The Western and Eastern Cages in Peterhof

One of the most impressive places you can visit in St. Petersburg is Peterhof. A rich historical center full of magnificent palaces, fountains and pavilions where some minor monuments can not be seen simply with sufficient time and effort. But if it’s your first visit to Peterhof, it’s worth a detour from the beaten path to get to know “little things” about its imperial heritage. For example, go to the park that is further to the bottom. Then, some distance from the tourist routes, you will find two elegant buildings with a very funny name, the western and eastern cages. The air pavilions, stand on the edge of a picturesque pond, which just calls for a true decoration of the park.


The famous enclosures at the bottom of the park are on both sides of a small pond, the Menazhereynogo. These pavilions were built in the 18th century, that is to say, in the period between 1721 and 1722. It is not difficult to guess its purpose: on warm summer days you can see the singing birds, which sweeten the beauty of their park visitors . The author of the chicken coop was the famous architect, Niccolo Michetti.

If you compare the architect of the original project with what actually happened, we can see that the idea materializes a bit with the most significant changes. For example, initially the vaults of the dome were covered with a simple fabric, which was replaced by iron in 1751. By the way, the material was taken from the roof of the Great Palace, where it was submitted to restoration.

¿What can you see?

Visitors quietly stroll through the green alleys of the park further in the background, sooner or later they pass by a small and clean pond where two pavilions are found, surrounded by vegetation. These resemble the facets of the pavilions, topped with a dome of light with a flashlight. The walls of the enclosures are filled with openings, allowing for a lot of light.

The facade pavilions are lined with tuff, oyster shells, and the so-called “slag” (materials, in fact, debris that have appeared in the iron smelting process). The dome is decorated with images of Diana and Actaeon, painted with flowers, leaves and garlands. The pillars of the pavilions are decorated with intricate patterns.

In 1772, the east cage is combined with the bathroom and garden Menazhereynym. In the first quarter of the 19th century, the painting of the eastern pavilion was reapplied, while the original painting in the west remained practically unchanged. During World War II battles, the cages were hard hit, but nowadays these are being restored waiting for their visitors comeback.

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