Topic: Alexander Palace
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 February, 2014
Two rows of freshly painted Corinthian columns cut across the central colonnade connecting the east and west wings of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. Photograph © Paul Gilbert (2012)
My first visit to the Alexander Palace was on September 5th, 1997. I have returned every year to discover new aquisitions, speak with the curators and staff, and to soak up the ambiance of this historic residence, its adjoining park and numerous pavilions. In the past few years my interest has been piqued even further with interesting new exhibitions and the initiation of long awaited restoration work on the palace.
After the departure of the Russian navy in 2009 the palace was officially handed over to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve. The palace's new custodians wasted no time implenting their plans to convert the neglected monument into a multi-use museum and exhibition complex. They restored the 3 State Rooms in six months, and turned the former children's rooms of Tsar Nicholas II into exhibition rooms. This was only the beginning!
My Russia is a series of articles which I write for Royal Russia, a unique publication that celebrates the Romanov dynasty and Imperial Russia in words and photographs. In the current issue I write about the history of the Alexander Palace as a museum since 1917, including restorations since World War II. Further, I provide details on the restorations which will continue through to 2018. I also offer a two-page study of the Restoration of the Alexander Palace Master Plan by Studio 44, the architectural studio in charge of the restoration of the Alexander Palace.
My Russia: The Rebirth of the Alexander Palace appears in Royal Russia Annual No. 3 (2013). The article is 11 pages in length and illustrated with numerous black and white photographs which I took myself during my visit to the Alexander Palace last summer. It is one of nine articles on the Romanovs, monarchy and Imperial Russia that appear in this issue.
The Alexander Palace captures the interest and imagination of Russophiles and Romanovphiles around the world. My article is the most current and up-to-date on the restoration and future of the last residence of Tsar Nicholas II and his family.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 16 March, 2013
Note: please allow 15 seconds for the video to begin
The Russian Travel Guide in association with the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve have produced a new documentary on the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo. The 27 minute documentary was filmed in the autumn of 2012, it is directed by Evgeny Belov and hosted/narrated in Russian by Eugenia Altfeld.
The Alexander Palace was the beloved home of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. It was here that the last tsar was born in 1868, and it was from here that he was sent into exile and murdered along with his family and faithful retainers at Ekaterinburg on July 17th, 1918.
The first part of the documentary explores the Alexander Park, its buildings and pavilions, including: Armoury, Chinese Village, White Tower, Children's Island, and Equine Cemetary.
The second part explores some of the historical interiors of the Alexander Palace which are currently open to the public, including the recently restored State Rooms.
This video is only available in Russian. If you do not understand Russian, do not allow that to deter you from watching and enjoying this stunning visual tour of the Alexander Palace and park.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 January, 2013
Four millennia of universal history in four charts; for use at colleges and for history devotees, with a brief history of the Enlightenment by V.V.I. Schmidt – a St Petersburg-published book of 1823 which title page still bears the Tsarkskoye Selo Imperial Library stamp – has returned to the Alexander Palace reserve collection after the book left it over eighty years ago.
The book came back as a gift from Captain Peter Sarandinaki, the President and founder of the group called S.E.A.R.C.H. Foundation, Inc. with a mission to search for and recover the remains of two Romanov children. Mr Sarandinaki and other members of the group have done and will conduct more expeditions to the site of the murder of the Tsar’s family.
His grandfather, Colonel Kiril Naryshkin, was married to Anna Rozanova, the daughter of Lieutenant General Sergei Rozanov who was in charge of Admiral Kolchak’s White Russian troops that liberated Ekaterinburg from the Bolsheviks six days after the Romanov Imperial Family and their faithful servants were murdered. Rozanov and Naryshkin, the General’s adjutant, were among the first to enter the Ipatiev House.
The book Peter Sarandinaki together with his wife and two children brought back to the Museum was bought by his father in the 1930s at an American warehouse selling off unbidden auction items at nominal rates. The book graced their family collection for years. But as soon as Mr Sarandinaki found out the stamp on it was that of the Imperial Library, he contacted Tsarskoye Selo.
Our Museum is sincerely grateful to Captain Peter Sarandinaki and his family for their priceless gift.
© Tsarskoye Selo Palace-Museum Preserve. 29 August, 2012
The following 16-minute video (with musical accompaniment) takes us through the State Rooms of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.
The restoration of the Portrait, Semi-Circular and Marble Halls were completed in 2010, marking the 300th anniversary of Tsarskoye Selo.
It was from the Semi-Circular Hall that Tsar Nicholas II, his family and retinue departed the Alexander Palace for the last time on August 1, 1917. From here they were taken to the Alexandrovsky Station, and taken by train into exile to Siberia.
© Royal Russia. 25 August, 2012
The restoration of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo will drag on for years as the Ministry of Culture is unlikely to provide the necessary funding to carry out the restoration work before 2018.
Despite this setback, work is “ongoing though far from complete,” according to Nikita Yavein, of Studio 44, the firm who are carrying out the restoration of the palace. The ground (basement) floor of the building is currently being renovated.
To date, the palace facades and roof have been repaired. In 2010, the three State Halls were restored and opened to the public. Once the restoration is complete, the Alexander Palace will rank among the most important museums to visit in the St. Petersburg region.
For more information on the master plan to restore the Alexander Palace, please refer to the following link;
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 July, 2012
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