Tauride Garden or, as it’s called in Russian “Tavrichesky Sad” is the first landscape park in Saint Petersburg. It was created in the 1780s during the reign of Catherine the Great, and was considered the most beautiful park in the Northern capital. Empress said that it was a perfect place for strolls, especially during spring and autumn.
Until 1861, Tauride Garden was accessible only for Imperial family members and their guests. Thanks to careful attention and maintenance, the garden became a true paradise. There were no buildings, apart from small gazebos for storing boats. The place was covered with water and meadows, as well as tiny hills, groups of trees and bushes.
Origins of the Tauride Garden
In 1783, Crimean Khanate became a part of Russia as a result of the military campaign, governed by Grigory Potemkin. Catherine the Great granted him the title of Field Marshal, and later – the title of Knyaz Tavrichesky. Apart from that, the Empress presented Potemkin a palace, called Tauride Palace. By the way, Tauride was the old name of Crimean peninsula.
At that time, many people thought that Potemkin has done more to Russia in the south, than Peter the Great – in the north. Unfortunately, Grigory Potemkin lived in the palace a bit over one year. In October 1791, at the age of 52 he passed due to fever. Some say, that he was poisoned by one of Catherine’s favorites.
After Potemkin’s death, the park and palace became a part of treasury, and later Catherina II turned them into her own residence, where she loved to stay during the last years of her life.
Bird-eye view on the Tauride garden. Source >
“Tauride” title existed until 1932. In honor of preterm completion of the first five-year plan for the national economy of the Soviet Union, the Tauride garden was renamed to the “Park of Culture and Rest of the First Five-Year Plan”. Later it was also called “The City Children’s Park”.
Design and layout
The landscape garden was created together with the construction of the palace in 1783-1789. It was designed by a gardener William Guld. The trees were mainly brought from England. The park had artificial ponds, channels and hills, all beautifully decorated. There were swans and peacocks, and in the orangery specialists cultivated watermelons and melons, peaches, apricots and pineapples.
There were two island on the Large pond. They were connected with a bridge by the inventor Ivan Kulibin. On the shore of the pond, decorators built a gazebo “The Admiralty” for storing boats.
Interestingly, in 1815, the first Russian steamboat “Elizabeth” was tested on the pond of the Tauride garden. It was not a huge ship, but later it had a voyage with 13 passengers on to Kronstadt.
Imperial park was open to everyone in June 1861. Since it turned public, the garden became a entertaining platform with many activities for children, such as riding a camel in summer and sledging and skating in winter. A restaurant opened in the Admiralty gazebo, but in 1865 as a cause of fire, it burnt. Instead a two-floor pavilion was built there.
Initially, the park was surrounded by a ditch and a log fence. In 1869, a cast-iron fence of 190 cm replaced that hedge. The fence, you can see these days, was created in Saint Petersburg by the architect Alexander Bruni.
One of the most popular places of the Tauride garden is a small area, surrounded by bushes, with a pool in the centre. Right in the middle of the pool, there’s a sculptural fountain “A Boy with a Duck”. The composition was created in 1910 by Bruni, as well. However, in 2008 the original statue was stolen and a year later, its copy appeared on the spot.
Orangery of the Tauride garden. Source >
During the flood of 1924 and the years of the Siege, the Tauride garden fell into decay. It was badly damaged during the Great Patriotic war. Its reconstruction took place in the end of the 90s and the beginning of the 2000s.
Orangery of the Tauride garden
Tauride garden is over 200 years old, and over the time its layout has changed several times. For instance, in 1935, an orangery from Tsarskoe Selo was moved to the place of the former Palm orangery. Nowadays, it is open for visitors. It is a small oasis of the greens with a range exotic plants and trees. There you can rest from the city hassle and visit an exhibition, a flower shop, as well as a cafe and a music hall.
Thanks to over 25 movies shot in the orangery, it has become a popular tourist attraction of Saint Petersburg.
|Garden is open|
|Orangery is open|
|Metro / Subway|
|Shpalernaya Street/ Tschaikovskogo Street||46, 136|
|Shpalernaya Street/ Tschaikovskogo Street||K-76|