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10.07.2024

The seven-month restoration began of the Pyramid pavilion in the Catherine Park.

An eighteenth-century creation by architect Charles Cameron at the behest of Empress Catherine II, the Pyramid is located by one of the Swan Ponds between the Marble Bridge and the Turkish Bath. It was a typical construction for parks in the late eighteenth-century Romantic era, inspired by the now demolished Vanbrugh Pyramid in the Stowe Gardens which was, in its turn, inspired by the ancient pyramid of Cestius in Rome.

Cameron's design of 1782 replaced the 'pyramidal gazebo' of 1770-72 by Vasily Neelov. Made of brick and faced with trimmed granite, the Pyramid had four grey marble columns on pink marble pedestals at the corners. The old Egyptian style of an ancient mausoleum was chosen because three of Catherine II’s favourite dogs—Tom Anderson, Zemira and Duchesse—were buried behind the pavilion. Their white marble gravestones with French epitaphs have not survived, as well as three of the columns and one pedestal which were destroyed during the Second World War. The vaulted room inside the pavilion has wall niches where Catherine II wold display her collection of ancient marble urns and vases.

Last time partially restored in 1995, the Pyramid will now undergo full restoration including the columns, pedestals and gravestones. Work is carried out by specialists from the company Pik.