Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
Overshadowed by the Catherine and Alexander Palaces, the palace of the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich at Tsarskoye Selo is one that most visitors overlook while visiting modern-day Pushkin.
The land that the palace sits was presented to Prince Victor Pavlovich Kochubey in 1817, as a gift from Emperor Alexander I. It was here that the prince had a palace built. In 1835, Emperor Nicholas I purchased the palace for his son, the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich.
In 1875 the palace changed hands yet again, when it was purchased by the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich. The grand duke served as president of the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg for more than 30 years until his death in 1909. During the First World War, the palace became a meeting palace for members of the Imperial family, headed by Vladimir’s widow, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. It was here that they plotted against Emperor Nicholas II and his policies in dealing with the war against Germany, his wife, Rasputin, and more.
In the last few years, the palace underwent a major restoration, and today, the former residence of the grand duke serves as a wedding palace for the residents of Pushkin. Two lions stand guard at the steps of the staircase leading to the main entrance to the palace which overlooks a beautifully kept garden.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 01 March, 2012