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The exhibition «The history of the Pavlovsky railway station»

The unity of railways, art and music.
The Pavlovsky music railway station was a unique place not only for Russia but for the entire world. It became a terminal station of the Tsarskoye Selo railway as well as the centre of St. Peterburg’s cultural and entertainment life. Balls and concerts were hosted there, including performances by the prominent artists of this time period such as Johann Strauss and Fyodor Shaliapin; Sergei Prokofiev played his music, and Anna Pavlova danced.

It was the Pavlovsky music railway station which gave a name ‘vokzal’ (“station”) to all subsequent buildings situated by the railway where people waited for their trains. Previously, the word “voksals” was used to indicate entertainment places where festivities with dancing, masquerades and fireworks were held, similar to the Vauxhall Gardens, a public garden in the suburbs of London, which was famous for its restaurant and concerts. Thanks to the Pavlovsky ‘vokzal’, this name became firmly entrenched in the language to denote the railway station.

The station did not survive the Great Patriotic War. Nowadays, in its place, we can only find an incredibly beautiful historical lantern and a memorial stone. Currently, discussions are being held concerning the possibility of restoring the station at its former location.
1836 - 1837


1856 – 1865




1941 – 1945
In 1836-1837, by order of Nicolas I, the Tsarskoe Selo railway, which was the first railway track in the Russian empire, was constructed on the territory of the Pavlovsky park.. For the construction of a terminal station, the owner of the park, Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich leased a plot of land to the Tsarskoye Selo Railway Joint Stock Company. The new track between St. Petersburg and Pavlovsk was opened to traffic on May 22, 1838.


In 1836, the Board of the Tsarskoye Selo Railway Society made a bidding announcement for the railway station construction project – «voksal with a hotel for the shelter and pleasure of the public» where tired residents of the capital could get good rest and reasonable entertainment in the bosom of Pavlovsky Park’s nature (balls, dances, masquerades were offered as entertainment). From the projects submitted by eleven Russian architects and two German architects, Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich chose the project of the Berlin architects Shtark and Shtuler. However, since the expense associated with the construction of the station according to their project came to be much higher than indicated initially, eventually the project was given to the St. Petersburg architect Andrei Ivanovich Stackenschneider.
In 1838, the Pavlovsky railway station was completed according to the project of architect Andrei Ivanovich Stackenschneider and opened to the public.

The building consisted of a round «entrance hall», a large concert hall for up to 3,000 people, a restaurant, two interior gardens and two adjoining wings with 40 living rooms where guests could stay overnight. There was a gallery around and a special passage connected the station with the railway platform. On the adjacent territory, there was a small garden with two fountains, a stage for the orchestra and a round gallery «for summer consumption».
From 1856 to 1865 Johann Strauss, the «king of waltz», performed for ten seasons in Pavlovsk. A separate hall was arranged for his performances because the composer was strongly against playing in the restaurant. It is Strauss who is credited with transforming the station from a restaurant, where people dine with music, to a venu, to which people come speciallyin order to listen to orchestra music and famous singers.
In the 1880s, a permanent orchestra of the Pavlovsky station was established, which performed theworks by the Russian composers. It is especially worth to highlight the work of the conductor and violinist N.V. Galkin who did a lot to promote the works of P. I. Tchaikovsky. N.V. Galkin made it a tradition to have concerts of Russian music on Tuesdays. There was also foreign music played at the Pavlovsky station, specifically the works of the composers L. Beethoven, G. Berlioz, R. Wagner, F. Liszt, and later - R. Strauss, A. Dvorzhak, J. Sibelius and others.
In 1914, Anna Pavlova held a performance at the Pavlovsky railway station, which became her last stage appearance in Russia before ballerina's emigration to England. A. Pavlova's chose A. N. Obukhov as a partner for this performance.
After 1918, the Pavlovsk music railway station and the theater formed a complex, in which a symphony orchestra of 80 musicians performed. During the summer season they performed twenty concerts. The conductor Nikolai Andreevich Malko was in charge of the orchestra.
During the Great Patriotic War, the station was completely destroyed.

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Online live broadcast
Dreams about the Pavlovsky railway station. Concert dedicated to the 195th birthday of the «king of waltz» Johann Strauss.
The broadcast starts at 16:00

Photographic exhibition dedicated to the unique history of the Pavlovsky Music Station