Thursday, 30 June 2016
Why didn’t Emperor Alexander III live in the Winter Palace?
During the reign of Alexander III from 1881 to 1894, the Winter Palace was mothballed. The widely held view of historians for his living in the Anichkov Palace was for security protection.
I disagree.In 1878 Grand Duke Vladimir was telling others about the ‘indifference of their parents’ to him. Alexander III standing nearby, agreed with him, calling his childhood ‘disgusting memory’.
Count Sheremetev wrote that Alexander III ‘… did not have good memories of adolescence. Staying in the Winter Palace for him has always been a dark time … and even annoyed to think about it. For him the happiest time began when he moved out of the Winter Palace to the Anichkov …’Alexander III’s study was on the second floor of the Anichkov in a corner room with two windows that overlook the garden and two windows onto the Nevsky Prospekt. He loved to sit on the windowsill looking down on the Nevsky. A. Polovtsov’s diary expresses his concern of threats with the exposure of the Emperor as security was unable to protect him.
The antipathy of Alexander III to the Winter Palace is daily evident in his 1866-67 diaries. As Emperor, his decision overrode any opposition.