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Interiors of the Priory Palace

In the building of the Priory Palace, new techniques and materials were employed which make this building a unique memorial to the architecture of the 18th century.

A particular feature the ceilings in the Priory palace is their caisson-board construction, which made it possible to cover large rooms and at the same time to decrease the load on the walls of the building and also to improve the acoustics. Each caisson was filled in with a carved rosette and a ball known as a "repa" (turnip). The caissons were made in various geometrical shapes: squares, triangles, rectangles.

In the palace a special system of stoves was installed which was in fact a prototype form of central heating.

Unfortunately no information about the interior decoration of the Priory palace has survived. All we know is that the furnishings were predominantly of mahogany. The palace was illuminated by crystal girandoles on the walls and the tables, and by bronze wall-lights.

In some rooms blinds were hung, made of straw or white linen. Inventories show that among the essential furnishings of each room were mirrors in gilt frames and ornaments of porcelain and marble.

Today, as before, it is possible to go up to the open gallery with balustrades which leads to the tower by a steep spiral staircase. From the tower a splendid panorama can be seen of the Priory and and the park.

Pictures: Galina Puntusova

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