Thursday, 6 July 2017

Own Dacha, Peterhof

In the summer of 1797 Emperor Paul had Empress Elizabeth’s stone palace in Peterhof redecorated and gave it to his wife Marie Feodorva. Nicholas I gave his son Alexander II the right to use the renamed Own Dacha in 1843.

Andrei Stakenschneider redesigned the facades and with Alexander Briullov the interiors in the French rococo stye from 1846 to 1850. On July 20th 1850 the solemn consecration of the renewed dacha was held before the imperial family.

Photographs (beow) of the Dacha c1870s to 1900s

Plan and Model (below) of the Dacha

Alexander II’s valet room, dressing room, study, dining room and yellow and blue drawing rooms were on the 1st floor.

The library, Marie’s study, drawing room, bedroom and maid’s room were on the 2nd Floor. Above the canopied bed was a carved ivory image of the Madonna. In the bathroom was a marble tub with the mural ‘Triumph of Galatea on the large wall.

L. Premazzi's watercolor (below) of the bedroom

It was here that Alexander II and Marie Alexandrovna honeymooned in the spring of 1841. A devastating loss for the family was the death of their six-year old daughter Alexandra in the dacha on June 16th, 1849. Although Alexander II lived in the Farm Palace in Peterhof, they continued to use the dacha occasionally. The lady-in-waiting Anna Tiutchev wrote that on the name day of Marie on July 22nd 1854 “… in the evening the imperial family gathered for tea in own little palace …”

Forty years later, Nicholas II wrote on June 26th 1895 that he “ … went with Alix to the Private Dacha. We looked over the house …”

Photographs (below) of the Dacha c1945 and today with restoration work ongoing


  1. Joanna, I'm a big fan of your blog and I'm looking forward to your book.

    If anyone is interested, here's a link to floor plans of the dacha, from the architect who led the restoration effort:

    1. Thank you very much!

      I have seen the floor plans but was unable to increase the size for better clarity. It will be amazing when restored.

  2. Heartbreaking to see the post-war image, but aren't the Russians - magicians - in their ability to resurrect these wonderful buildings! I so love seeing the model. : )

    1. I was fascinated with the model as I couldn't find an aerial view. Have you seen the Trinity Church?

  3. Very sad and heart breaking to see it in ruins but how great is the restoration of it! What plans do they have for it once its
    Ghostie x.

  4. I scrolled down through the pictures with a sinking heart - until I got to the picture of WWII ruins and ongoing restoration. You've got to admire the Russians for their love of, and meticulous & costly restoration of, these magnificent architectural and historical gems.

  5. Dear Joanna,

    What a wonderful post, I've been struggling for years to identify where this green bedroom was located ! Now thanks to you I've discovered the Romanovs had even another dacha in Petehof ! I guess it was however rarely used compared with the other dachas in Alexandria Park.


  6. The Cottage in Peterhof was the personal property of Empress Alexandra. During Alexander II it was used by Alexander III and then of course his widow Empress Marie. The Own Dacha was up to the sovereign who lent it to a family member or foreign relatives staying in Peterhof. Diaries and memoirs would give us a glimpse of those staying there. Ropsha for example was given to Grand Duke Vladimir to use and the Vladimir Palace in Tsarskoe Selo was known as the Reserve Palace.

  7. Thanks for your answer ! Very illuminating as always :)