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Tuesday, 9 April 2013
A Russian Moment 10 - The Children's Island at Tsarskoye Selo
Topic: A Russian Moment

 

The Children's Island is situated in the Alexander Park at Tsarskoye Selo, and a short walk from the Alexander Palace.

Dominating the tiny island is a pavilion simply known as the Children's House. It was built in 1830 according to the design of the Russian architect Alexei Gornostayev for the children of Emperor Nicholas I (1796-1855). The house, island and pond were all later enjoyed by the August children of his successors: Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II.

The pavilion contained a Drawing-Room, and four small rooms; to the right of the Drawing-Room were the Rooms of the Tsesarevich Alexander Nicholaevich (the future Emperor Alexander II) and his sister, Grand Duchess Maria Nicholaevna, and to the left the Rooms of Grand Duchesses Alexandra Nicholaevna and Olga Nicholaevna. The rooms were decorated very simply; the ceilings painted in the Empire style and in the style of Louis XVI, and included children's furniture.

The Children's Island is currently in terrible state of disrepair and neglect. During the 1990s, the Pavilion was used by the homeless and by drug addicts, who left the interiors in an appalling state. The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve have plans to eventually restore the pavilion and island and to incorporate it into the museum complex.

The Children's Island will be the subject of the next installment of My Russia, which will appear in Royal Russia Annual No. 4, to be published in August 2013.

My article will provide interesting facts and details on the history and use of the Children's Island and House based on Russian language sources, and will also include a floor plan of the Children's House and my own photographs which I took during two successive visits to Tsarskoye Selo in which I actually walked on the island to view the Children's House and the pet cemetery up close.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 09 April, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:28 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 10 April 2013 10:08 AM EDT
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