Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Gothic Hall in the Children’s Rooms of the Winter Palace

The Gothic Hall on the 1st floor of the Winter Palace was part of the suite of rooms constructed by A. Bruillov in 1839 for Olga and Alexandra, the daughters of Nicholas I.

After the death of Alexandra and the marriage of Olga, the rooms were only occasionally occupied. In 1851, Nicholas and Olga, the children of Grand Duke Konstantin N., lived here under the care of Nicholas I and Alexandra during their parents’ long voyage.

In 1856, the rooms were redecorated for Grand Duke Nicholas N. and his new wife until their palace was completed.

Hau’s watercolor (below) of the Gothic Hall in 1868

In 1895, the children’s suite was redecorated for Olga, the daughter of Nicholas II and Alexandra and their future children. The rooms have a mysterious aura, with rare descriptions and photographs.

M. Eagar in her memoir wrote “… the nurseries are very large, and when I explain that one of the rooms is large enough to hold a ‘mountain’ down which the children toboggan … This room is upholstered in red …’

On Thursday, February 26th, 1898 Nicholas wrote “… I slid down the slide with Olga in the last of the children’s rooms …”

The slide that was in the  Alexander Palace (below) may have been similar to the slide in the Gothic Hall.

One piece missing when the room was redecorated in 1895 for Grand Duchess Olga was Canova’s sculpture of ‘Madeleine Repentante’ with the morbid skeleton skull (below).

The Gothic Hall today.

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