Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Empress Alexandra in the Photographic Pavilion, Tsarskoe Selo

In the Alexander Palace on Wednesday May 20th 1898 Nicholas II noted that after ‘lunch with Uncle Misha [son of Nicholas I], we had photos taken in Hahn’s pavilion in the park’.

Photographs (below) of Empress Alexandra with Hahn’s backdrop

The Lamsky Pavilion in the Alexander Park of Tsarskoe Selo was built in the early 1820s as a stable for llamas from South America, a gift to Alexander I.

Painting c1850 (below) of the Lamsky Pavilion

In the early 1860s, the architect Monighetti restored the pavilion. A photography studio  was constructed above a shed and stairs led to its laboratory in the tower.

Photographs c1930s (below) of the Lamsky Pavilion

Map (below) of the Alexander Park [Lamsky Pavilion left of the Arsenal #12]

Aerial (below) of the Lamsky Pavilion and restoration work


  1. Joanna, thank you for these pictures ... on Alexandra's 146th birthday!
    Although its restauration has not been completed yet, this Pavilion will be one more building on my list of things to go and see during my next visit to St Petersburg. Too bad that there won't be any llamas.

  2. Thank you very much Petra. I will have to reread my research notes on the pavilion but if I remember correctly Nicholas II had llamas again c1903!

  3. I was confused to see the name of this pavilion and park section written with an -n- instead of an -m- sometimes. According to the website, it was initially built for llamas (Ламы), but Nicholas II used it to keep fallow deer (Лани) from 1907. Riddle solved! :-) (

  4. There was a Lansky pavilion or memorial erected by Alexander I in the park c1810s.

    But also c1900s llamas were brought by Lieutenant Colonel Zhukovsky of the 14th Rifle Regiment from southern Mongolia to Emperor Nicholas II and placed here.

  5. Is it known how those llamas came to Mongolia, outside the natural area (S. America) where the species is found?

  6. As llamas were sent as a gift to Russia c1820, they were also sent to other countries i.e. China where they were bred.