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5 Historical Gardens of St. Petersburg: Part 1 - Mikhailovsky Garden
March 28, 2014 23:03


Usually when someone hears «gardens of St. Petersburg», the first thing he or she remembers is Summer Garden and suburban parks. However, let's try to take a walk over other, no less significant historical gardens of St. Petersburg, the oasis of aristocratic beauty in the bustling center of northern capital.

And it is obvious: the Summer Garden is a symbol, same as Pushkin the poet, who led his character there for walk. However, the true nature should be sought as far away from downtown city as possible. If there is no time or desire to visit Pavlovsk, Pushkin, Strelna and even islands, while the Summer Garden, which bears a little resemblance to the place for quiet relaxation, was explored throughout its length and breadth, let's try to walk around the famous historic gardens of St. Petersburg.

Mikhailovsky Garden is the nearest neighbor and relative of the Summer Garden.  Its genealogy starts at "Third Summer Garden", many times re-planned and rebuilt to eventually enter into the ensemble of the Mikhailovsky Palace, the current Russian Museum. In any case, we would like to remind that Mikhailovsky Palace, also known as Russian Museum is different from Mikhailovsky (Engineers') Castle. The Garden is located behind the northern facade of the Palace and separated from the Castle with Sadovaya Street's carriageway in the east.

Mikhailovsky Garden can be accessed straight from the Russian Museum, but only few do so. Another way, pleasing to the eye: from Fontanka, the Summer Garden and the Mikhailovsky Castle. But more often, people arrive here by Griboyedov Canal from Nevsky through the bustling flow of people and cars, which does not contribute to the softening of their hearts. Mentioning softening hearts is appropriate since Mikhailovsky Garden is located between two sinister points: the place where Paul I was strangled is on one side and the spot, where a blast killed Alexander II is on the other. But within the Park there is nothing ominous and depressing.

For many years before the restoration and reconstruction of “the historical appearance," it was a very peaceful place: people used to walk their dogs; teachers taken out the students to do lessons of physical education; people laid and set on Maslyany Meadow, roamed under overgrown trees by a pond covered with water lilies and slime.

In early 2000s, Mikhailovsky was literally returned to good form: it had the original pattern of alleys and water system restored, the second strewn pond recreated and the old trees thinned. The garden became more beautiful, but more strict: no more laying on the grass and no dog walking, the pond is fenced and there are less benches and trees. Without foliage and flower beds, if the warm weather is delaying, the space looks a little bare.

But the garden structure and gardeners’ idea are clearly visible in this half nudity: the combination of landscape planning in the center and of regular one at the edges. In early June, Mikhailovsky hosts the Imperial Gardens festival and the «royal» epithet sounds natural. Now, the garden is very well maintained and very splendid. The people walking in open alleys feel a bit like on the stage surrounded by natural decorations.



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Historical Gardens St. Petersburg Mikhailovsky Garden   

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