Pavlovsk (Па́вловск) is a town situated in Russia, 30 km from and under jurisdiction of Saint Petersburg, just to the south of Tsarskoye Selo. It is located at , with a population of 14,960 (2002 census). The town developed around the Pavlovsk Palace, one of the most splendid residences of the Russian imperial family. It is part of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
The town's history started in 1777 when Catherine II granted some 362 desyatinas of land along the Slavyanka River to her son Paul upon the birth of his first child. The name Pavlovsk derives from Paul's name in Russian, Pavel.
In 1780, the fashionable Scottish architect Charles Cameron was made responsible for construction activities in Pavlovsk. His Neoclassical design for the Grand Palace was approved by Paul two years later. Around the palace a huge English park was laid out, with numerous temples, colonnades, bridges, and statues.
When Paul ascended the throne as Paul I in 1796, the settlement near the palace was large enough to be incorporated as a city. After Paul's death the palace was proclaimed a residence of his widow, Maria Feodorovna. Then it passed to the Konstantinovichi branch of the Romanov dynasty.
Prior to the revolution, Pavlovsk was a favourite summer retreat for well-to-do inhabitants of the Russian capital. The life of Pavlovsk's dachniki was described by Dostoyevsky in his novel The Idiot.
To facilitate transportation, the first railway in Russia was opened between St Petersburg and Pavlovsk on October 10, 1837. The railway station was used as a sort of concert hall, with Johann Strauss II, Franz Liszt, and Robert Schumann among many celebrities that performed there. The impressive 'Vauxhall Pavilion' is also used to attract customers to the railway line. Strauss' finer pieces resulted around the time he held his concerts there. The pavilion's fame eventually caused the word "Vokzal" to enter the Russian language with the meaning "substantial railway station building".
The Pavlovsk palace is probably the best preserved of Russian imperial residences outside the capital. The sumptuous neoclassical interior of the palace was faithfully restored after the great fire in 1803. The damage sustained by the palace during the German occupation in 1941–1943, though considerable, was not so devastating as in the case of Peterhof and Tsarskoye Selo.
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