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Best Of 2018

(January – December 2018)

John Wilson


Andrew Varlamov

The White Tower

Pushkin, Russia

October 16, 2018 - 13:30 GMT

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© 2018 Andrew Varlamov, All Rights Reserved.


Off to one side of the main axis of the Landscape Park (the landscaped part of the Alexander Park) stands a complex of buildings that have something of the look of a medieval knight's castle. It includes the Gate Ruin - two towers with the gate between them, the White Tower - a "keep" 37,8 meters high, and also a moat and rampart topped by a brick breastwork.

The complex was created between 1821 and 1827 to the design of the Scottish architect Adam Menelaws for Nicholas I's children - Grand Dukes Alexander, Nikolai, Mikhail and Konstantin, who did military exercises and gymnastics here. The upper floor of the tower contained the studio of the court painter Alexander Sauerweid (1783-1844), who gave the imperial children drawing and painting lessons.

The White Tower was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, with only the lower part of the structure surviving. Restoration of this edifice began in the 1990s and was completed two decades later. On October 10, 2012, the White Tower opened as Interactive Center for children's education and creativity, with an observing deck on its top.


Europe / Russia-Urals West

Lat: 59° 43' 26.125" N
Long: 30° 23' 23.177" E

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Medium. Nearby, but not to the last decimal.


CameraPentax K-5 IILenssmc PENTAX-DA Fish-Eye 1:3.5-4.5 10-17mm ED (IF)Tripod: BENRO A-058; Panohead: Nodal Ninja 5; PC SoftwarePTGui Pro 10.0.19 by New House Internet Services B.V. (dated by April 17, 2018), Pano2QTVR Pro Flash version 1.6.6 by Thomas Rauscher

2 panoramas of works of Adam Menelaws
  • Egyptian gates were built in 1829 in the Egyptian style from sketches by the architect Adam Menelas. The hieroglyphics were modeled by the professor Vasily Demut-Malinovsky. The iron gate and the cast iron columns and plates, covered with hieroglyphics, were cast in St. Petersburg at the Alexander Iron Works.
  • The pavilion Arsenal (Monbijou) is located in the Alexander Park of the town of Pushkin. During 1747-1750 in the center of the Menagerie architects S.I. Chevakinsky and F.-B. Rastrelli built the hunting-lodge Monbijou (monbijou means my treasure), one of the best park pavilions in the Elizabethian baroque style. 
    It was one of a pair for the Hermitage and had luxuriously decorated facades and interiors. The Arsenal was towered over eight-corner ground, located on the same axis as the Hermitage, and surrounded with a canal too. Diagonal clearings were cut from the Monbijow to corner bulwarks of the fence of Menagerie.The Empress received Ambassadors of France and Austria in the pavilion Monbijow, that was richly decorated with pictures of hunting plot. The hunting pleasure-lodge Monbijow got dilapidated after a time. 
    During 1817-1834 it was rebuilt by architects A. Menelaws and A. Thon. The central two-storeyed volume of the Monbijow was done the base of the new composite design. 
    It is considered that architectural motifs of the castle Shrubs-Hill, a Gothic style castle in England which was known according to etchings, were used for decorating facades. 
    The building was transformed into a museum after rebuilding. 

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