The palace built by Catherine II for her son Paul, the heir to the throne, isn’t as impressive as the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo or Peterhof, but the surrounding park make the Pavlovsk Palace one of the most interesting sights in the suburb of St. Petersburg.
They began to build the Pavlovsk Palace in 1782 in the chase on the picturesque river Slavyanka, which was given by Catherine II to Paul after the birth of her grandson Alexander. For the first years the Pavlovsk Palace was designed by the architect Charles Cameron.
Cameron designed the palace and surrounding buildings in the shape of a horseshoe, which were erected literally for a year, but he was always in disagreement with the heir to the throne Paul. The future emperor Paul I expressed the greatest displeasure with the size of the Pavlovsk Palace, which, he believed, wasn’t adequate for the imperial residence, so the palace was finished by the other architect - Vincenzo Brenna. He added one more floor to the semi-circular wings, which made the Pavlovsk Palace more impressive, and finished the central dome, but left the palace itself intact.
Of the interiors of the Pavlovsk Palace the most impressive are those of the huge Throne Hall, as well as Italian Room and Greek Room. The area of the Throne (or Great) Hall was over 400 m2. Windows and columns, as well as the special painting of the plafond on the ceiling make the throne visually even bigger.
Italian Room is under the main dome of the Pavlovsk Palace. The dome is the compositional center of the Pavlovsk Palace. At the Greek Room you can see the Corinthian columns with the texture of green malachite. The Halls of War and Peace are on both sides of the Greek Room. Also, at the palace it will be interesting to see the Egyptian Vestibule, Rossi Library, Knight`s Room and the Church of the Pavlovsk Palace.
When he became the emperor Paul I made the Pavlovsk Palace his residence, but he rarely came there. As by that time Paul was already fond of the Gatchina Palace, which was given him on occasion of the birth of his third child, and where he liked to constantly parade troops.
After the murder of Paul I at the St. Michael Palace the Pavlovsk Palace has never been the imperial residence. The Pavlovsk Palace became the property of Marie Fedorovna, the former wife of Paul I, who lived in it until 1828. Today at the Pavlovsk Palace you can see the private chambers of Marie Fedorovna where there were restored the interiors of that time.