BOSKET “BIRD (ANIMAL) YARD”
One of four reconstructed bosquets located in the central part of the Summer Garden, next to the main alley. Created under Peter I by the French architect Jean Baptiste Leblond.
In the 18th century, poultry or animal yards were an indispensable element of regular gardens. On the axonometric plan of St. Petersburg of 1765-1773, the “Ptichiy Yard” bosquet can be viewed in all its details. On the site of the “Bird yard” (“animal yard”) bosquet there were open-air cages – “sable cages” and a pavilion for birds with dovecotes. In the center of the courtyard there was a small round fountain 2 sazhens in diameter. Birdhouses or dovecotes were an indispensable attribute of the imperial residences of Western European monarchs. Pedigree pigeons were kept there; a high turret with holes in the center of the building was intended for them.
This is how the chamber-junker Berchholz describes this bosquet in 1721 in his diary: “… on the other there is a large aviary, where many birds are partly walking freely, partly locked in small cages placed around it. There are eagles, black storks, cranes and many other rare birds, as well as many four-legged animals, such as the very large hedgehog, which has many black and white needles up to eleven inches long, and there is also a blue fox, a few sables, etc. There are many beautiful and rare pigeons in the high house on the east side. “
As a result of archaeological research, it was possible to establish the exact dimensions of the courtyard – 28 by 25.5 meters. The foundations of the Dovecote pavilion, the “sable cage” enclosures, the fountain and the fence around the site, uncovered during the excavations, made it possible to determine the exact dimensions of the structures, to perform their binding relative to the Central Alley and to each other.
At present, the Dovecote pavilion houses an exposition dedicated to archaeological research and finds from the Summer Garden.
Enjoy your walks in the gardens of the Russian Museum. Be sure to visit the Dovecote pavilion, and then you will learn a lot about the history of the Summer Garden.