Lightning strike and ancient ruins. Amazing fate " of the Temple of Apollo"

madlenfox @madlenfox
· July 2018 · 4 min read · Russia

In ancient Greek mythology, Apollo-the God of sun and light, the patron of the arts. According to the idea of the Imperial family, it was decided to erect the Temple of Apollo as evidence of the fact that here, in the residence, there is a cult of art.


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A suitable place for this temple was an open Sunny glade, opposite the Imperial Palace, on the opposite Bank of the river Slavyanka.


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The famous architect Charles Cameron was invited to implement this project. According to his project, this composition consisted of 13 paired columns, which are located in a closed ring and were connected by the upper band of the circular overlap. In the heart of the colonnade stood a statue of Apollo. It was a copy of the famous Apollo Belvedere, which is kept in the Vatican Palace. At first the statue was made of plaster, but this fragile and short-lived material required constant care. As a result, it was decided to make a statue of Apollo from iron and paint under marble.


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In 1783, the Apollo Colonnade was presented to the guests of the Imperial Palace.


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On the opposite Bank at full speed there was a completion of construction of the Palace. And now, the Empress suddenly found that the colonnade is poorly visible from her Palace windows.


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Immediately was ordered to move the entire composition closer to the edge of the hill and on its slope to build a water cascade, which is a powerful stream down to the river Slavyanka.


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Serious disagreements began between the Empress and the architect, who believed that the original version of the solar glade is a prototype of the sacred grove, where the ancient Greeks celebrated the cult of Apollo, and the change of place for the colonnade and devices in this place of the water cascade in his opinion was a great sin. But the resistance was useless and in 1799 the ancient temple was moved to another place.


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The architect Cameron was desperate. He tried his convictions to ensure that the flow of water for the cascade was launched on the tube, but his arguments no one took into account. The water for the cascade supply came from the pond , which was located at a higher level of the Palace Park. The water slowly washed away the Foundation of the colonnade.


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And then one day, one fine spring day of 1817, a strong thunderstorm began. Lightning raged with great force. One of them hit the columns. As a result, this part of the colonnade at the base of the water cascade turned into ruins.


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At that time it was not restored. At the court decided that the ruins will give the monument an even more ancient look.


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Later, a cast iron pipe for water was laid, but the water became less and less and the cascade completely dried.


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In this form, this landscape has reached our days. Preserved bridge in the form of an arch, thrown over the rocky bed of the former water cascade.


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This image of the ancient God Apollo was to embody the idea of the triumph of nature and art in the Park. Architect Charles Cameron created the Temple of Apollo in the spirit of ancient buildings, but nature has made its adjustments to this structure and now it is a very romantic place attracts attention with a picturesque landscape. These fragments of columns and pieces of ceilings remind us of the events of ancient times.


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It is quiet, peaceful and serene. It seems that after that thunderstorm time stopped on this hill. Nowadays, the Colonnade of Apollo is almost invisible from the Windows of the Palace. It is already hidden behind the big old trees. But this place is not becoming less attractive. Many people, like us, are ready to make this way to the hill on the opposite Bank to enjoy the beauty of the scenery and touch the history.


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All photos are original and made by me using Camera SONY DSC-W350 (click any image to view it in full screen mode)

Location: Russia, St. Petersburg, Pushkin district, Pavlovsk Park


Thank you for Your attention and Your visit. I appreciate Your feedback and comments.

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