Gates and Bridges

Gates and bridges in a pleasure residence of Catherine II play a special role. The ensemble by Vasily Bazhenov was placed on a hill, on a headland over the surface of open water, like a medieval monastery or castle. But there were no walls, their function was partly performed bridges and gates — they marked the boundaries of the ensemble and served as an architectural design of the main entrances into the territory.

Bazhenov started construction work in Tsaritsyno in 1776 with the Figured Bridge. This bridge, like a castle’s gates with the two towers and arch, served as the principal entrance to the residence on the way from the Shipilovsky and Tsaritsyno ponds. The Birch Perspective — an alley that leads to the Empress’ palaces — passed over the bridge from above. It started from the Big Bridge over the gully — the entrance to the estate from the Big Kashira road. Standing at the border of the palaces’ territory and park, the Figured gate completed the Birch Perspective.

The Gallery-fence with gate (1784–1785) connects the Grand Palace and the Bread House. It was not marked on the original Bazhenov’s plans. Perhaps the idea to connect the Heir’s Palace with the Bread House by a decorative gallery-fence came later due to changes in the planning of the palace ensemble central group.

The Greenhouse and “Grotesque” Bridges were the result of a new phase of construction in Tsaritsyno in the first half of the 19th century.

The Greenhouse Bridge was built in the early 19th century by the architect Ivan Egotov and leads to the opposite side of the gully where hothouses and extensive orchards were located. Big and Small Grotesque Bridges (1805–1808), also associated with the name of I. Egotov, were part of “romantic ploys” created in Tsaritsyno park: in remote gullies and at the foot of the hilly banks of the Upper Tsaritsyno pond. The architect was inspired by the “Gothic” architecture of the palace complex by Bazhenov and Kazakov.