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Saturday, 12 November 2016
Update on the Restoration of the Alexander Palace
Topic: Alexander Palace


The restoration of the Alexander Palace continues at Tsarskoye Selo. Few updates on the progress of the work have been issued since the palace closed its doors to visitors at the end of August 2015.

Earlier this year, more than 700 of the exhibits were transferred to the Grand Palace at the Tsaritsyno State Museum in Moscow, where they are currently on display in the exhibition The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues. The second part of the exhibition, The Alexander Palace. Year 1917 will open on the eve of 2017, featuring additional 300 exhibits. Both exhibitions will run until 31 December 2017.
 


These current photos show the entire palace surrounded by a large blue fence, and work being carried out on the facade and roof of the palace. To date, the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve have not released any photographs of the restoration of the interiors.

The Alexander Palace is scheduled to reopen on 17th July 2018, marking the 100th anniversary of the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family.

The Royal Russia News Blog offers more than 40 articles on the history and restoration of the Alexander Palace, please click on the link below to review the articles, videos and photographs:

The History and Restoration of the Alexander Palace

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 November, 2016
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:54 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 13 November 2016 3:28 PM EST
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues
Topic: Alexander Palace

This article has been written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016

The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, like the Grand Palace in Tsaritsyno, was created at the behest of the Empress Catherine II. At first, the construction of both palaces proceeded well, however, they did not share the same fate. The Alexander Palace, unlike Tsaritsyno, was not only completed, but remained a favourite home to several generations of Romanovs for more than 120 years. A new exhibition which opened this week in the Grand Palace at Tsaritsyno in Moscow features more than 700 authentic objects that are associated with the life of these people, their hobbies, their loves, joys and sorrows.

The first owner of the palace was the Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, the future Emperor Alexander I. Exactly 220 years ago, in June 1796, he entered the New Palace of Tsarskoye Selo (as it was called until 1856), he had received as a wedding gift from his grandmother, Catherine II . He, among a succession of other emperors liked to visit and spend the summer with their wives and children, among them Emperor Nicholas I, the Tsesarevich Alexander Alexandrovich (future Emperor Alexander III), and Emperor Nicholas II. The last Russian emperor was not only born in the Alexander Palace in 1868, but it remained his main residence right up until his abdication and house arrest in 1917.

The history of the Alexander Palace as a museum is a short one. Before the Great Patriotic War the state rooms and royal apartments of the palace were open to the public. During the occupation of the city of Pushkin, the Palace was occupied by German military units. After the war the building was occupied by various Soviet institutions.

The fate of the works of art - paintings, sculptures, furniture, lovingly collected lived by members of the Russian Imperial family in the Alexander Palace is a sad one to say the least. Many of the items which filled the palace interiors, were lost during the war, and most of the remaining were distributed to different museums and other palace estate museums. According to a 2010 report in the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, a total 5,615 items from the Alexander Palace were moved to Pavlovsk in 1957, where many of them remain to this day.

In 2009, the Alexander Palace was officially taken over by the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve, and soon thereafter the state rooms were open to the public. In the fall of 2015, the Alexander Palace began a large-scale restoration work, which is expected to be complete in July 2018.
 


The organizers of the exhibition The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues managed to collect a significant part in the exhibition of objects from the historical collections of the Alexander Palace. They are complemented further with items stored in the collections of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve, the Pavlovsk State Museum and the Novgorod Museum Reserve. Some items from these collections are on display at the Tsaritsyno exhibit for the first time since 1941. Among them are magnificent paintings by famous masters, European and Russian porcelain, bronze art, books from the palace library, as well as historical and personal uniforms of the emperors. The exhibited objects give visitors an idea of the decoration of the imperial residence under different owners.

Original letters, diaries, drawings, watercolours, copybooks, notes, photographs and postcards, provided by the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) in Moscow, allow a more personal touch to the stories of the inhabitants of the Alexander Palace.

More than 700 exhibits of the exhibition The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues present the history of the palace and its owners, beginning with the Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, the future Emperor Alexander I, and ending with the family of the Tsesarevich Alexander Alexandrovich, the future Emperor Alexander III.

But, as the name suggests, the exhibition is waiting for continuation: the second part of the exhibition project The Alexander Palace in 1917, which will open in December 2016, will be devoted to Emperor Nicholas II, his family and the last days of Alexander Palace as a royal residence. From here 100 years ago, on August 1, 1917, Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II and his family went into exile to Tobolsk.

The exhibition is a joint effort organized by the Tsaritsyno State Museum Preserve, the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve, and the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF).

The exhibition The Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues runs from 29 June, 2016 - 31 January, 2018 in the Grand Palace at Tsaritsyno in Moscow.
 
Click on the link below to view more photographs from this exhibition:

Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Romanovs. The Story Continues - 30 Colour Photographs

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 June, 2016
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:41 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 30 June 2016 11:08 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Tsaritsyno to Host Alexander Palace Exhibit
Topic: Alexander Palace


Watercolour of the Alexander Palace by Alexei Maksimovich Gornostaev 1847
 
This article has been written by Paul Gilbert, Founder of Royal Russia © 2016
 
The Tsaritsyno State Historical, Architectural, Art and Landscape Museum-Reserve in Moscow will host a new two-part exhibit this summer dedicated to the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.

Tsarskoye Selo: the History of the Alexander Palace and the Romanovs will be devoted to the history of the Alexander Palace and the Romanov dynasty, from Empress Catherine II - who built the palace for her grandson the future Emperor Alexander I - to Emperor Nicholas II. It was in the Alexander Palace that the last Russian emperor was born in 1868, and where he spent much of his 22 year reign. After abdicating the throne in 1917, Nicholas II lived here under house arrest with his family until they were later sent into exile to Siberia.

The exhibition, which opens in the halls of the Grand Palace at Tsaritsyno in June 2016, will consist of two parts. In the first part, visitors will learn about the Alexander Palace and its inhabitants - members of the Russian Imperial family. The exhibit will focus on the personal history of each family member, highlighted with portraits, furniture, porcelain items, toys, costumes (gowns, dresses, uniforms, children's clothes), among other items from the Alexander Palace collection.

The second part, Alexander Palace. Year 1917 will open on the eve of 2017. This part of the exhibit focuses specifically on the 22 year reign of Emperor Nicholas II, and the years in which he and his family lived in the Alexander Palace up to his abdication, and the months in which they were under house arrest in the palace. The exhibit will feature a series of amazing vintage photos of the interiors of the Alexander Palace, which were taken immediately after the departure of the Imperial family on 1 August, 1917. These photographs have provided history with a rare look into the the private world of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. 

The permanent exhibition Reminiscences in the Alexander Palace, which included the former private apartments of Emperor Nicholas II and his family located in the East Wing of the palace closed on 2 August, 2015 while the Suite of State Rooms closed on 31 August, 2015. The Alexander Palace is scheduled to reopen on July 17, 2018, marking the 100th anniversary of the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family.
 
The exhibition will run from June 2016 to December 2017 in the Grand Palace at Tsaritsyno. 

For more information on the history and restoration of the Alexander Palace, please refer to the following link:

More Articles and Videos on the Alexander Palace 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 April, 2017


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:25 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 30 April 2016 1:10 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Alexander Palace Officially Closed Until 2018
Topic: Alexander Palace


The Alexander Palace. Photo © Andrei Antipin
 
The Alexander Palace has officially closed its doors to visitors for extensive restoration work until 2018. The permanent exhibition Reminiscences in the Alexander Palace, which included the former private apartments of Emperor Nicholas II and his family located in the East Wing of the palace closed on August 2, while the Suite of State Rooms closed on August 31.

The restoration projects include the following:
  • Restoration of rooms with surviving historic decorations, such as the Suite of State Rooms including the Corner Drawing-Room, Mountain Hall, Large or Crimson Drawing-Room and Library Rooms, as well as the Reception Room and State or New Study of Nicholas II; 
  • Restoration of historic decorations (as of the late 19th – early 20th century) in six living and working rooms on the first floor of the West Wing, such as the Bathroom or Moorish Room, Study (Office) of Nicholas II, Bedroom, Lilac or Mauve Study, Palisander and Maple Drawing-Rooms;
  • Some rooms in the West Wing that were rebuilt in 1949 will be used as temporary exhibition and conference rooms after restoration. 
  • These works are scheduled for completion in 2018, depending on finances. If the palace reopens by 17 July 2018, that will be a major event commemorating 100 years since the tragic death of Emperor Nicholas II and his family.  
These projects are scheduled for completion in 2018. The Alexander Palace is scheduled to reopen on July 17, 2018, marking the 100th anniversary of the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family. 
 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 02 September, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:35 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 September 2015 7:41 AM EDT
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Monday, 20 July 2015
The Alexander Palace - Update on Restorations
Topic: Alexander Palace


The extensive restoration will include a reconstruction of several historical interiors, including the Maple Drawing Room above
 
The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve issued the following statement earlier this week regarding the closure and restoration of the Alexander Palace
 
The Alexander Palace will soon be closing for restoration, hopefully till 2018. The rooms of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna will be open for visiting through July 31, the Suite of State Rooms through August 31.

The project for reconstruction, restoration, technical refurbishment and renovation of the Alexander Palace was designed in 2011 by a team of specialists led by Mr Nikita Yavein from the architectural workshop Studio 44 .

According to their design, the palace should become a multifunctional museum complex with permanent displays of recreated and restored rooms, temporary exhibition galleries, research and conference rooms, and a children’s creative center. The cellars (ground floor) will accommodate a café, vestibules with ticket offices, a cloakroom, a tour desk and a museum shop, as well as technical and other services.

The contractor for the work is PSB ZhilStroy Ltd. The cellars’ renovation and partial replacement of ceilings in the West Wing have been completed. The palace will close to start the most difficult replacement of ceilings, roof frames, outdated pipes and networks, and then the restoration and recreation of the interiors.
 

The restoration phase should include the following:

  • Restoration of rooms with surviving historic decorations, such as the Suite of State Rooms including the Corner Drawing-Room, Mountain Hall, Large or Crimson Drawing-Room and Library Rooms, as well as the Reception Room and State or New Study of Nicholas II; 
  • Restoration of historic decorations (as of the late 19th – early 20th century) in six living and working rooms on the first floor of the West Wing, such as the Bathroom or Moorish Room, Study (Office) of Nicholas II, Bedroom, Lilac or Mauve Study, Palisander and Maple Drawing-Rooms;
  • Some rooms in the West Wing that were rebuilt in 1949 will be used as temporary exhibition and conference rooms after restoration. 
  • These works are scheduled for completion in 2018, depending on finances. If the palace reopens by 17 July 2018, that will be a major event commemorating 100 years since the tragic death of Emperor Nicholas II and his family.  
Royal Russia has published numerous articles on the restoration of the Alexander Palace. For more information, please refer to the directory on the left side of this page, which includes links to other articles, videos and photographs:

Alexander Palace Closing on August 1 for Restoration

© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. 20 July, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:24 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 21 July 2015 6:44 AM EDT
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Thursday, 14 May 2015
Alexander Palace Closing on August 1 for Restoration
Topic: Alexander Palace


The Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo will close on August 1st, for a period of more than 2 years as extensive restoration work is carried out.
 
The summer of 2015 may be your last opportunity to visit the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo for the next few years. According to Olga Taratynova, the director of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve, the Alexander Palace will close its doors to visitors from August 1 for a period of more than 2 years as extensive restoration work is carried out.
 
"Sadly, it is at this stage of the restoration work in which we are forced to close the palace to visitors. This is a necessity - the palace was passed on to us not in the best condition. Some work has been carried out, such as the deepening of basements, but we now have to concentrate our efforts on the first and second floors of the palace. For instance, all the buildings utilities must be upgraded, and further repairs to the roof need to be completed. Such extensive work make group and individual excursions to the palace impossible, "- said Olga Taratynova.

In 2014, the contracting firm of Zhilstroy Design and Construction Bureau LLC was selected to carry out the restoration of the Alexander Palace, who note that the cost of the work is estimates at 202.8 million rubles. According to Taratynova, the exact timing of the completion of the restoration cannot be guaranteed - a lot will depend on funding. According to preliminary estimates, at best, the palace is partially open two and a half years. "But this optimistic forecast", - added Taratynova.

The Alexander Palace was built in 1792 by order of Empress Catherine II and presented as a gift for the wedding of her favourite grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Alexeyevna. From 1904, the Alexander Palace became the permanent residence of Emperor Nicholas II. In 1918, the palace was opened to visitors as a public museum. During the Nazi occupation of Pushkin during the Second World War, the Alexander Palace housed the headquarters of the Gestapo, who converted the basement into a prison. The square in front of the palace was turned into a cemetery for soldiers of the SS. After the war, the palace was conserved in 1946 and handed over to the Academy of Sciences for storing the collections of the Institute of Russian Literature and the Pushkin Union Museum. The building was then occupied by the Ministry of Defense until 2010.

It should be noted that the no major repairs to the Alexander Palace had been carried out since 1957. In 1996, the palace received a grant from the World Monuments Fund (WMF), and began work to repair the roof of the building. That same year, the exhibition Reminiscences in the Alexander Palace was opened to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the palace, which included the former private apartments of the last imperial family in the East Wing - Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra private apartments. After the departure of the Russian navy in 2009 the palace was officially handed over to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve. In 2010, three ceremonial halls in the central part of the palace - Portrait, Semi-circular and Marble - were opened.
 
In 2011, the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve tabled a master plan for the restoration of the Alexander Palace, which will ultimately create a multi-museum complex. It is expected that the restoration will be complete by 2018, the year in which Russia will mark the 100th anniversary of the murders of Emperor Nicholas II and his family at Ekaterinburg on July 17, 1918.
 
For more information on the restoration of the Alexander Palace, please refer to the following articles:
 

The Revival of the Alexander Palace

 

 

The Royal Russia web site and blog contain more than 30 articles on the Alexander Palace, its history and restoration. To review these articles, please refer to our directory situated on the left-hand side of this page. Click on the Alexander Palace, where you will find a list of the articles in chronological order. The articles contain numerous videos and dozens of historic and contemporary photographs. Note: each page of our blog holds 10 articles. Click on the Older link located in the bottom left hand side of each page to review more articles and videos on the Alexander Palace. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 May, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:23 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 May 2015 1:00 PM EDT
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Monday, 6 April 2015
Tsesarevich Alexei's Puppet Theatre Returns to Alexander Palace
Topic: Alexander Palace


Photo © Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve
 
The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve has recently regained the French puppet theatre set of Tsesarevich Alexei, originating from the Playroom of Emperor Nicholas II’s heir in the Alexander Palace until 1931.

After Nicholas’s family left the palace in 1917, the theatre set became part of the museum display in the former Children’s Rooms from 1918 until the exhibition was closed in 1931. The set was transferred to the Toy Museum of Sergiev Posad in 1932 and then to the Puppet Museum of Moscow’s Sergei Obraztsov Puppet Theater in 1937.

The Obraztsov Theatre has now returned the set to the Tsarskoye Selo collection. It is the first example of museum restitution in Russia on condition that an artistic high-quality replica is provided in exchange. This became possible thanks to the stunning work of T. Melnikova and A. Maksimychev, the artists from the St. Petersburg puppet theater Dollhouse who masterly replicated the Guignol booth and puppets from the original set. The replicas will move to the Obraztsov Puppet Theatre's Museum in Moscow, while the originals will grace the Alexander Palace interiors after completion of its extensive restoration in 2018. 

Master-crafted in good taste, the puppet theater set of the late 19th-early 20th centuries includes a booth and seven characters of the French Guignol-style show: Harlequin, Caporal, Fiancée, Polichinelle, Madelon, Gendarme and Housemaid. A label on the booth’s front panel reveals that the set originated from a toy store named Au paradis des enfants on Rue de Paris and Rue de Rivoli in downtown Paris. 
 

 
Family members and visitors to the Alexander Palace became caricature puppets
 
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. Edited by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 06 April, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:14 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 6 April 2015 8:56 AM EDT
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Saturday, 28 March 2015
The Alexander Palace: Pages from the History
Topic: Alexander Palace


Soft cover * English text * 34 pages * 61 photographs - mostly colour!
Price $25.00 + Postage - $6.00 Canada & USA - $11.00 All Other Countries 
 
Imported from Russia, this is the first English-language book on the Alexander Palace. Copies of this book are now available for purchase from the Royal Russia Bookshop.

This small, but richly illustrated book offers a history of the Alexander Palace and it’s August residents, from Emperor Alexander I to the last residents, Emperor Nicholas II and his family. 

The text explores the history of the palace and it’s residents, particularly that of Nicholas II and his family; the post revolutionary period, the Soviet years, post WW2 period, restorations to the present day.

The book contains 61 photographs and illustrations - mostly colour. These include images of the palace and it’s interiors (historic and contemporary), as well as the members of the Russian Imperial family who resided at the Alexander Palace from the beginning of the 18th to early 20th century.

The text is written by Larissa Bardovskaya, Chief Curator of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve since 1984. She is the author of numerous books on the Romanovs and their palaces at Tsarskoye Selo.
  
 
 
 
© Royal Russia. 28 March, 2015
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:13 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 29 March 2015 8:36 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Next Stage of Restoration of the Alexander Palace Allocated 200 Million Rubles
Topic: Alexander Palace


The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation have announced that it has allocated a further 200 million rubles for the continued restoration and reconstruction of the Alexander Palace - the former residence of Russian emperors, where Nicholas II was born in 1868. According to the tender documentation issued on Monday, funds will be used to carry out the second stage of work at the palace, with the work to be completed within five months.

The press service of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve told ITAR-TASS that it is committed to a full completion of the restoration of the ground floor of the building which begun in 2011.
 
The restoration of the West wing of the palace is also currently underway (see photos below). This section of the palace is in extremely poor condition, including broken plaster, wall decorations and ceilings, dilapidated attic floor and all engineering systems. The last restoration of this section of the palace was carried out by the Soviets in the 1970s. Contractors must perform the repair, restoration, conservation and reconstruction of the original form of the building, which includes most of the elements of the Alexander Palace. Restoration work will be carried out by the Petersburg Committee on Monuments (KGIOP).
 


Work has begun on the west wing of the Alexander Palace. These photos were taken during my visit to Tsarskoye Selo on June 7th, 2014.
Photos © Paul Gilbert
 
Once complete, the newly renovated rooms of the west wing will be used for temporary exhibitions, offices and a conference room. The basement will be renovated and equipped with facilities for receiving groups. The main exhibition will be located in the eastern wing and central parts of the palace. In the next few years, the private quarters of Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra will be recreated in the eastern wing, including the Maple, Pallisander and Mauve rooms. Restoration of the Alexander Palace is now scheduled to be completed by 2018. Funds allocated for its restoration by the federal program Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The first restoration works were carried out in the palace in 1996 with a grant of the World Monuments Fund (WMF). The following year the exhibition Reminiscences in the Alexander Palace opened in the east wing, which include many personal items of the last emperor and his family from the collections of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum. Royal Russia was one of the first groups from the West to visit the Alexander Palace, only days after its opening to the public in August 1997. In 2010, three ceremonial halls in the central part of the palace - Portrait, Semi-circular and Marble - were opened.

*

For more information the Alexander Palace, its history and restoration, please refer to our directory situated on the left of this page. Click on the Alexander Palace, where you will find more than 30 articles, plus 7 videos and dozens of historic and contemporary photographs. Note: each page of our blog holds 10 articles. Click on the Older link located in the bottom left hand side of each page to review more articles and videos on the Alexander Palace.
 


For the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on the restoration of the Alexander Palace, please refer to my article published in Royal Russia Annual No 3: 

My Russia: The Rebirth of the Alexander Palace

 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 08 July, 2014
 

 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:06 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 July 2014 8:40 AM EDT
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Saturday, 14 June 2014
The Mists of History: The Alexander Palace
Topic: Alexander Palace


Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the June 15th, 2014 edition of the New Zealand Herald. The author Linda Herrick owns the copyright presented below.
 
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The last home to Russia's doomed royal family, and the haunt of 'mad mystic' Rasputin, the Alexander Palace has been trashed over the past century. Now an Aucklander is part of an international group helping to restore it as a world-heritage museum, writes Linda Herrick. Click on the link to read the full article:

The Mists of History: The Alexander Palace 

© Linda Herrick / New Zealand Herald. 14 June, 2014


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:25 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 16 June 2014 9:09 AM EDT
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