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Thursday, 13 February 2014
Livadia Palace Opens Imperial Lift and Solarium to Visitors
Topic: Livadia


Entrance to the 100-year-old Imperial lift at Livadia Palace
 
For the first time since before the 1917 Revolution, visitors to Livadia Palace can now visit the rooftop (solarium) of the palace in the recently restored 100-year-old lift. It was here that Tsar Nicholas II and his family would come to relax and take in spectacular views of Yalta and the Black Sea.

The lift was produced by Carl Flor in Germany and installed in 1911 and was one of the first lifts on the southern coast of Crimea. It was installed by the palace architect Nikolai Krasnov, in order to facilitate the movement of the Tsarevich Alexei, who suffered from haemophilia, and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, who suffered from sciatica. The lift allowed them both to reach the upper floors of the palace, including the solarium. 

The Empress particularly enjoyed this part of the palace where she loved to spend time with her family. The roof offered her a sanctuary, where she could rest, while enjoying the warm, sunny days that the Crimea offered. The solarium was decorated with her favourite plants and flowers. 

After the revolution, the elevator was seldom used and fell into disrepair. Perhaps its lack of use during the Soviet years is what actually saved the Imperial lift? When workers set to work on restoring the lift in 2010, they noted its mechanism was still fully functional, and surprisingly, inside the cabin, too, was well preserved in its original form. 
 

The lift was restored and opened to the public in April 2013. Inside is a small, but cozy cabin, paneled with mahogany, and a small stool, with room enough for only three people. The glass doors close silently and slowly and the two-storey climb to the solarium is absolutely quiet, no rattle and roar. 

During my visit to Livadia Palace in 2000, I was invited to visit the solarium, however, it was only reachable at the time by stairs. It was a rare treat to say the very least, and I have many photographs of the roof top of the palace and the magnificent panoramic views this sanctuary offers. I can truly appreciate why the Empress loved this spot so much. 
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 February, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:13 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 February 2014 1:41 PM EST
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Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Consecration of Memorial Chapel to Holy Royal Martyrs at Livadia
Topic: Livadia


The Memorial Chapel to the Holy Royal Martyrs is located at the entrance to Livadia Palace
 
The consecration of the Memorial Chapel to the Holy Royal Martyrs at Livadia took place on September 22nd. The chapel was constructed in honour of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and to mark the 150th anniversary of the construction of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross at Livadia Palace. In attendance were the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, who were on an official visit to the Crimea.
 
The seven-meter chapel is located at the entrance to the palace-museum. Inside the tiny chapel is a beautiful icon made of mosaic tiles depicting Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, their son Tsesarevich Alexis, and their four daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia standing in front of the Livadia Palace. 
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 September, 2013
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:49 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 11:59 AM EDT
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Monday, 26 August 2013
OTMA's Bookcase Returned to Livadia
Topic: Livadia
 

The wall panels and bookcase in the grand duchesses classroom were made from the same oak tree. Photo credit: Old Yalta 

The Livadia Palace Museum has acquired a unique new exhibit - the original bookcase from the classroom of the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II. [OTMA was an acronym used by the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia.]

After the Bolsheviks nationalized the Imperial residences, Livadia Palace was opened as the world's first sanatorium for peasants. Much of the furniture, paintings and objects of everyday life were distributed to other museums in Russia, while others were sold through thrift shops in Yalta. In 2000, I hosted a group tour to the Crimea in which Marina Zemlyanichenko was a featured guide and speaker. Ms Zemlyanichenko was the former curator of the Livadia Palace, and author of numerous books and articles about the Romanovs at Livadia and the Crimea. She told me that a number of pieces of furniture, including rare Persian rugs were moved to the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg where they remain in storage to this day.

During the postwar period it became a guest house for members of the Soviet government. In 1953 the building was handed over to the Council of Trade Unions, and used to treat cardiology patients. In 1974, the palace became the History and Art Exhibition Centre. It was not until 20 years later, in 1993, that the Ministry of Culture of the Autonomous Region of the Crimea decided to open the Livadia Palace Museum. 

During the ensuing years great efforts were made to track down furniture, art and other items that were once housed in the former Imperial residence. Sadly, the fate of most of them is unknown, so each new find is considered a great success. Recently, however, the opportunity to purchase an authentic piece of furniture from the former Livadia Palace came about. In addition to belonging to the Imperial Palace, it is interesting to note that this particular piece of furniture in the "modern style", was not only fashionable at the turn of the century, but also characteristic of the decoration of the Livadia Palace itself. 

The bookcase, like other pieces of furniture in the grand duchesses classroom was made by the Austrian furniture company Jacob & Josef Kohn. In the late 19th-early 20th century Jacob & Josef Kohn had firmly established themselves in Russia. They created about a thousand pieces of furniture for the Russian Imperial family, and aristocratic homes in Tsarist Russia. They were one of the first to adopt the style of Art Nouveau and thus involved in the development of new products and designers. 

Due to the wide popularity of the modern style in Russia, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna invited the Petersburg Company factory to participate in furnishing the interiors of Livadia Palace. In January 1910, the palace’s architect Nikolai Krasnov, granted a contract to the firm on a number of interior design living spaces, in particular, the grand duchesses bedrooms, their living room and classrooms. The classroom of the grand duchesses, created in the modern style, the furniture (including the bookcase) were all created from the same oak tree. Today, the bookcase has been beautifully restored and returned to its historic location in the former grand duchesses classroom at Livadia Palace. The grand duchesses rooms, which are located on the first floor of the palace are today part of a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Romanovs at Livadia.
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 August, 2013 
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:16 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 27 August 2013 12:06 PM EDT
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Monday, 20 May 2013
White Flower Day at Livadia
Topic: Livadia

Poster announcing this years White Flower Day at Livadia

Livadia Palace, situated near Yalta in the Crimea was the setting for the White Flower Day on Sunday, May 19th. The tradition of this charitable sale originated in the early twentieth century by the last Empress of Russia, Alexandra Feodorona.

Beginning in 1911, the whole community took part including members of the Imperial family and the nobility who were vacationing at their palaces in the region, and the local townsfolk. They flocked in numbers to contribute to the good deeds by buying bouquets of white daisies, paying what they could whether it was a few kopecks or hundreds of rubles. Each donation helped alleviate the suffering of those in need. The grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and their little brother Alexis eagerly assisted their mother at the open stalls.

The noble cause was reinstituted in 2005, and has since been held annually on the second Sunday after Easter. The event is held at the Church of the Exaltation at Livadia Palace. Money collected in this year's auction will be spent on new equipment and the training of nurses at a new retirement home to be opened in the territory of the Yalta City Hospital, as well as helping the poor and sick to fight tuberculosis.

The symbol of this holiday is the white daisy, which today is distributed to all who make a donation. The people of Yalta took an active interest in the event, including the local women who donated their baked goods, handicrafts and flowers, while local school children donated their drawings, and handicrafts made of white flowers.

White Flower Day at the Martha Mary Convent in Moscow. Photo credit: Pravmir.ru 

White Flower Day is held in a growing number of cities across Russia, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 May, 2013


 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:40 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 20 May 2013 10:15 AM EDT
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Friday, 17 May 2013
Memorial Chapel to Holy Royal Martyrs Opens at Livadia
Topic: Livadia

 

memorial chapel to the Holy Royal Martyrs has been erected at Livadia in the Crimea. The seven-meter chapel is located at the entrance to the palace-museum. Inside the tiny chapel is a beautiful icon made of mosaic tiles depicting Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, their son Tsesarevich Alexis, and their four daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia standing in front of the Livadia Palace.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 May, 2013


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:47 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 17 May 2013 4:11 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Landslide Closes Tsar's Trail in Crimea
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 48 seconds
Topic: Livadia

 

Nicholas II and his wife, Alexandra walking along the Tsar's Trail during one of their visits to Livadia 

The famous Tsar's Trail which stretches along the Black Sea coast of the Crimea has been closed due to a landslide.

Laid more than a century ago, Tsar Nicholas II and his family often walked the 6-km trail between Livadia and Oreanda, enjoying the spectacular views of the Black Sea and the mountain slopes.

Heavy rains contirbuted to the collapse of a 10-metre portion of the historic trail earlier this week. Local officials are blaming the development of high-rise apartments which aided with the erosion of the slopes since their construction in 2006.

Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Crimea Anatoly Mogilev is holding the construction company who build the high-rise apartments liable and has ordered them to restore the trail.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 September, 2012


 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:04 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2012 1:30 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Livadia Palace-Museum Publishes New Books
Topic: Livadia

 

The Livadia Palace-Museum have published two new books as part of their ongoing celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the famous residence of Tsar Nicholas II in the Crimea.

The first book, The Romanovs in Livadia: At Home With the Family of Nicholas II, 1911-1914, provides a photographic history of the last Russian tsar and his family during their stays at Livadia, while the second, Livadia in Watercolours, offers a beautiful collection of watercolours of the palace, its interiors and surrounding park by a variety of Russian artists. Both are richly illustrated with text in Russian.

© Royal Russia. 6 December, 2011


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 12 December 2011 5:35 AM EST
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Saturday, 19 November 2011
Livadia Palace Launches New Web Site
Topic: Livadia

||| Click Here to Visit the New Livadia Web Site |||

The palace of Livadia has launched a comprehensive web site as part of their 100th anniversary. The site is filled with information about the history of the palace, its Imperial residents, and richly illustrated with hundreds of historical and contemporary photos. 

The web site is currently only available in Russian, and there are still a number of sections under construction.

© Royal Russia. 19 November, 2011



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2011 12:42 PM EST
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Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Restoration of Livadia Palace Set to Begin
Topic: Livadia

The Study of Tsar Nicholas II, Livadia Palace 

Final preparations are now underway for the long-awaited restoration of the second-floor of the Livadia Palace.

The second-floor includes the former private apartments of Tsar Nicholas II and his family while they were in residence.

Palace officials have confirmed that the furniture, carpets, art work and other personal items in the rooms have been carefully packed and put into storage while the restorations are carried out.

More than $1.5 million USD has been allocated for the restorations, and another $2 million USD to be allocated by the end of the year.

Restorations include repairs to the walls and ceilings, stucco elements, updating the wallpaper, refurbishing the floors, etc. before the second-floor is once again open to the public.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 November, 2011



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
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Saturday, 22 October 2011
Livadia Palace Celebrates 100th Anniversary
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 28 seconds
Topic: Livadia

Livadia Palace celebrated its 100th anniversary with the opening of a new gallery of portraits to the Russian emperors Alexander II, Alexander III and Nicholas II. 

© Royal Russia. 22 October, 2011



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:49 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 22 October 2011 11:54 AM EDT
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