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The famous Russian architectural historian Vladimir Kurbatov, author of books on St Petersburg, Pavlovsk and Gatchina, as well as the monumental labour Gardens and Parks of the World, wrote in 1911 in his Pavlovsk guidebook: "No matter how beautiful Pavlovsk Palace is, no matter how precious its collections, it cannot be compared to Pavlovsk Park."

The Pavlovsk Park has indeed long enjoyed the fame as one of the finest landscape parks in Europe. Poetic and endlessly diverse, it corresponds, in the words of the early nineteenth century French writer Saint-Moret, "to all tastes and to all states of the soul". "Each new step brings a new picture to the eyes" was how Russian poet Vasily Zhukovsky described a walk through the Pavlovsk Park.

Analyzing the reasons for the attraction of the park, the main contribution is often regarded as being the wonderful proportionality of the natural landscape and the architectural structures, which stand in complete harmony with the world of man in regard to the relationship with the surrounding environment. This is reflected in every aspect of the park's rhythms and dimensions, in the idiosyncrasies of its visual perception and the speed of progress along its pathways, whether it be by foot, horseback or carriage. The park's beauty was guaranteed by the choice of the natural undulating landscape. The other services of the park's founders were their impeccable feeling for nature and ability to utilize its great wealth of possibilities.

The idea of using the Slavianka river valley as the compositional axis of the park was also a stroke of genius. The rises and twists of its river banks permit an harmonic comparison and contrast between the clear, austere architectural forms of the constructions and the forest vegetation. The trees in the Pavlovsk Park are not themselves noted for their vivid beauty, as is often the case in gardens in southern climes. Rather, they merge and contrast, like the paints on an artist's palette, coming together to form a harmonic whole. It is therefore sometimes difficult to distinguish the significance of one particular section of the park. And it is this mutual link between all the constituent details that lies behind the force of impact always felt by visitors to the Pavlovsk Park. Spread out over an area of 1,500 acres, the park is made up of a wide range of very different regions, ranging from the shady forest paths of the Valley of Ponds to the wide open spaces of the White Birch. Strangely enough, the transition from one section to another never evokes the sensation of passing into another park, so naturally is everything linked in one original whole.

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World-known music festival "The Stars of the White Nights". Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)World-known music festival "The Stars of the White Nights".
Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)

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