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Video: Mon Repos - My Relaxation
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The romantic park of Mon Repos and the unique medieval town of Vyborg
Author's excursion by culturologist Tatyana Alekseevna Matveeva.
9:00. Departure of the bus from the station. m. Ozerki. On the way, the guide will tell you about the history of the Karelian Isthmus.
11:30 - 14:00. Mon Repos Park (translated as "my rest"). We will walk to the End of the World, learn the amazing history of this monument of landscape architecture and the concept of the park.
14:30 - 15:00. Vyborg, medieval lunch at the Round Tower restaurant (a monument of medieval fortification, the interiors of which speak of the history of the Swedish period of the city, additional payment, 380 rubles)
15:00 - 19:00. Walking acquaintance with the peculiarities of the structure of urban space in different historical periods and the unique decorative architectural decoration of the polycultural city of Vyborg.
"My rest" - this is the translation from French of the name of one of the most beautiful romantic gardens and the only unique rocky landscape park in Russia - "Mon Repos". This corner of nature, nestled on the shores of the skerries of the Vyborg Bay, has really become a refuge for the souls of all three owners of the estate.
Here begins a new life of the military engineer and commandant of the Vyborg castle, Pyotr Alekseevich Stupishin. Tired of military service and the construction of fortifications, he set about transforming Lill-Ladugord (Swedish - small cattle yard) into a corner of comfort and beauty, following the aesthetic tastes of his time on the principle of a French regular garden. In honor of his beloved wife, he named his estate - Charlottenthal - the Charlotte Valley. He was the first to plant deciduous trees and an orchard here. The central alley of the park, planted by him, is still the first to meet us and, in the shade of a tunnel made of tree crowns, carefully leads to the manor house.
Only a three-year term was the ownership of the estate of the Governor-General of the Vyborg province Friedrich Wilhelm Karl of Württemberg, brother of Maria Feodorovna - the wife of the future Emperor Paul I. was not always so. Excellently educated, energetic, intelligent and talented, but roughened from a long military field life, doomed by his social status to intrigues in a political game, having suffered drama in family life, was deeply unhappy in his soul.
It was here, tirelessly working (for in three years he had created a lot), he immersed himself in the memories of the best years of his childhood, when he lived with his teacher in the picturesque place of Mon Repos, after which he named his estate.
In search of a “refuge for the soul”, these places were chosen by the third owner Ludwig Heinrich Nicolai. His fate is like a canoe in an eternal wandering past foreign shores. It was Mon Repos that became the last berth of one of the best representatives of the Enlightenment, poet and philosopher, teacher and mentor of Paul I, President of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
From the age of 14, Ludwig showed the hopes of a gifted poet, was friends with the best poets of his time: Gellert, Ramler, Metastasio … In his younger years he happened to be at the epicenter of European culture, he was a member of the circle of philosophers - encyclopedists. Thanks to his wisdom, Ludwig showed careful discrimination in all new trends and always distinguished eternal values from temporary ones.
His actions always corresponded to thoughts, in contrast to Voltaire and Diderot, the latter for duality the Parisians called "a deceitful gentleman." Disappointed with the discrepancy between the preached ideals and the own behavior of the ideologists of the Enlightenment, L. Nicolai notes with irony:
Perhaps that is why L. G. Nikolai willingly decides to go to Russia, where he had the opportunity to try to implement the most important aspiration of the era - the education of an enlightened monarch to create a perfect society. It was Ludwig who gave Paul a serious historical and political education, focusing on the ethical image of the brightest representatives of history.
For Paul, a fairy tale "Beauty" was written, where wisdom and virtue were extolled among all the beauties of the world. But as a result of his teaching experience, L. Nicolai was disappointed. L, Nicholas described his student as follows: “I have always considered him a being, in the strangest way, combining the pleasant and the cruel. His evil fate, in the end, constantly allowed the latter to triumph over the first."
In an unfavorable environment, L. G. Nicholas in the office of president is trying to transform the routine state of the Academy of Sciences, operating on the basis of the regulations from 1747, in order to raise it to the proper height. "For the last creation of Peter the ray of salvation finally flashed" - in 1803. the new regulations created by L. G. Nikolai.
In the same year, Ludwig asks Alexander to resign: "I confess that, despite the pleasant prospect of a long and peaceful reign, every day this court cesspool is hitting me more and more in the nose, in which petty nasty things are constantly being done." Having received his resignation, L. Nicolai flees from high society to a “quiet place” where “… under the powerful protection of Alexander lives a quiet people, free and simple. The poison of the false wise men does not penetrate to him. " In a letter to his son Paul, he writes that among the desert of stones there is a place for a hermit.
Ludwig is driven by a desire to retire to a corner hidden in the bay, where "the bird will show you the way to the right … If you find it, go to my monastery." Here he will write his memories of an eventful life - travel. Here there will be a place among the lilies and roses in the memorial urn of the best friend of Franz Hermann Lafermier, whose life has passed by, there will be time for memories of the youthful dream of creating a "Library of Two Friends", and time for mourning the loss of a close friend.
The forces are exhausted, the soul is tormented, the feeling of futility of the expended efforts, as if the whole life has passed in the wrong direction: "How often, without suspecting anything, we pass by the true paradise …". But Ludwig's twist of fate was no exception.
The collapse of the illusions of educational ideas about the creation of an ideal world inevitably led to the emergence of a new attitude, in which a person turned to his own creative principle, to immersion in his inner world of the soul, where the unique and universal are combined, when each person contains the whole world in his soul and at the same time is his little bit. And that was the birth of a new era called Romanticism. New relations are being built between man and nature, which was perceived as chaos - a source of creativity and emerging harmony.
The rocky landscape of the coast, a new haven for the poet's soul, bears witness to the process of the creation of the world, plunging the contemplator into the beginning of beginnings and awakening him to new creativity. Anticipating the creation of the park, Ludwig writes the poem "The Estate of Mon Repos in Finland", starting his story with myth-making:
Following the gods, the inquisitive soul of the poet who has resurrected to life and creativity again strives for the transformation of the "raw substance of beauty", which nature has dropped in an inexpressible impulse. Ludwig concludes the unity of the universe in one nature of creativity, which manifests itself in the emergence of any work, poem, garden, painting. In the poem, he draws an analogy with the work of the poet-bard: To replace the French regular garden, which was a vegetative "kingdom of reason", in the era of Romanticism comes the English landscape park, turned to the world of feelings:
Throughout the history of gardens, starting with the gardens of Ancient Egypt, China.., including the gardens of the 18th century, they served as the embodiment of an ideal unearthly world. And only the English landscape garden for the first time allowed only the adjustment of landscapes, nature offered to guess and be in agreement with it. …
Ludwig also narrates about the transformation of the wetland around the source, the creation of a cauldron and the planting of a grove for a nymph:
The theme of reward for beneficent deeds is taken by romantics in the traditional culture of ancient peoples, when nature was endowed with a living soul, correspondingly responding to the manifestations of the human soul, an example of this is the legend of the nymph Silmia and the shepherd Lars. The prayer of the nymph to God turns to the sun with a request to give healing power to the source, and at night in the depths of the forest a hermit monk calls to God for a long time.
In the classicist style, pavilions were erected - temples to ancient gods and heroes: Cupid, Neptune and Narcissus. A Chinese pagoda, flying into the heavens, stood on the Marienturm rock a monument to “my gratitude to the boundless kindness of Mary” - the tower of Mary, dedicated to Maria Feodorovna. On the neighboring island stands the Column in the Tuscan Roman style - a token of gratitude to the emperors.
"Caesar gave us this rest," is inscribed on it.
Ludwig's son, Paul Nicolai, who was given a long life, after retiring, devoted himself to Mon Repos. The collection of paintings and the collection of the library, numbering about 9000 books, were replenished for the manor house. In 1830, at the invitation of Paul Nicolai, to teach his children to draw, the Danish artist-decorator K. F. Christensen. Thanks to the beautiful watercolors of this artist, painted from nature, we have an idea of the park of that time and of those architectural structures that have not survived to this day.
The impeccable composition of his works, competent execution in the best way present us the best views of the park, and, as it were, the peace poured into them invites us to endless contemplation of beauty and harmony. Paul is a man of the noblest soul, from whose attention nothing important and meaningful has escaped. Mourning for those who died in 1812. brothers of his wife, immortalized their deeds and brought their names to us on the obelisk dedicated to Charles and Augustus de Broglie.
Having fulfilled the will of his father - to betray his ashes to the island, he crowned the Ludwigstein rock with the Ludwigsburg chapel, revealing to our eyes one of the most beautiful places in the park. The Karelian-Finnish epic just collected by E. Lönroth did not escape his attention, and immediately a large stone was crowned by the figure of the protagonist, Väinämöinen, the creator god in a picturesque gorge near the border of the garden, which Ludwig called “The End of the World”. For just as God created our world out of chaos, so the creators of the garden showed us a new world, created in the manner of their thoughts and feelings.
The powerful creative impulse of the creators of the park could not leave without a trace the visitor of Mon Repos, whose artistic image left a deep mark in the soul of a person, inspiring him to a new creation. In Russia, both travel and the recording of impressions in diaries and notes become an integral part of the culture of that time.
The appearance of Mon Repos Park in Vyborg attracts the interest of the secular public. Many travelers, following to Finland, visit the park, and already in 1805 one can find the first mention of the park: “… on the one hand, bays, islands, hills, cliffs, abysses and valleys are its natural decorations, on the other, thick shady alleys, groves, flower beds, bridges, ponds, canals, statues, grottoes, gazebos, a monument dedicated to friendship, and so on, make up how many unexpected, so many charming views; and the kindness and gentleness of the venerable rulers of this place makes this a kind visitor …”in“Review of Russian Finland or mineralogical and other notes made during a trip to it in 1804 by academician, collegiate adviser and knight Vasily Severgin”St. Petersburg 1805.
In the same year V. M. Severin in his “Review of Russian Finland” writes: “… no matter how wild nature in its primitive state may seem, but through the application of small art, guided by excellent taste, it has become a captivating picture, giving the eye and mind many pleasant exercises.”
A. P. Kern in 1829, who visited O. M. Somova, M. I. Glinka, A. Ya. Rimsky-Korsakovo, A. A. Delviga and his wife left their memories of this park: “As soon as we entered this charming garden, fatigue was forgotten, and admiration accompanied our every step. It seemed to us an elegant toy - the finest work. There was a lot of taste and love for the work in the man who knew how to decorate this corner so beautifully without disfiguring nature, as is often done. He, so to speak, only took a sip, caressed her and thus helped her to show all her beauties even more vividly”.
In 1832 the printed edition "Travel Notes about Finland" by O. Somov, illustrated by V. P. Later, Pushkin's friend from the Lyceum, who visited Mon Repos and made landscape sketches.
The many-sided image of Mon Repos could not ignore the cinema. The Ludwigsburg pavilion appears as a medieval castle in A. Balabanov's film The Castle, based on the novel of the same name by F. Kafka.
Scenes from the film "Andersen - Life Without Love" by E. Ryazanov were filmed in the Tea Gazebo, as well as in the film "Olga" (working title. 2007), where the landscapes of Mon Repos serve as scenery for events taking place in Western Europe in the 19th - 20th centuries.
The dedication and love invested in the creation of the park by Ludwig and Paul Nicolai sprouted and manifested themselves in the works of art of subsequent eras. Mon Repos still serves as an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the work of poets, artists and filmmakers and continues to be a place of rest for anyone who has entered the wonderful "world of many faces, where feeling and fantasy reign."
Photo by Dmitry Baranov