In the mid-19th century Emperor Alexander III had a hunting lodge built at the Imperial hunting reserve at Bialowieza in Poland. Between 1889 and 1893 a palace was built for the Imperial family, which consisted of 134 rooms spread over two floors.
In 1894, a hunt was organized for the Emperor, but it was to be his last. Emperor Alexander III died on 1 November [O.S. 20 October] 1894 at Livadia in the Crimea.
Few reminders survive of the former Imperial estate; however, in an effort to restore the history of Bialowieza, the Belorussian government decided to restore the original grandeur of the roads leading into Bialowieza by returning the former Imperial crests bearing the monogram of Emperor Alexander III that once decorated the bridges.
The former royal road now connects the Belarusian and Polish parts of Bialowieza Forest. Visitors in search of the Romanov legacy can still visit two of the oldest surviving buildings at Bialowieza: St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and the Swiss House. Sadly, the palace itself was destroyed in 1944; while the ruins of the palace were demolished in 1961-63.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia.