Sunday, 10 July 2016

Staircase to the Telegraph Tower

There were 117 staircases listed in the 1888 plans of the Winter Palace.

A primary staircase is located between the Small Church, the Rotunda and the Gallery/Corridor. The official name, Small Church Staircase, connects all 3 floors and overlooks the Large Inner Courtyard.
E.Hau’s 1869 watercolor (above) shows the passage from the 1st floor to the landing.

A small door, embedded in the wall, accesses a mezzanine (below).

The two tier window variations are apparent on the right of the courtyard façade.
On the 2nd floor, one French door opens and is protected with an iron grill. Interior grills, visible through the upper panels of the door, are for the next interior landing.

A 3rd floor door leads to the attic staircase where offices for Ministry staff were located and iron stairs to the Telegraph Tower.
Nicholas II wrote in his diary on Saturday, March 1898 “… I crawled onto the roof from the old telegraph tower and delighted myself in the spectacular view …”


  1. I remember a hidden door, among quite a few, in the Hermitage.
    Do you know the size of the mezzanine and what the rooms were used for?

  2. I wrote another more detailed post to include a photo for all to understand the scale of the maze of mezzanines.