Sunday, 24 July 2016

Two Staircases, Two Rooms, Two Nicholas’

There were two ‘private’ iron circular staircases in two different rooms used by the two Nicholas’ during their separate reigns.

Nicholas I’s staircase was located in the far corner of his wife’s Small Winter Garden room #181 on the 2nd floor of the Winter Palace, leading to the 1st floor and basement.

The following watercolor by Ukhtomsky in 1860 shows the far corner in the upper left.

Constructed in 1840, they were dismantled in 1895 during the renovations by the architect A. Krasovsky. The room was turned into Nicholas II’s private study.

The adjacent room #180 was converted into the valets’ room in 1895 with a wardrobe mezzanine above. An iron staircase was installed in the opposite corner to the door leading to Alexandra’s bathroom (photos below of the room today).

To help you visualize the style and size of the iron circular staircase, Krasovsky’s 1895 drawing is similar to the restored stairs in Alexander II’s Farm Palace in Peterhof (photo below).

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