Temple of Friendship - uVisitRussia
Home Explore Saint Petersburg Pavlovsk Temple of Friendship

Temple of Friendship

The circular Dorian temple has sixteen columns and was the first structure to be built on the site by architect Charles Cameron in 1782. Tellingly, it was not a tribute to Paul I and his family who would reside there but was instead dedicated to Catherine the Great and depicted her as the goddess Minerva in a statue that was unfortunately destroyed while being transported in 1938.

The name of the Temple of Friendship pavilion in Pavlovsk originates from the sentimentalists who were the dominant school in literature in the late 18th century. Many of the pavilions on the estates of the Russian nobility bore such names as “Pavilion of Tears” and “Temple of Unrequited Love”, etc. which showed the influence of the sentimentalists. The pavilion is round in shape and surrounded with a Doric colonnade. Between the columns there are moulded bas-reliefs which enliven the inner blind wall. Under the cornice there is a moulded frieze of garlands and dolphins (the dolphin was a symbol of friendship). On top of the pavilion is a flat cupola, the centre of which is glass. 

The whole structure harmonises beautifully with its surroundings. The columns are reflected in the clear gentle waters of the Slavyanka and the trees here are planted not to conceal the pavilion but rather to emphasise its connection with the surrounding landscape.