Yelagin Island, located in the Neva River just north of St. Petersburg, was one of the Romanov dynasty’s retreats in the 18th and 19th centuries. The island is a wooded and landscaped 237-acre enclave of residences, pavilions, servants’ quarters, and parks. The most notable buildings were built by the Italian-born architect, and favorite of Catherine I, Carlo Rossi. The centerpiece among the buildings is the Yelagin Palace, built in the 1780s and decorated in the Russian Empire style. Two other important structures are the Guardhouse Pavilion, which housed regiments of the imperial guard, and the Flag Pavilion, sometimes known as the Wharf Pavilion. The Flag Pavilion was not actively used during the Soviet era and received only minimal cosmetic repairs during the 20th century.
2006 World Monuments Watch
In 2002 WMF Britain began its first conservation project in Russia. The project was guided by a master conservation plan prepared by the City of St. Petersburg. Early efforts focused on the conservation of the Flag Pavilion, which had been severely weakened by water damage. The Flag Pavilion’s foundation, load bearing walls, floor structure and some of the roof rafters were all affected by water infiltration. Once necessary structural repairs were completed and waterproofing measures were in place, conservation focused on the ornamental plaster ceilings and murals that had been affected by roof leaks.
Yelagin Island is best known for its association with the Romanov dynasty. Several architecturally significant buildings are found throughout the complex. Many of these buildings were constructed by the Italian-born architect Carlo Rossi. Through restoration and interpretation, the complex can offer an improved interpretation of Tsarist history in St. Petersburg and the impressive architectural campaigns emblematic of this period.