Znamenka, palace & park

(Знаменка, дворцово-парковый ансамбль)

GPS coordinates: 59°52’22.2″N 29°57’34.6″E (59.872830, 29.959600)

Address: Peterhof, Sankt-Peterburgskoye highway, 115 (Петергоф, Санкт-Петербургское шоссе, 115).

Entrance: Free (territory of park).

Contents

The walk in Znamenka won’t be long – previously it used to be a huge park that bordered Alexandria, but later it was divided in several parts:

  1. One is occupied with private houses.
  2. The 2d became a part of nature reserve “South coast of Nevskaya Guba” and this part bears the same name – Znamenka.
  3. The 3d one that comprises most of historical buildings was fenced around with cheap green fence. This walk (article) is about the 3d part.

Here are not so many alleys and sights are close to each other, while only the church is open to visit. So if you would like to have an all-day long walk, I would suggest you to leave Znamenka through a little private gate to continue your walk in nature reserve (the part of old Znamenka) and later you can reach Alexandria and Aleksandrovsky park on foot by pedestrian Nizhnyaya road (Нижняя дорога).

Znamenka park

Chapel of St. Joseph the Hymnographer

The chapel is the first building that you will see, as it is located right at the entrance to Znamenka manor. St. Joseph’s chapel was erected in Russian Revival style by N.L. Benua in 1867, as a memory of a miraculously failed assasination attempt. One man tried to kill Alexander II in 1866.

During Soviet period the chapel was closed, cross & dome were removed. It was restored and returned to church only in 2001. For coordinates see the beginning of article.

St. Joseph's chapel
St. Joseph’s chapel

Greenhouses and houses of gardeners

GPS coordinates: 59°52’33.0″N 29°57’42.8″E (59.875840, 29.961888)

All these buildings build a square that is protected with barriers – the signs are only in Russian and they claim that one shouldn’t enter the area. But it doesn’t affect tourists much, as there’s nothing special behind these barriers: greenhouses and outbuildings look too simple and their condition is not that beautiful. The most interesting houses (2) face the road.

Also there are some inscriptions warning of video-monitoring and dogs in some other parts of park. Actually I’ve seen the only dog and it was friendly and paid no attention to visitors.

Houses of gardeners are made of red bricks like St. Joseph’s chapel. They were built by H.J. Bosse in 1856-58. After WW2 they were restored by M.M. Plotnikov in 1969-76.

Gardeners' house
Gardeners’ house #1
Greenhouse
Greenhouse

Church of St. Peter and Paul

GPS coordinates: 59°52’36.7″N 29°57’43.3″E (59.876866, 29.962038)

Entrance: Free

Primary church made of stone was erected here in 1767, later it was several times rearranged along with the manor. Today we see the version of H.J. Bosse that was finished in 1877. In Soviet period the church was used as storage and ancillary building. Religious function was returned to it in 1993.

Church of St. Peter & Paul
Church of St. Peter & Paul

Interior of church

Next to the church you will hear the sound of falling water – it comes from the dam-bridge to the west of church. There you will find an artificial waterfall and a picturesque watercourse.

Artificial waterfall

Picturesque river

The palace of Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolaevich

GPS coordinates: 59°52’36.8″N 29°57’52.7″E (59.876880, 29.964640)

Znamenka manor had changed many famous owners (Razumovsky, Shuvalov, Myatlev etc). That’s why the palace was many times rearranged and the park was many times redesigned. In 1835 Znamenka was bought by Nicholas I as a present to his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna, (previously he presented to her Alexandria). The architect A.I. Stakenschneider was in charge of rearrangement – he changed interiors of palace, replaced wooden wings with stone ones and turned the style of building into Baroque revival. While landscape designer P.I. Erler together with the gardener A.K. Betzich worked over the park.

In 1850s the son of Nicholas I (Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolaevich) becomes the owner of Znamenka. The architect H.J. Bosse creates most of buildings that are present today in manor and changes the look of the palace into 100% Baroque revival style.

Palace of Grand Duke in Znamenka
The palace is so long that it doesn’t fit my camera

During the 2d World War the palace was heavily damaged – Nazis that occupied the territory from 1941 to 1944 left only ruins and an ammunition depot (that was discovered 15 years later). The palace and its interiors were restored in 1969-74 by M.M. Plotnikov. Later the palace served as a pension. In 2010 the pension was closed, since then the palace stands empty, though it is guarded. Unfortunately there’s no way to visit it.

Palace of Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolaevich

Stucco of palace in Znamenka
Be careful – don’t approach façade, as a stucco may fall down

The stable

GPS coordinates: 59°52’36.2″N 29°57’32.5″E (59.876708, 29.959029)

Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolaevich had a passion for horses. He also had served as cavalry inspector. So as soon as he became the owner of manor, the architect H.J. Bosse started to build richly decorated stable that had been finished in 1860. Even today the ruins reflect the luxury of former building.

The stable included riding hall, forge, infirmary and in the edges of building there were rooms for those, who worked there. Behind the stable you will see ruins of groom’s house. Nikolay Nikolaevich kept in the stable horses of world’s most famous breeds. Also it was the place for annual horse exhibitions among horse-breeders.

Stable

Be careful walking around ruins – don’t come too close to stable facades and don’t walk into groom’s house. There are no signs warning of danger, but bricks or decorations may easily hurt someone.

Window, ruins of stable

Ruins of stableman's house
Groom’s house

The kitchen

GPS coordinates: 59°52’34.5″N 29°58’00.9″E (59.876256, 29.966904)

The kitchen was built in the style of palace in 1859 by H.J. Bosse. When Znamenka was turned into a pension, the kitchen served its primary purpose: it used to be a canteen.

Kitchen
Kitchen

There’s an alley that runs almost from the kitchen building – you may see many ponds and brooks next to it.

If you want to continue the walk in nature reserve “South coast of Nevskaya Guba” (territory Znamenka), pass by the main façade of kitchen and go down the path. There’s a little gate in fence, usually it is open. 59°52’38.0″N 29°58’05.2″E (59.877223, 29.968122).

Frozen pond
One of numerous ponds in Znamenka (frozen, as it is the end of March)

Znamenka on the map

Take map of Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad region with you – just click the star and it will be saved in your Google account. Any locations that I will add later will appear on your map.

The park is marked with orange colour:

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