Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Alexander Palace => The Alexander Palace => Topic started by: Forum Admin on January 16, 2014, 03:50:34 PM

Title: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Forum Admin on January 16, 2014, 03:50:34 PM
You can see them in this video:
http://www.tv100.ru/news/unikalnye-nahodki-v-carskom-sele-86063/ (http://www.tv100.ru/news/unikalnye-nahodki-v-carskom-sele-86063/)

Announced at the Alexander Palace yesterday, builders have discovered sections of the palace's historic past, constructed in the 19th century, and cemented over in the early 20th. During the continuing large-scale restoration of the palace's basements, workers restoring brick walls literally stumbled into them.

Two secret passageways were sealed into the wall for more than half a century. As builders dismantled the masonry, they could not believe their eyes. Two staircases were preserved, one in perfect condition, and even the wooden railing did had not rotted.

In the adjacent wall is another gem -- a toilet. On the wall, Metlaskoy tile one hundred years old still clings to the walls, but no plumbing remains. It is believed that the toilet belonged to Nicholas II himself, as the stairs lead to his private apartments.

The other Imperial mystery was waiting for restorers literally around the corner. There, a servants' tunnel has miraculously survived under a layer of concrete.

The tunnel, according to correspondent Anastasia Glebova appears to have been an underpass connecting the Alexander Palace kitchens to the main palace constructed in the 19th century by the architect Danini. After World War 2, the tunnels were concreted over.

While the restorers knew Danini's architectural plans from the late 19th century, in which he rebuilt sections of the the Alexander Palace for Nicholas II, they were unaware that In Soviet times, these stairs - and the underpass were bricked over.

The military occupied the building for years, and because cement was scarce and of poor quality, it was easy to see where later work had been done. To the delight of the restorers, the basement was almost untouched by civilization under the plaster and brick.

The management of the museum not decided what to do with the secret staircase and toilet - just to preserve them, or to restore them and restore access to Nicholas II's apartments as they were under the emperor. Neither is the fate of the tunnel certain - whether it is will become available to all visitors or to remain for official use only.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Lady Macduff on January 16, 2014, 04:01:35 PM
Stairs leading from Nicholas's apartments to the kitchens?
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: EmmyLee on January 16, 2014, 04:21:35 PM
I understood the information to be that there were two separate sections cemented over in the basement: one is the tunnel to the kitchens and the second is a bathroom connected to Nicholas' apartments. So not stairs leading from his apartments to the kitchens.

This is really interesting, but I thought they had already been working on the tunnel leading from the kitchens in recent years. I'm curious which room the stairs come down from-- the new study maybe? Or Nicholas' bathroom (if it didn't already have a toilet in it)?
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Forum Admin on January 16, 2014, 05:05:58 PM
Bob has always known their location. The toilet was just past the swimming bath in his bathroom   Yes the stairs lead from the bathroom to the basement so maids could clean it and plumbers etc could do maintenance work without having to go thru private rooms
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Maria the Beautiful on January 16, 2014, 08:18:50 PM
Thanks for posting the video.  It's exciting to view these areas that have been virtually untouched for so many years.  However, this is confusing to me.   If Bob always knew about their location, why was this a surprising revelation to the workers.   And as EmmyLee mentioned, I thought we were always aware of the tunnel connecting the kitchens to the AP.  Is this a different tunnel they are talking about?   
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Forum Admin on January 16, 2014, 08:25:15 PM
While Bob knew what had been there the surprise was their existence at all. It was believed destroyed. The new basement room is one not known and not known to have survived.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: londo954 on January 16, 2014, 08:43:18 PM
It would seem the palace still has some secrets to reveal ... I always wondered why there appeared to be no toilet in Nicky's bathroom
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: koloagirl on January 16, 2014, 11:10:33 PM

Aloha all!

That video is so fascinating, altho' I don't understand Russian, one can easily see the amazing staircase, tilework in toilet room and those servants passageways!

So Nicholas II's bathroom that we have seen some photos of (partial photos)....the big bathtub that the Grand Duchesses "swam" in sometimes was in that area in the family area....and the stairs would have taken Nicholas down to his private toilet room?  I remember something about GD Anastasia writing that she was using his "WC"....so I picture her trooping down those stairs to the lovely tiled room for that purpose.

Interesting, because as has been said, we have never seen a WC in the bathroom of Nicholas in photos before to my knowledge.

That is so amazing....all that sitting there untouched all these years....to be discovered now and in such good condition!  Wonderful!

Janet R.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Forum Admin on January 17, 2014, 09:17:41 AM
No.  The WC was adjacent to the big swimming bathtub in Nicholas' private bath, same level.  The stairs do not go down TO the WC, they go up from the service access tunnel to the bathroom level. The girls were allowed the special treat to occasionally go into his bathroom to "swim" in the huge and deep tub.  The tub, by the way, required very special high pressure plumbing to fill it with hot water before the water went cold.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: EmmyLee on January 17, 2014, 12:41:21 PM
Oh, the WC is on the main floor? A corner of the room was bricked over then? I'm surprised they didn't break into that earlier, if so.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Alexandre Mikhaelovitch on January 18, 2014, 02:22:57 PM
The article from " Royal Russia " Paul Gilbert's site :

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ImperialRussian/blog/index.blog/1452820/restoration-work-at-the-alexander-palace-yields-hidden-secrets/
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: gleb on January 25, 2014, 05:35:10 AM
(http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a282/nikkskalosso/ald_pl_d-a-0.jpg) (http://s13.photobucket.com/user/nikkskalosso/media/ald_pl_d-a-0.jpg.html)

To my opinion, that is the area where the hidden stairs and the toilet room where located, everything matches, if you watch the videos which have been posted. It was a toilet room for the staff to me.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Rodney_G. on January 25, 2014, 02:12:59 PM
Thanks for posting the video.  It's exciting to view these areas that have been virtually untouched for so many years.  However, this is confusing to me.   If Bob always knew about their location, why was this a surprising revelation to the workers.   And as EmmyLee mentioned, I thought we were always aware of the tunnel connecting the kitchens to the AP.  Is this a different tunnel they are talking about?   

Yes, I thought a tunnel connecting the AP with the kitchen that served it was a known quantity. How else would hot meals be delivered scores of yards in the open air in North Russian winters? Was there also an above-ground covered passageway perhaps? This is a bit confusing. Or is it the issue that the underground tunnel survived, though plastered off?
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Forum Admin on January 25, 2014, 03:28:31 PM
The kitchen tunnels still exist.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Sanochka on January 26, 2014, 01:39:25 PM
Not one, but TWO exciting new discoveries to stir the imagination!  One picture on the Royal Russia site must be the Alexander Palace entrance to the tunnel leading to the kitchen.  It's very much how I've always imagined it to look while examining basement floor plans. 

It always amazes me to see such things about a palace that was kept hidden from view for so long.  Downright chilling, really.
Title: Re: Скрытая комната и подвал проходы Обнаруж&
Post by: lilianna on January 28, 2014, 10:30:47 AM
Toilet Emperor is on the plan of the palace in the book Yakovlev. He was in a room with a pool and was near the wall opposite the window, behind the pool. There are videos of 1928. 1.09 min.
http://vk.com/video88911405_165431259
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Maria the Beautiful on January 28, 2014, 08:46:21 PM
Liliana, you always have such wonderful treasures to post here.     Would you please translate what was written on the wall in frame 49 of the video.   Thank you!
Title: Re: Скрытая комната и подвал проходы Обнаруж&
Post by: lilianna on January 29, 2014, 08:05:20 AM
This Rasputin autograph on the back of the icon, which he presented to the royal family. I can not read because the video I can see half of the words.
Title: Re: Скрытая комната и подвал проходы Обнаруж&
Post by: Maria the Beautiful on January 29, 2014, 11:09:57 AM
This Rasputin autograph on the back of the icon, which he presented to the royal family. I can not read because the video I can see half of the words.
Thanks for trying! 
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: lilianna on February 01, 2014, 09:58:56 AM
Translation of video about the tunnel.
http://www.5-tv.ru/news/79994/

Our correspondent Ekaterina Ivanova managed, not without difficulty, to penetrate the unexplored until today apartments:

Palace mysteries. Bottom view. This is the case when the guides are jealous builders - museum staff in historical mazes while not allowed. But here every brick - an exhibit of the 18th century. Vaults preserved just perfect. To capture the spirit of the time - decided to give a plaster. Instead, they went on an unprecedented bold move - the foundation raised almost a meter. And this majestic columns and 12,000 square meters.

Olga Taratynova, director of the State Museum "Tsarskoye Selo", "First column fixed, fixed, then under them, figuratively speaking, removed old foundations and made deeper inception."

During the excavation of the restorers and then were surprises. After World Palace gave Naval Institute. For 60 years. So architectural monument has become a top-secret facility. With its laboratories, typography, communication nodes countless safes. Imperial cellars thriftily redrawn. Unnecessary walled rooms.

Valery Kharlamov, superintendent of contracting organization: "The room was completely filled with concrete, was above the mark. Knowing that about this place we tunnel, opened all neatly. Concrete thickness of 300-400 millimeters."

This underpass early 20th century. From the palace to the kitchen cabinet. According to him wearing the imperial dishes for the table. Such a construction is only in Gatchina residence of Paul I - there is a tunnel leading from the palace to the lake. While not get inside - the previous owners tightly peppered him with debris and sand, apparently, for greater privacy. However, something still survived.

Natalia Kudryavtseva, deputy director of the State Museum "Tsarskoye Selo" restoration, "We did not expect and did not expect that survived here this staircase, stone steps, now they are closed for the period of work."

And here's another unique find - a wooden staircase. It led to the room of the Emperor 's aides. Unfortunately, you can not pass on it. Still, a historical exhibit. But, you can see what is above. That room assistants Nicholas II, through the wall - his personal account. On surviving museum plans stairs were not specified. Brickwork in the basement had to carry. Now, the entire structure will be restored.

Judging by the modest size of the stairs, the emperor valets were very slim people. Steps are quite narrow, cramped here. Although the path to the top was not long - survived six steps, roughly the same is not enough.

Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, known as the residence of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II. Here he was born and spent most of his life here with his family was exiled to Tobolsk, and then shot. Today, the palace - an integral part of the history of the Romanovs, look at that after the restoration can be and inside - the palace cellars become part of the museum complex.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Douglas on February 25, 2014, 12:59:35 AM
Here are my drawings for the location of the kitchen tunnel.....links:

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=4716.msg458800#msg458800

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=4716.msg458192#msg458192
Title: Re: Скрытая комната и подвал проходы Обнаруж&
Post by: lilianna on February 25, 2014, 07:19:14 AM
Our imperial family always eat warm food . Only on the yacht "Standart" Emperor Family has had the pleasure of a hot meal , because the kitchen was on the boat and we had to take a very small distance . It is always pleasing them . No steam tables for so long could not keep the food hot . In the lobby of the Alexander Palace was always hot samovar . On one floor plan is called " Hearth for boiling " and was a buffet for the Royal Family . Recently in the lobby was the entrance to the museum and I saw a little hole in the wall that say about the place where they were. Recently , the site was a kiosk and you can buy tickets at the museum.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: Clemence on February 27, 2017, 09:46:25 AM
How very interesting all the information and videos of this topic! I wanted to thank you all for sharing! I am not sure if there are any photos of the tunel though, if it still exists as I understand, why the lack of photos or videos of it?
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: lilianna on February 28, 2017, 09:48:14 AM
I have never seen a photo of the tunnel.
Title: Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
Post by: BobAtchison on September 24, 2017, 04:33:31 PM
Andrei Beanov has this pictures and plan of the tunnel on Pinterest.

https://www.pinterest.com/abeanov/romanovs-russia/