The Cages of the West and East in Peterhof

What places to go in Peterhof if you are in St. Petersburg. What to see in Peterhof is ideal if your stay is in the Venice of the north. Visiting the West and East Cages in Peterhof is an example of the most striking places in all of Russia.

Peterhof is so rich in magnificent palaces, fountains and pavilions that for some secondary monuments of antiquity there is simply not enough time and effort. However, this is not the first time he is here, it is worth a small deviation from the beaten track to get acquainted with the “little things” of the imperial heritage. For example, go to the Lower Park. Here, within walking distance of the tourist routes, there are two elegant buildings with a very funny name: western and eastern aviaries. The air pavilions, standing on the banks of a picturesque pond, are rightly called a royal decoration of the park.

Some history

The famous Lower Park enclosures (from French les volieres – chicken coops) are located on both sides of a small Mazhenereyny pond. These pavilions were erected in the 18th century, that is, in the period from 1721 to 1722. It is not difficult to guess their purpose: in the warm summer days, they kept singing birds here, which delighted the park visitors with their beautiful trills . The author of the project was the famous architect N. Michetti.

If we compare the architect’s initial project with what happened in reality, we can understand that the idea was implemented with some, if not the most significant changes. For example, initially the domes of the enclosures were covered with a simple canvas, which was replaced with iron in 1751. By the way, the material was taken from the roof of the Grand Palace when it was rebuilt.

What places to go in Peterhof

One of the most impressive places that can be visited in St. Petersburg is Peterhof. A historic center so rich and full of magnificent palaces, fountains and pavilions where some minor monuments cannot be seen simply with enough time and effort. But if it is your first visit to Peterhof, it is worth deviating a bit from the beaten path to get to know “little things” of the imperial heritage. For example, go to the park that is further in the background. Then, at some distance from the tourist routes, you will find two elegant buildings with a very funny name, the Cages of the West and East. The air pavilions are standing on the shore of a picturesque pond, which precisely calls for a true decoration of the park.

What to see in Peterhof – history The Cages of the West and East in Peterhof

The famous enclosures at the bottom of the park, are located on both sides of a small pond, the Menazhereynogo. These pavilions were built in the 18th century, that is to say, in the period between 1721 and 1722. It is not difficult to guess their purpose: in the warm days of summer you can see the singing birds, which sweeten the beauty of their triune visitors to the park . The author of the chicken coop was the famous architect, Niccolo Michetti.

A visitor who walks through the green alleys of the Lower Park, sooner or later, will leave for a small clean pond, near which two pavilions are surrounded by greenery. They remember gazebos from many sides crowned with a dome with a light torch. The walls of the enclosures are almost completely glazed openings, due to which a lot of light enters.

The facade of the pavilions is lined with tuff, oyster shells and the so-called “coal” (the material, in fact, the debris that appeared during cast iron casting). The domes are decorated with images of Diana and Acteon, paintings of flowering plants, leaves and crowns. The walls of the pavilions are decorated with intricate ornaments.

In 1772, the eastern aviary was connected to the bathhouse and the Mazenereyny garden. In the first quarter of the 19th century, the Eastern Pavilion was painted again, while the original painting in the West was preserved almost unchanged. During the fight of World War II, the enclosures suffered serious damage, however, today they are restored and again await their visitors.

If you compare the architect of the original project with what actually happened; We can see that the idea materializes a bit with the most significant changes. For example, initially the dome enclosures were covered with a simple cloth, which was replaced by iron in 1751. By the way, the material was taken from the roof of the Grand Palace, where it was subjected to restructuring.

Visit the West and East Cages in Peterhof What can you see?

Visitors calmly stroll through the green alleys of the park in the background, sooner or later they pass through a small, clean pond next to the two pavilions, surrounded by greenery. They resemble the facets of the pavilions, topped with a dome of light with a flashlight. The walls of the enclosures are full of openings, which allows a lot of light.

The pavilions of the facade are lined with tufa, oyster shells, and the so-called “scum” (materials, in fact, the debris that have appeared in the iron smelting process). The dome is decorated with images of Diana and Actaeon, painted with flowers, leaves and garlands. The jetties of the pavilions are decorated with intricate patterns.

In 1772, the Eastern cage is combined with the bathroom and the Menazhereynym garden. In the first quarter of the 19th century, the painting of the eastern pavilion is reapplied; while the original painting in the West remained virtually unchanged. During the fighting of World War II, the cages were hit hard; but today they are restored to return waiting for their visitors.

Visiting the West and East Cages in Peterhof has never been better.

What places to go in Peterhof and much more alone in GuiaRus !!! What to see in Peterhof accompanied by our expert guides that will make your journey much more than a tour.

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