The St Petersburg Government approved the restoration concept of the Mount Parnassus in the Alexander Park, which was presented by the Museum to the city’s Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation on June 13th.
Raised in the New Garden of the park at the behest of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in the middle of the eighteenth century, today the Mount Parnassus is a hill 95 metres wide at base and nearly 16 metres high. A winding path flanked by trees (mostly old self-sown maples, many of them hazardous now) spirals five times before reaching a now deformed top (see above, click to enlarge). Severely damaged during the Second World War, the artificial hill still shows traces of numerous dugouts and shell craters.
Based on the analysis of available historical data and field research, it is decided to restore the layout of the late eighteenth – first half of the nineteenth century, referring to architect Ilya Neyelov’s album of 1779 (see left, click to enlarge), the plan of the Tsarskoye Selo gardens of 1816 (see below right, click to enlarge), and some archived documents of the Tsarskoye Selo Palace Administration.
According to Olga Filippova, Tsarskoye Selo park curator, the Museum intends to bring back the historic view of the Mount Parnassus as a part of the whole architectural and landscaper composition. The main task is to restore the viewing site on the top, while preserving as many healthy trees as possible (see below).
The hill will be raised to 17.5 metres and encircled with ball-shaped 5-metre lime trees. The spiral path will be flanked by currant bushes. The centre of the hilltop will have a tree with a beautiful crown and a Chinese-like encircling bench made to Neyelov’s design. The Mount Parnassus will become a viewing site again, providing a great viewing experience for visitors seeking to enjoy the Alexander Park and the gorgeous surrounding landscapes.