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The 18th century sound returns to the Big Cascade in Pavlovsk


The Big Cascade in Pavlovsk has been restored. The previous major revamp was done here before the war. The structure was left untouched during the Great Patriotic War – all destruction was caused by time. Funds for restoration works came from abroad. Alexander Odintsov witnessed the opening ceremony.


Now the Big Cascade of the Pavlovsky park looks exactly like three centuries ago. The water structure was restored using archive photographs. Until today, it was a hazardous object. A tiny stream of water was running down the angled wall, bricks were partially destroyed, the bottom was muddied.

Vera Dementyeva. Director of museum-park “Pavlovsk”: “Not only have we uncovered this entire territory with all its mysteries and perception, but also recreated the whole of Cameron’s and Brenna’s landscape compositions”

The Big Cascade was built here in 1786 by architect Charles Cameron. Back then it was a natural waterfall made of pile of rocks. However, 5 years later princess Mariya Fedorovna asked architect Brenna to alter it. That’s when a retaining wall – typical for Italian gardens -, a balcony made of Pudost rocks with balustrades and vases appeared. Since then, its architecture hasn’t changed. Now, the fountain has even received its voice back

Alexander Odintsov, reporter: “The water diverting system got special attention. Engineers had to keep historical similarity. When Mariya Fedorovna got busy with the fountain, she asked that sounds of the water must not have distracted her from other sounds of nature. This time, to revive the exact sounds of 3 centuries ago, specialists changed the angles of the pipes and created a brand new water diverting system”

Guests at the opening event talk two languages – Russian and Latvian. This restoration is a joint project. Moreover, Latvia funded 90% of the entire restoration costs – that’s almost 250 thousand Euro.

Ivars Fomins, deputy head of Aluksne region authority: “This is an opportunity to do great deeds together. I hope this successful project will become a positive foundation. Both here and in Latvia there are many things left undiscovered”

Russains have not left themselves in debt. Within a border cooperation program, the Alexandrovskiy pavilion in the Latvian town of Aluksne is being jointly restored. It was built there after the Emperor’s triumphal return from Paris in 1814. The main principle of restoration is exactly the same as in St. Petersburg – historic accuracy