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Messages - pers

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The Alexander Palace / Re: Life in the Alexander Palace
« on: February 12, 2004, 05:03:05 PM »
Bob, you say above that the walls of the Maple room were covered in green.  On the website under the Maple room you say it was dusty pink.  I suspect you meant pink...?

The Alexander Palace / Re:  Alexander Palace Design
« on: February 12, 2004, 04:57:23 PM »
No, I mean the detail of the walls and where the bath and toilet were located as well as the area next door forming a passage towards the door that gives access to the corridor.  Something that I find difficult to understand is the staircase that goes out of Alexandra's toilet to the mezzanine level.  I cannot picture how that works...  

Also the door(s) from the bedroom into the small chapel area, where in the alcove were they situated?  I do not see the doors from the photograph itself that you have on the website.

Thirdly, you say the firm of Charles Berger in Paris exists to this day.  I cannot seem to find it on the internet.  Do you know more about it.  I am sure they would have exact records of the colour and design of the mauve material that covered the walls in the Mauve Boudoir, and for that matter can re-create it.

The Alexander Palace / Re:  Alexander Palace Design
« on: February 11, 2004, 05:41:32 AM »
The staff at the palace, have a bench or two in the passage where the elevator was situated, for people watching the video that they show on a tv.  So you cannot see anything, at least, neither could I.

What you can see in the corridor, is the old entrance markings where the wall joins the floor of the door leading into the Maple room, opposite the door to Nicholas' new study.

As for the photo of the corridor, it is pasted into my album of my trip, and I do not have an idea where the negative is.  I'll search for it.  I also took a photo of the the mostly glass and wood "door box" (not sure what you call it) that covers the big door in the Vestibule towards the outside.  Bob, if you are coming this way, you are most welcome to see the two photos.

Do you have clear detailed plans of Alexandra's dressingroom/ bathroom area?

The Alexander Palace / Re:  Alexander Palace Design
« on: February 10, 2004, 04:24:24 PM »
When I was there in January 2000, I took a photograph from the Vestibule towards the inside down the corridor.  The doors (which mostly consist of glass panes except for the lower part) from the Vestibule to the corridor itself were closed.  The photo is not very clear because of the reflection of the camera's flash, but then again there is not that much to see, as Bob Atchinson indicates.  It is just a very long corridor.  There is also a clear sign forbidding photographing.  Maybe one of us on visit should try and sneak a photo in the summer...  The corridor is dark, and the lamps that hang down the length of the corridor have always been on when I was there.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Life in the Alexander Palace
« on: February 08, 2004, 04:33:52 AM »
Photo 107 was taken in the Maple Drawingroom.  The door behind her in the distance gives access to the corridor.
The next photo where she stands directly in front of the door in furs, is taken in the Mauve Boudoir.  The door behind her gives access to the Pallisander Room.
I'm not sure of the photo taken on the couch.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Daily Life in the Palace
« on: February 03, 2004, 05:16:07 PM »
What I have gathered from reading many books is that Nicholas rose at 7am.  I take it breakfast was at 8am as lunch was served at 12pm.  Supposedly lunch lasted exactly 50 minutes according to protocol (See Almedingen E.M. - The Empress Alexandra on p.57).  Tea was served at 4pm and dinner at 8pm.  Evening tea was at 11pm, before the Emperor and Empress retired.  The children had their classes during the day.  The Emperor normally worked until 8pm.  After dinner the family spent time together.  I also read that Alexei normally went to bed at 9pm at which point the Empress heard him say his prayers.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Visiting the Palace
« on: February 03, 2004, 05:55:53 AM »
The question is how much Russian you can manage.  If you have a basic grasp of the Cyrrillic alphabet, then you shall have no problem negotiating the metro and the train to Pushkin.  I am going again next summer.  You can also take the hydrofoil in summer right in front of the Winter Palace to Peterhof - this is a whole day's outing at least.

The last when I visited the Alexander Palace, only the Private Wing was open to the public, which I suspect is still the case.  I do not know whether the Russians are in fact going to restore the Private Wing to its former self (as in 1917) or whether it is just going to be exhibition rooms (as currently).  Maybe there is too little money to restore the whole palace as it probably needs a whole new roof which must be pretty expensive.

Tours are conducted in Russian, and I did not see any English guides and I must have been inside at least three times.  You best guide of the rooms is by far this very website.  A wonderful time to visit is in June during the Pushkin Festival which is held in Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo).  Oh my, and do NOT forget the wonderful china you can buy at the Lomonosov Factory shops in St Petersburg.  It is worth carrying it as hand luggage around the world back home.
I cannot help you if you don't know some Russian at least.  I have not gone on organized tours.  I normally book myself into one of the city hotels for 10 days and at leisure go to the opera, ballet, churches, palaces and art museums.  There are wonderful restaurants as well.  

The palace is definitely worth the visit.  Some of the original furniture is there, e.g. Nicholas and Alexandra's twin single beds, and the whole of the new Study.

The Alexander Palace / Re:  Alexander Palace Design
« on: January 31, 2004, 09:35:17 PM »
I must apologize.  I made a mistake when I responded to one of the postings above.  I think the rooms measure 10 arshin by 14 arshin, and NOT 9X14 arshin as mentioned above.  Those of you that know a lot about the Russians shall be familiar with arshin and sazhen as measurements.  I quote from the Oxford Russian Dictionary:"arshin (Russian  measure, equivalent to 28 inches or 71 cm)" and "sazhen (Russian measure of length, equivalent to 2.13 metres)".

I am burning with curiosity about the detailed Meltzer plans since he basically did most of the renovations for the Private Wing.  It would also be interesting to see whether he used feet, metres or sazhen as measurement.  Since Quarenghi designed the palace but worked with a Russian workforce (I suppose) maybe the russian measurements were used.

Also for clarification, the  length and width measurements stated above in metres I made from using the plan I have with a scale of measurement on it rather than my own guessing of the arshins.  Those of you who are interested, the book is PETROV, A.N. (Anatolii Nicholaevich) "Pushkin: Dvortsii i parki. Leningrad: Iskusstvo, 1969.  It is the original design of the first floor as on this website.

The Alexander Palace / Re:  Alexander Palace Design
« on: January 28, 2004, 05:31:43 AM »
Yes, that would be 32 ARSHIN, and just over 10 sazhen (divided by 3).  I think the corridor walls are at least 1 arshin each, and the outside either 2arshin each or one-and-a-half arshin each.  I worked out the dimensions of the Private Wing at 28.7m x 71.64m walls included, based on the copy of the plan with a scale of measurement on it.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« on: January 27, 2004, 05:48:48 PM »
Forgot to ask Bob, what happened to that section you used to have on the website of the palace kitchen along with the detailed plan of the kitchen building?

The Alexander Palace / Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« on: January 27, 2004, 05:46:54 PM »
Do you think you could post these menus?  Or is it too daunting a task.  Examples of breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus as well as the famous afternoon teas that Robert Massie says Alexandra complained about as it was dull compared to the teas held by others.  I think it is Anna Vyrubova that indicated in her book that every day at the same time the same tables draped in white would appear with hot bread, butter and biscuits.  I would love to get hold of the recipes..

The Alexander Palace / Re:  Alexander Palace Design
« on: January 27, 2004, 05:40:51 PM »
I am glad there are other architectually-minded people also wondering what the exact dimensions are.  Years ago I obtained a copy of the original plan from a book and it seems though as if the dimensions on this plan is given in sazhen.  For your info (if you do not already know), 3 arshin= 1 sazhen.  One arshin =  0.71m (2'4"?), thus one sazhen = 2.13m.  
I have had two trips to St Petersburg and Tsarskoye Selo and of course, made a number of visits to the Private Wing of the Alexander Palace that is open to the public.  I think the dimensions of the rooms in the private wing is 9 arshin x 14 arshin.  The width of the corridor I think is 4 arshin.  The two doors opposite one another in the corridor giving access to Alexandra's dressingroom/bathroom and on the opposite side of the corridor to the formal reception room of Nicholas I guess are 2 arshin wide each.  What about the height of the ceilings?
Maybe Bob Atchison has an exact blue print of the floors.  He is the expert.  I read in Edvard Radzinsky's book "The Last Tsar" that he makes reference to the blue prints.  Of course someone has a copy somewhere...  
What about putting on the website the layout of the basement as well as the second floor?

The Alexander Palace / Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« on: January 26, 2004, 06:48:30 PM »
Does anyone know how one could find the daily menus of meals served at the palace.  I am sure there must be some kind of archive somewhere (probably in Russia) to which someone on this earth might have access.  It would be especially interesting to see whether the Orthodox fast periods during the year were reflected in the menus, or whether the Imperial Family did not strictly adhere to it despite the Empress' religeousness.  Then again I have read in quite a few places that Alexandra Feodorovna mostly ate her meals separately or specially prepared for her.

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