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A tour in the park would normally begin at the main gates. Built in 1830, according to architect K. Engel’s design, they were wooden archway stylized after Gothic fashion with the Nicolay family coat of arms above the ogee entry. The gates were lost and in 1982 restored according to the original design.

Not far away from the gates and the fence there is a huge boulder rising. There used to be one of the “surprises” of the park upon it — “The Chinese Parasol.” One could climb to the top of the giant stone on a stairway with a fancy pattern of the rails. Upon the boulder’s flat surface a wooden little mushroom stood imitating an umbrella for protection from the sunbeams. There was a bench around it where one could enjoy his rest.

A straight alley paved from the gates to the mansion was rimmed on one side with birches and on the other — with maple trees. The variety of shades of green foliage in summer and yellowish-golden leaves in autumn created the first impression and served as “an introduction” to the next exposition of the park. At a crossing with the road leading to the manager’s lodge there used to be a booking office where fair was taken for entry. Flanking the mansion from the side of the main façade, an alley of lime trees led to the coast of the bay. An obelisk of grey marble towering on the top of the rock can be clearly seen from it. It is a monument to two brothers-in-law of Alexander von Nicolay — Charles and Auguste de Broglie, officers of Russian army, who fell fighting the French: the former at Kulma in 1813 and the latter in 1805 at Austerlitz.

The obelisk was set up in 1827; before that the so-called Eros Temple stood here. From the top of the rock from the monument to the Broglie brothers the most impressive views on the park and the bay in eastern and northern directions can be enjoyed.

From the foot of the mountain with the obelisk a path in south-eastern direction led to a wicket where behind the park’s fence on a high hill a bell view stood. One could ascend it on 42 steps of a wooden staircase. In the eastern direction the alley led to another tower — Marienturm named after Maria Fedorovna, the wife of Paul I. The tower was designed in the shape of an eastern pagoda and was called “The Chinese Temple.” The hill where the Marienturm stood could be ascended by a 38-step staircase. By the queen’s own wish, the interior was painted in Pompeii style. Her marble bust stood their as well. The Marienturm fits into the original surroundings of tall and slim pine trees. Not far away from it on the slope of the hill a high granite column in memory of Paul I was erected.

Some tiny little islands near the coast were connected by little bridges. One of them — the Japanese bridge — was many times reproduced in drawings and photographs as the main symbol of Mon Repos. From it a scenic view on the manor could be enjoyed. Groups of trees and shrubs, winding pathways in front of them, little bridges, “The Island with a Tent,” the Marienturm and the column of Paul I decorated the eastern part of the park.

Further on, along the path near the coast by a wharf for boats and bathing, visitors walked in the northern direction. At the coast of the bay they crossed a big valley with lime trees starting at the manor and the shady way led them to a cape protruding far into the waters. At the end of this cape, according to architect A. Stakenshneider’s design, in 1820s, the temple of Neptune was built — a wooden construction looking like a prostyle — a kind of a small ancient Greek temple with a four-column portico that supported a triangular fronton.

This was the first individual work of the beginning architect, which he accomplished, as it seems, at the age of 23-24. Auguste de Montferrand gave him this opportunity when he, a would-be renowned master, the author of designs of magnificent palaces of Saint Petersburg, interiors of the Winter Place and Hermitage, buildings in the Petergof and the Crimea, served as an architect-drawer in the Commission of the Saint Isaac Cathedral’s construction.

The temple of Neptune fitted well in between two mighty pine trees with thick foliage. It became one of the most outstanding sights of interest of Mon Repos. From here one could see a panoramic view on the park and the forest-covered eastern bank of the bay.

A narrow strait separates the cape from the family cemetery of the Nicolay located on a little island where people could get on a ferry. On an uplifted plateau of the little island a decorative park construction is erected — “Ludwigstein Castle” chapel. Vaulted crypts of graves with tombstones cut into the slopes of the rocks descending to the water. Trees of deciduous species were never planted on this cemetery island; it never blossomed with bright-yellow in autumn time. Grim looking fir trees with dark-green heavy branches stretching over those walking below created an atmosphere of eternal rest, silence, thoughtful sorrow. Inscriptions upon the tombs added to that impression. Near a steep path rising from the ferry station to the Ludwigstein, a marble tombstone was standing crowned with an urn. That was a monument to F. Lafermier, a friend, “Strasbourg countryman” and a classmate, who served at the Russian court. He passed away in Andreyevskoye village of Vladimir province in a manor of Duke A. R. Vorontsov in 1796. On the monument to F. Lafermier, ordered and sent to Mon Repos by the Grand Duchess Maria Fedorovna, was an inscription, “a monument of respect dedicated to friendship.” On another tombstone, in the shape of a marble pylon with a ribbon, A. L. Nicolay himself left an inscription in German, which, when translated, reads like, “You, the hill,.. only for a moment belong to me, and then I will belong to you forever.” The grotto of Medusa — one of the most romantic places of interest of the island — is also located there.

From the ferry station those who took a tour around the park went westwards along an alley leading to a curly grove and a brook called Sylmä (“eye” in Finnish). As the folk traditions have it, poor eyesight could be healed by the water from the spring flowing from it to the east. It had been long known about its healing capacity and the spring was surrounded by a metal fence and a summerhouse with a duo-pitch roof built over it. Water flowed from the mouth of a Satyr mascaron into a pool and drenched down a pipe. On the bottom of the pool silver coins always shone, — they were thrown as a tribute to an old tradition. A special niche in the summerhouse was designated for “Narcissus” sculpture.

According to an ancient Greek myth, Narcissus, a son of the river god Cephissus, who was characterized with extraordinary beauty rejected women’s love and was punished by Aphrodite for that: he fell in love with his own reflection in the water, could not get away from it and died. Nymphs prepared a grave for him, but when they came for his body it was not there. On the spot where the young boy’s head lay a white fragrant flower sprang up — the flower of death, daffodil. This name became the name of the spring of crystal-clear water in Mon Repos. The north-western part of the park was called “the end of the world.” Those walking down a shady path unexpectedly encountered another surprise — a flat granite terrace, from which a panoramic view on the entire bay could be seen. On a high rock that served as a pedestal in a cleft of the granite massif a sculpture depicting Väinämöinen – a hero of Karelian-Finn epos “Kalevala” — was established. In this part of the park so-called “cavern of a recluse” was located. The way back for the visitors lay once again by the Narcissus spring along the path leading along a sheer cliff to the manor house.

On the rock a park pavilion stood, with big, down to the ground, windows in its central part, with a mansard roof. The building was called Paulstein. It was erected a long time ago under Fredrick of Württemberg. From here an impressive view on the park and the bay can be seen. It was the favorite nook of A. L. Nicolay; here he worked on the drafts of his manuscripts.

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