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International Year of Forests

(January 1st, 2011 - December 31st, 2013)

Andrew Varlamov

Park at Sergievka

Andrew Varlamov

Monrepos Park

Vyborg, Russia

June 5, 2012, 07:00 UTC (11:00 local time)

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© 2012 Andrew Varlamov, All Rights Reserved.

"In 2010 Monrepos Park celebrated its 250th anniversary. Located near Vyborg (the Finnish town of Wiipuri) about 250km from St Petersburg, it is the only rocky landscape park in Russia. It is a remarkable case of a dialogue between different cultures, the final result being a great example of European landscape art from the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries" - wrote Mikhail Efimov and Julia Moshnik in their article on Monrepos Park published in the official edition of The Garden History Society (England), No. 86, Summer 2010, P.14-17 [ISSN 1475-8377].

They continue - "The story starts in 1760, when Peter Stupishin (1718–82), the commander of Vyborg’s fortress, acquired ‘Old Vyborg’ manor on Linnansaari Island. Here he began the creation of Sharlottendal Park, named after his wife Charlotte. The manor and park were then bought by Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Herzog von Wu?rttemberg (1754–1816), the brother of Grand Duchess Maria Fedorovna (future wife of Emperor Paul I of Russia). Prince Friedrich gave the park its present name ‘Monrepos’ (‘My rest’ or ‘My repose’), presumably to remind him of the Swiss house Monrepos near Lausanne where he had spent his youth; thus the park was designed according to European precedent. On his forced departure from Russia (following a divorce scandal), Friedrich gave his German residence near Stuttgart the same name, Monrepos.

It was the manor’s next owner, who bought it in 1788, the German born Baron Ludwig Heinrich von Nicolay (1737–1820), who was to play the greatest part in the creation of today’s landscape park. Upon graduation from Strasbourg University Nicolay had gone to Paris, where he made various acquaintances amongst the French Encyclopaedists. A versatile translator, an admirer of Rousseau and acquainted with Voltaire, Diderot, and d’Alembert, he personified the ‘Siecle De Lumieres’, the Enlightenment. In 1769 Nicolai was invited to the Russian Empire to become tutor of the then Grand Duke Paul, and later the private secretary of Grand Duchess Maria Fedorovna, and on Paul’s succession he was appointed as President of the St Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences (1798– 1803).Von Nicolay was now a high-ranking court official, as well as a renowned poet, translator and playwright.

Having a profound knowledge and love of Classicism in both art and literature he was at the same time sensitive to new artistic trends. Circumstance now gave him an opportunity to realise his main intent, to enrich a majestic and wild landscape without destroying it, with taste and in the manner of an exquisite artist. Nicolay was to record his creation in a long poem ‘Das Landgut Monrepos in Finnland, 1804’ [The Monrepos Estate in Finland], illustrated with lithographs by Luis-Julien Jacquotte. It was both a kind of guidebook and an embodiment of the aesthetic views of ‘the poetic gardener’, idyllic in spirit with an emphasis on emotional sensitivity and the elevated sentiments of Neoclassicism. One can unmistakably recognize here many cross-European trends of the epoch, including Rousseau’s cult, a vivid interest in Northern mythology (epic of Ossian etc.) and the English garden style. Nicolay spent the last seventeen years of his long life at Monrepos.

Under Nicolay’s son Paul Nicolay (1777–1866), a notable Russian diplomat, the ensemble of Monrepos was completed.

...The manor remained within the Nicolay family until 1942, when it passed into the ownership of Count Nicolas von der Pahlen, nephew of Marie Nicolay, the last member of the original family of owners. Count von der Pahlen owned Monrepos until 1944. During 1918–1939 and 1941–1944 Monrepos, with Finnish Wiipuri, was part of an independent Finland, in 1939–1940 and again since 1944 it became part of territory of Soviet Union (now Russian Federation). Under the Soviet regime Monrepos Park was transformed into ‘the city park of rest’...It was only in 1988 that the State Historical and Architectural Cultural Preserve of ‘Monrepos Park’ was established, with invaluable encouragement given by the outstanding Russian intellectual and literary historian academician Dmitri Likhachev...

For modern Vyborg’s town-dwellers, Monrepos is one of the favourite recreation areas and one of the main city sights. How to combine its status as both reserved territory and recreation zone? Park plantings require protection and careful treatment; it concerns memorial alleys, as well as rare species of mosses and lichens. Moreover the sheer size of the park’s landscape (over thirty hectares of historical park) rules out reliance on mechanized maintenance... The rocky landscape park demands from visitors a solicitous attitude, for modern Monrepos now receives around 80,000 visitors annually..."

(RU) Парк Монрепо расположен близ Выборга на побережье бухты Защитная Выборгского залива в северо-западной части острова Твердыш. Площадь парка — 180 га.

Europe / Russia-Urals West

Lat: 60° 44' 0.24" N
Long: 28° 44' 12.12" E

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Medium. Nearby, but not to the last decimal.

Camera: Pentax K20D
Lens: smc PENTAX-DA Fish-Eye 1:3.5-4.5 10-17mm ED (IF)
Tripod: BENRO A-058
Panohead: Nodal Ninja 5
Sound recorder: Pentax Optio 450 Digital Camera
PC Software: PTGui Pro 9.1.3 by New House Internet Services B.V. (dated by January 16, 2012), Pano2QTVR Pro Flash version 1.6.6 by Thomas Rauscher
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