor colors of foliage, grass, water surfaces with reflections of the sky, clouds, sunrises and sunsets, carefully selected and picturesquely planted trees along their shores.
And all this living wealth is inhabited by masterpieces of park architecture, giving an idea of all styles and times. The American historian once called the Tsarskoye Selo parks the first in the world "Disneyland", which in a miniature scale contains all the most valuable, created by mankind in the field of landscape gardening and associated architectural art. Here you can find everything: from the Egyptian pyramid to the ancient Roman terms, Italian
The Marble Bridge and the Scottish Castle, the Turkish Bath and the giant marble Chesme Column in the center of the Big Pond, many steles and obelisks commemorating the glorious victories of Russian arms. And above all this rises the magnificent, built in the 18th century in the Baroque style, azure and white, with shining gilded domes of the palace church, the Rastrelli Catherine Palace. Its length is more than 300 m, and it has no equal in the whole world!
This is a living history - you can see it by entering "beautiful gardens, under the darkness of your sacred …".
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History of the Saritsgoff area
To appreciate the world-famous priceless Tsarskoye Selo palace and park ensemble, you need to at least to some extent understand how it all began. Everything that we admire now is created by the colossal work of countless and often unknown, but the most skillful "working people". Thousands of artisans and peasants, gathered all over Russia, worked here: soldiers, foreign and domestic architects, gardeners. Already in 1715, the first carpenters were sent here from the "Moscow order" - "translators, 200 households from the family and wealthy" … It is interesting now, from the XXI century, to look into the beginning of the XVIII century and find out what happened before on the site of magnificent palaces and parks now occupying more than 800 hectares of area?
In the XII century, the vast region of the Neva lowland was part of the possession of Veliky Novgorod. In the register books, these territories were called Shelonskaya and Water pyatins. Many Russian, Finnish and Karelian villages existed on the site of the outskirts of modern St. Petersburg. The ancient names of the villages, somewhat modified, have survived in the modern ones: from the ancient village of Khotchino the name Gatchina was formed, from Strelina manor - Strelna, from Saar manor - Tsarskoe Selo. At the end of the 15th century, these lands became part of the Moscow state.
The year 1710 is considered to be the beginning of the history of Tsarskoye Selo. At that time, the Saar manor looked like an ordinary manor house for its time with a wooden house, services, a garden and a vegetable garden. Two special wooden rooms and services for the ladies of the court were built. The foundation was laid for the garden, which was later named "Old". Later, a wooden greenhouse appeared for the cultivation of foreign fruit trees.
Even during the life of Peter I, Empress Ekaterina Alekseevna, who became the owner of these lands after Prince Menshikov, ordered the establishment of a small park around new stone chambers, designated a part of the forest as a menagerie, ordering to fence it with a tynom. Spruce "perspectives" and an alder grove were planted along the border of the park. Master of gardening Jan Rosen was instructed to plant a vast orchard along Sadovaya Street, and to arrange greenhouses and greenhouses near the fence of the menagerie (now the territory of Alexander Park).
By 1724, the manor had been transformed into an elegant summer residence with two-story "chambers of sixteen suites", a regular Dutch-style garden with terraces. With the construction of the Church of the Annunciation, the manor began to be called a village, for some time - the Annunciation.
On June 24, 1728, this church burned down to the ground from a lightning strike. By order of the crown princess Elizabeth Petrovna, by that time the owner of Tsarskoye Selo, on the site of the burnt church in mid-May 1734, the Church of the Sign was laid in the name of the icon of the Sign of the Mother of God. According to legend, this icon has been the property of the Constantinople patriarchs since ancient times. One of them, Saint Athanasius, who visited Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich in Moscow in 1652, presented him with this icon. Since then, the icon has been in the palace of the Romanovs, reverently revered and called the family.
Times and tastes changed, architectural and artistic styles required the rebuilding of the palace, changes in its interior decoration. The palace was being transformed almost continuously, becoming more and more luxurious. It reached its heyday by the middle of the 18th century under the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, daughter of Peter I.
Walk through the Old Garden.
If you enter the Catherine Park from the side of the Church wing of the palace, we will find ourselves in its front part, located in front of the park facade of the palace. This is a regular part of the "Dutch garden", restored in the 60s of the XX century, following the model of what the garden looked like during its heyday, in the middle of the 18th century under Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. Now everything is covered with snow, including the patterned parterres in front of the central part of the palace.
Only evergreen pyramids of western thuja and covered marble sculptures (allegories "Peace" and "Splendor") rise on their smooth surface. The parterres were created as a "little Versailles", where an exquisite pattern was "woven" with carpet flowers. Now their drawing is made of sheared green grass and loose materials of various colors and textures: brick, coal, marble chips. Baroque intricate curls, symbols of royal power - the silhouettes of irises, poured from black coal fractions, clearly stand out against the warm background of brick chips.
Many of us do not even imagine what role Peter I played in the creation of gardens and parks in St. Petersburg and its environs, who passionately loved gardens, knew how to grow them and did everything to make them appear in our northern regions, on the swampy soils of the Neva lowland, and moreover, they were no worse than Western European ones. We can say that most of the ornamental species of trees and shrubs, species of flowering plants were imported and took root in our country thanks to the orders of Peter I at the very beginning of construction, the arrangement of St. Petersburg and its suburbs. But it is better to tell about this in detail separately, because the story can be lengthy.
The regular part of the Old Garden (as it was called after the New, or English in landscape style, already during the reign of Catherine II) corresponds in width to the eastern facade of the palace. Its southern side is bounded by the Cameron Gallery and an alley running from it. The gallery for walking in inclement or too hot weather was created by the Scottish architect Charles Cameron in 1780-1795 as the embodiment of his long-held dream of ancient Roman baths, or baths.
It included the Cold Baths, or Agate rooms, a hanging garden and a ramp overlooking the landscape part of the park. On both sides of the gallery's main staircase, in 1786, bronze copies were installed from antique sculptures of the ancient Greek hero Hercules and Flora, the goddess of flowers. These figures have become a kind of symbol of Tsarskoye Selo parks.
Read the next part. Tsarskoye Selo parks landscape →
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