The Aviary is located near the Triple Lime Alley, not far from the Grand Palace
An elegant park pavilion in the classical style, it was designed by Charles Cameron and constructed in 1782-1784. Its Russian name derives from French Volière, meaning aviary, and initially, this pavilion was designed as an aviary for songbirds: a fashion of the 18th century. To get more of the sunlight in the pavilion, its main facade faces south so the Aviary was constructed at a certain angle in relation to the Triple Lime Alley.
The Aviary comprises three architectural volumes: a central hall and two side rooms, which are united by open galleries with pairs of Doric columns and grillage stretched between them. Grillage was covered by climbing ivy and wild grapes.
One of the galleries was used for entertainment, dances, lunches and dinners, and the other was used as a huge birdcage. By the late 18th century, nightingales, robins, siskins and goldfinches, however, forest birds did not survive in the Aviary and the pavilion became just a pleasant resting place.
Southern and northern facades of the central square hall are decorated by arched two-column porticos and pediments as well as symmetrical stucco rosettes on the walls. A low domed drum rises above. There are four arched windows at the perimeter of the drum, lighting up the room. The hall is separated from the galleries by two Doric columns with the entablature. It was used as a lounge, to where one could retreat from the summer heat, whilst enjoying the fresh air and admiring the flower beds.
It was the Aviary for which Andrey Voronikhin designed the furniture in the early 19th century: sofas and armchairs that were preserved in the Museum fund. In 1807, Voronikhin partially refurbished the side rooms, filling them with the collections of antiques brought by the owners of Pavlovsk from their foreign travel of 1782: marble ash containers, small bronze sculptures, glass and ceramics items.
The Aviary is the center of the regular park Aviary area located around the Aviary pavilion in the Palace area of the Pavlovsk park. A garden games area was created around the pavilion by Cameron during the construction of the Aviary. Two floral orangeries with a garden in between originally were adjacent to the southern side of the Aviary. A clipped shrubbery Maze with a network of green corridors was created in the eastern part for the entertainment of court society. A star-shaped bosquet with swings and skittles was created behind the Maze, ending with a covered trellis gallery. The Aviary area was separated from the Triple Lime Alley by a long bosquet shaped in the form of green arcades. The arcades were cut in the lime trellises. Initially, these alleys held the ancient ash containers. In parallel with them, floral parterres were installed, decorated with marble busts of ancient philosophers and generals.
In 1793, Vincenzo Brenna constructed a wooden Theater in the place of the garden games area.
In the mid-18th century, a shaped pond was dug at the southern facade of the Aviary, replacing the orangeries. A marble statue of bathing Venus was installed at the center and flowering shrubs were planted at its banks, creating a poetic corner in the park.
In the 19th century the dilapidated Theater was demolished and in 1856 the former Cameron garden games area was turned into a gymnastics area with a high pole surrounded by a net. It was the favorite place for sports games for all Pavlovsk children.
In 1914, a Monument to Empress Maria Feodorovna was installed in the Aviary area, in the place where the theater once stood, replaced by the gymnastics area. During the Nazi occupation, the Aviary was somewhat damaged but survived. The Monument to Empress Maria Feodorovna remained in its place and the Wehrmacht officer cemetery was made in front of it.
After the World War II, the Aviary area was recreated using old designs: a bosquet with clipped lime trees, an alley with floral parterres, a green Maze, and the pond with its layout and greenery. In 2005, after the German military officers were exhumed, the area layout around the Monument to Empress Maria Feodorovna was recreated according to the design documents of the 18th century by decorator Henri François Gabriel Viollier.