The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg has been waiting to share its intimate details in English.
It is a story of a palace of immense size and of an Imperial family of immense wealth. It is a story of the daily public and intimate life in the palace that was loved and disdained and withstood decades of changes.
there are very few photographs of the rooms for servants in the imperial
palaces, it is a researcher’s dream to finally discover more. The valet for
Alexander II and the maid for Empress Maria Alexandrovna lived on the 3rd
floor of the small rococo palace in Peterhof (photographs c1930s below).
Floor Landing with Servants Staircase to the 3rd floor
Private Staircase on the 2nd floor with Servants Stairs to the 3rd
small rococo palace in Peterhof was reconstructed for Alexander II and Empress Maria
Alexandrovna in 1843. There were two drawing rooms, a dining room, Alexander’s
study, bathroom and dressing room on the 1st floor (photographs c1930s
Hall with door to the Dining Room
Premazzi’s Watercolor c1850s of Alexander’s Study
Staircase to the 2nd Floor
to Part I with interior photographs of the 2nd floor in the Rococo Palace:
architect Andrei Stakenschneider reconstructed a 1700’s manor house into a
small rococo palace for Alexander II and Maria Feodorovna in 1843. Until now
the only views of the interior were watercolors by Premazzi and Hau. The
following photographs were taken in the 1930s when the palace was a museum.
of the 2nd floor – Bedroom
Premazzi’s Watercolor c1850s of the Bedroom
Premazzi’s Watercolor c1852 of the Bathroom
Floor Staircase Landing with Door to Drawing Room
Maria’s Drawing Room
Premazzi’s Watercolor c1854 of the Drawing Room
Maria’s Study [note in the 3rd photograph a secret door to Alexander’s
Maria’s Library [note in the 2nd photograph a secret door to
Watercolor c1850s of the Library
and Floor Plan of the Rococo Palace
previous post on the history of the palace:
clocks changed on Sunday here in Canada. Many are exasperated with the lack of
action to end ‘spring forward, fall back’ time issue. Nicholas II encountered a
similar impasse in 1899 when he tried to synchronize the calendar with Europe.
The Orthodox Julian calendar in the 19th century was twelve days
behind the Gregorian calendar.
(below) of Nicholas II’s Study on the 2nd floor of the Winter Palace
[note the door to the balcony in 3rd photo]
Friday December 17th 1899 Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich and
his wife were invited to dinner with Nicholas and Alexandra in the Alexander
Palace. The grand duke noted in his diary that ‘when they sat down Her Majesty was summoned from the table to the
nursery where little Tatiana was ill. Soon she returned. The emperor spoke
about my commission for the transition to the Gregorian calendar. He said he
was very eager for this to happen but was afraid of the insurmountable
(below) of Nicholas II’s Study in the Lower Dacha, Peterhof
weeks later on Saturday January 1st 1900 Nicholas wrote that ‘during lunch [in the Malachite Hall of the
Winter Palace] as generally everywhere they were arguing to which century did
the year 1900 belong. In my opinion this is an idle question since it is clear
that it consists of the last year of the 19th century’.