Videos of the Palaces of the Romanov Dynasty

PETERHOF
Restoration of Palace Church Nears Completion
by Paul Gilbert

The church of the Grand Palace, Peterhof

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Restoration of the palace church nears completion
Source: Вести.Ru. Language: Russian Duration: 2 min 57 sec


Restoration of the palace church nears completion
Source: Вести.Ru Language: Russian Duration: 3 min 21 sec


The restoration of the Saints Peter and Paul Church - the final stage in the rebuilding of the Grand Palace at Peterhof, which has taken more than half a century – is nearing completion.

The church was built between 1747 and 1751 by Bartolomeo Rastrelli in the Baroque style, and includes five gilt cupolas. Foreign visitors to the church once referred to it as “one of the most magnificent in the world.” Modern masters are now attempting to recreate the interiors based on the watercolors of Eduard Hau, which have survived to this day, as well as photographs from the museum archives.

All of the sculptures of angels, which were carved from lime and decorated with gold-leaf, were done in the workshops of the museum, while the small finishing details are to be done on-site. The technology of polishing has not changed since the XVIII century. The most important, not to mention expensive technique is applying the gold leaf, which requires a “soft touch” so as to prevent peeling.

Gilding and the installment and painting of the murals have also been completed. What is left now remains the hanging of a magnificent chandelier - the only item that survived from the church, after the bombing of the palace during the Second World War.

The beautifully carved altar gates will be closed after the consecration of the church takes place in July of this year. Hundreds of icons will once again adorn Rastrelli’s masterpiece, and although the church will be used for services, it will still remain a part of the palace museum, and thus, open to the public.

The palace church was a popular place for weddings and baptisms of members of the Russian Imperial family. All the children of Nicholas II, with the exception of the eldest daughter, Grand Duchess Olga, were born at Peterhof, and baptized in the church. Then in 1904, the Tsarevich Alexei was born, his baptism also took place here, with much pomp and ceremony befitting the heir to the Russian throne.

The church is scheduled to open on 12 July, 2011, marking the Day of the Apostles Peter and Paul.

Interior of the church from a watercolour by Eduard Hau, 1850

||| PALACE CHURCH AT PETERHOF REOPENS AFTER RESTORATION |||
Includes NEW Video + Photos