Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Wooden Palace in Tsarskoe Selo or Pavlovsk?

Alexandra, before becoming Empress, gave birth to a stillborn son on July 10th 1820. She spent six weeks recovering that summer in the two-storey wooden Konstantinovsky Palace in the vast gardens of Pavlovsk.

Photograph (below) of the Konstantinovsky Palace in Pavlovsk c1867

For a long time this wooden palace was a mystery. Historians had described it in Tsarskoe Selo although we never could find its location when walking around the Catherine Park. Others, including Alexandra’s memoir, wrote of it in Pavlovsk.

At the same time Catherine the Great was constructing the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo for Alexander I, she began a wooden palace for her second grandson Konstantin Pavlovich in November 1792. It was in the meadow behind the Kagul Obelisk in front of the Zubov Wing side of the Catherine Palace. The exterior was painted yellow with a green roof. There were twenty-two rooms on the 1st floor and eight on the 2nd with a large bright corridor.

Painting (below) of Quarenghi’s Konstantinovsky Palace in Tsarskoe Selo

With the ascension of Paul I in 1796 and his hatred of his mother, he signed a decree on August 19th 1797 to disassemble and reassemble the wooden palace in Pavlovsk. It was completed in the summer of 1798.

Paintings, Map and Floor Plans (below) of the Konstantinovsky Palace in Pavlovsk

Photographs (below) of the Konstantinovsky Palace c1800s

Photographs (below) of the Konstantinovsky Palace c1920-1930

The wooden palace has not been preserved.


  1. The empress in 1820 was Elizaveta Alekseevna and not Alexandra. Perhaps you say 'the future empress'.

  2. Wonderful bit of sleuthing here! I've always been interested in this "palace". Thank you. : )

  3. Thank you very much. There are plans to reconstruct the wooden palace. Some interior decorations have survived i.e. wallpaper.

  4. While many palaces existed at Tsarskoe Selo or Pavlovsk...many were unoccupied...they might be visited for tea,a pic-nic,or entertainment...a "mini-vacation"...

  5. In the later 1800s, the palace was used for musical events.

  6. Oh dear Lord I did my research on this pavilion like 10 ago..... looked pretty from thr pond and dairy but I’d much rather have the Elizabethean Pavilion or the Chalets or Voksal........sorry.......

  7. Have you put your research online?

    I am curious about Alexander's wooden palace. Very little info on it nor plans/drawings/photos.