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Chapelle

Between 1825 and 1828 a pavilion appeared on the edge of the Alexander Park in the Landscape Park that was given the French name Chapelle. It took the form of a small Gothic church dilapidated by time.

Adam Menelaws’s design for the Chapelle consisted of two square-based towers, one of which had totally “collapsed”, and a broad arch connecting them. Among the deliberate echoes of the Gothic period was the architect’s installation of coloured glass in the windows of the building. Light penetrating them gave a spectral shimmer to the interior. [Chapelle before restoration (click to enlarge)] The figures of angels at the base of the vaults were, like the sculpture on the White Tower, the work of Vasily Demuth-Malinovsky, while the statue of Christ that stood in the Chapelle (and is now in the collection of the State Hermitage) was commissioned by Dowager Empress Maria Fiodorovna from the German sculptor Johann Heinrich von Dannecker.

The Chapelle was damaged during the war and spent decades in a state of conservation. It finally re-opened in September 2018 after extensive restoration.