Barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment
A decisive role in creating the ensemble of the Fields of Mars was played by the architect V. Stasov who designed the Barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment. Stasov built a variety of structures in different parts of St. Petersburg, in Moscow and in other Russian cities. These include triumphal arcs, churches, warehouses, stables and barracks. The keynote of all his design was always a severe monumentality, and it is best expressed in the Barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment.
In the 19th century the field was the city’s military center, and Stasov bore this in mind when he took on the assignment of reconstructing the existing buildings on the west side of the square into barracks for the Pavlovsky Regiment. This regiment had distinguished itself in the war of 1812 with Napoleonic France, and so, besides serving its practical purpose, the building had to be an architectural embodiment of military valor.
Erected in 1817-1829, the Barracks have certain features in common with both the Admiralty and the General Staff. All three buildings are based on the same patriotic theme, and their impressive façades seem to symbolize heroism. And yet each of them has its own individuality.
The length of the frontage is the first thing one sees in the Barracks. Like the Admiralty and the General Staff it stretches for hundreds of meters with a pronounced prevalence of horizontal divisions. The frontage facing the Fields of Mars is decorated with Doric porticoes – twelve-column one in the center, and two six-column porticoes at the sides. The widely spaced columns of the central portico support a heavy, tiered attic decorated with regimental colors and arms in haut relief. The pediments supported by the end porticoes are perfectly plain, thus accentuating the grandeur of the central one.
The rhythmical alternation of identical sections, the straight lines and severe planes of this long façade give that impression of “uniform beauty” which Pushkin spoke of, recalling the military parades he had watched in the Fields of Mars.