Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
The Large Orangery at Tsarskoye Selo.
The restoration of the large orangery at Tsarskoye Selo is now underway. The 18th-century greenhouse is considered to be one of the finest examples of Russian architecture in the city.
Originally constructed in 1751, historians still debate over who was the original architect of the building: Sawa Chevakinsky or Francesco Rastrelli. It was rebuilt in 1820 by Vasily Stasov and lost some of its original Baroque features at the time.
The orangery was severely damaged during the Second World War, but was later restored. In 2010, the facade was repainted, so the current restoration is the first major work on the building since the 1950s. The building is currently under the administration of the St. Petersburg Agricultural University.
Local preservation groups have concerns about saving the building and that it may in fact be too late as the building is is in a terrible state of disrepair. The roof leaks, and the plaster work done in the 1950s was so poorly done that the walls still have traces of where the building was struck by shells during the last war. There are fears that the ceilings could collapse at any time.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 October, 2012