The Lower Bathhouse Restored at Tsarskoe Selo

Source: Вести.Ru. Language: Russian. Duration: 3 minutes, 14 seconds

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In the 18th century, the Lower Bathhouse was known as the Cavaliers' Washroom
© Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело

Situated in the Catherine Park, not far from the Upper Bathhouse stands the Lower Bathhouse. This pavilion, situated aside from the alleys of the park and intended for use by members of the court, was built to the design of the architect Ilya Neyelov in 1778–79. Its façade is partially concealed from visitors in the garden by trees and shrubs.

The Lower Bathhouse contains ten rooms grouped around a central hall with a large round pool or bathtub. The water was heated in two boiler-rooms that had separate entrances and delivered by pipes to the steam-room and the rooms with baths.

The unusual layout of the pavilion determined its external appearance. Two of its facades – looking towards the palace and directly away from it – are identical, but neither is the main one. The walls of the central hall are raised considerably higher than those of the side room and form a windowed drum supporting the dome that crowns the building. Both the drum and the façade walls contain round windows that are placed high up in accordance with the functional purpose of the building.

The internal décor of the Lower Bathhouse has not survived. From archive documents we know that some of the rooms had ornamental painting on the walls and ceiling, that the relaxation and changing rooms were heated by marble fireplaces and that the circular bath was surrounded by a balustrade.

The facades of the pavilion suffered little during the Second World War and were restored in 1944–45. Today, the Lower Bathhouse interiors are finally open to public after a six-year restoration program.

© Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело

© Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело

© Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело

© Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело

© Государственный музей-заповедник Царское Cело

Source and Copyright: Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve
Edited by Paul Gilbert
7 July, 2011