Chinese Village (Tsarskoe Selo)

The Chinese Village in the Alexander Park of Tsarskoye Selo, Russia was Catherine the Great's attempt to follow the 18th-century fashion for the Chinoiserie.

Probably inspired by a similar project in Drottningholm, Catherine ordered Antonio Rinaldi and Charles Cameron to model the village after a contemporary Chinese engraving from her personal collection. The village was to consist of 18 stylized Chinese houses (only ten were completed), dominated by an octagonal domed observatory (never completed at all). After Catherine failed in her ambition to procure a genuine Chinese architect, the Russian ambassador in London was instructed to obtain a replica of William Chambers's pagoda in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew for Tsarskoye Selo, a central structure of the Chinoiserie architecture.
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