The Landscape Park
Back in the time of the first mistress of Tsarskoye Selo, an area of natural forest situated behind the “masonry chambers” of Catherine I was enclosed and turned into a game preserve in which wild animals were kept for the imperial hunt.
In the middle of the eighteenth century a brick wall was constructed around this Menagerie with bastions at the corners, in two of which amusement pavilions or Lusthäuser were created. In the centre of the Menagerie Savva Chevakinsky erected the Monbijou (“my jewel”) hunting pavilion that was soon reconstructed and decorated to plans by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli. Between the palace and the Menagerie the regular New Garden was laid out, divided by a cross-shaped arrangement of alleys and enclosed by the Krestovy Canal.
In the 1790s at the time of Catherine II to the north-east of the New Garden work began on the creation of a park to adjoin the Alexander Palace that was then under construction. The garden in the landscape style with three ponds and artificial hills was created by Joseph Bush; in the 1810s the work was continued by Piotr Neyelov and Charles Manners. In 1817 responsibility passed to Adam Menelaws who was entrusted with the creation of an extensive new park in place of the Menagerie. Menelaws was assisted in this by the master gardener Fiodor Liamin.
Between 1819 and 1826 the brick walls were demolished; new areas were incorporated on the south-west and north-east, where ponds were created and trees planted. The natural forest in what had been the Menagerie was turned into a park with an extensive network of paths originally created by Bush.
In a brief period of time Menelaws constructed a whole complex of Neo-Gothic buildings for Nicholas I in the new park: the White Tower, Chapelle, Arsenal, Llama Pavilion and Pensioners’ Stable.
Finally, in the middle of the nineteenth century the Babolovsky Park was annexed to the imperial parks under the name New Park. And after the north-eastern part of the Alexander Park from the palace to the Egyptian Gate was built upon in the early twentieth century, the Fiodorovsky Gorodok, an architectural ensemble in the style of Early Russian masonry residences, was constructed to house the Tsar’s escort.
Panoramic bird's eye view of Landscape Park