Author Topic: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace  (Read 62528 times)

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Offline jfkhaos

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2004, 07:36:07 AM »
Is there anyway anyone can post pictures so we can see some interiors of the rooms in the palace?  

Was the palace the red color it is in the top link when Sergei and Ella lived there?

Thanks for the pictures!

Offline Mike

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2004, 09:44:32 AM »
One needn't travel to Petersburg to view the famous four "Horsetamers" by Baron Peter Klodt. Their copies, presented by Nicolas I to his colleagues, adorn royal palaces in Naples and Berlin.

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2004, 09:53:42 AM »
The original Belosselsky-Belozersky palace was built on the corner of the Nevsky Prospect and the Fontanka Canal after designs by the French architect Thomas de Thomon.  It was a far smaller building in the french taste with a large private garden and a launch onto the canal, stuccoed and painted in imitation of Parisian limestone.

The original Palace (1747) was built by Prince Mikhail Andreevitch Belosselsky (1702-1755) during the reign of Empress Elizabeth.  His son, Prince Alexander Mikhailovitch (1752-1809) expanded the building, buying the adjoining lot on the Fontanka Canal.

A.M. Belosselsky served as Ambassador to Turin, and wrote the lyrics to the first Russian Opera.  He was a devoted friend and supporter of the Emperor Paul I, and because of this, in 1800, the ancient title of Prince of Belozersk was revived for him and added to his own, creating the double-barrelled name of Belosselsky-Belozersky.

The palace passed through the hands of successive generations until the mid-nineteenth century, when it became the property of Princess Elena Pavlovna Belosselskaya-Belozerskaya, the widow of Prince Espere B-B, the Great-Grandson of Alexander Mikhailovitch.  Inheriting a not insubstantial fortune of her own through her family the Bibikovs, Elena Pavlovna decided to tear down the original building, and erect a new palace, which was to be built by court architect Stackenscheider.

Because Stackenscheider was official architect to the court, Princess Belosselskaya was forced to petition Emperor Nicholas I for permission to comission his services.  This permission was granted, and the B-B palace is the only private commission of Stackenscheider's in the city.

The palace was built in the Russian Baroque revival style, and echoed the architecture of Rastrelli's Stroganov Palace further down the Nevsky Prospect.  It was originally painted a clear deep green with white accents, and faux bronze decoration, to harmonize with the Stroganov Palace.

Princess Belosselskya later married Prince Kochubey, and the parties given at the Belosselsky Palace were considered the greatest entertainments ever seen in a private home in the capital.

After her son, Prince Konstantin Esperovitch Belosselsky-Belozersky achieved his majority, the palace became his property.  For many years, he lived there with his wife, born Nadezhda Dimitrievna Skobeleva.  They had several children, including the beautiful Olga Esperovna, who would later become Princess Orlova and was painted by Serov.

In the late 1870's, the family found themselves living largely at their property on Kresstovsky Island, and the enormous unoccupied palace was a huge drain on their resources.  

With the announcement of the engagement of the Grand Duke Serge to Princess Elisabeth of Hesse, Prince Kontstantin Esperovitch approached the Imperial Ministry to offer the palace for sale.  The Palace was sold in 1884 to the Grand Duke Sergei.

It was then that the palace was painted the oxide Red which is so associated with the palace.  Sergei mounted an extravagant remodeling of the interior, adding a vast library (also used for indoor tennis!), and a slavic revival chapel.  After the assassination of the Grand Duke in 1905, the palace became the property of Grand Duchess Elizabeth, who gave it to her ward, Grand Duke Dimitrii Pavlovitch in 1908.  He was the last owner of the palace, and ordered it turned into the Anglo-Russian Hospital during the FIrst World War.  His heirs are the Illynsky family of Palm Beach, Florida.

The best source of information on the palace is M.P. Tsel'yadt's "Belosselsky-Belozersky Palace" published in Russian by Black and White Press, Saint Petersburg, in 1996.

Best,

nick
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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2004, 11:00:17 AM »
Quote
 He was the last owner of the palace, and ordered it turned into the Anglo-Russian Hospital during the FIrst World War.  His heirs are the Illynsky family of Palm Beach, Florida.



Hello Nick,

I have read in Education of a Princess that the palace was sold during the first months of the revolution.

Offline jfkhaos

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2004, 11:32:47 AM »
I found this information on the palace:

Home to the city's Municipal Cultural Center, the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace used to serve as the Communist Party's district headquarters, but now organizes a rich and varied program of concerts throughout the year. Tickets to all concerts include a tour of the palace's splendid interiors, which have been beautifully preserved.

Visitors to the palace can also enjoy its Exhibition of Wax Figures - "Russia and Power", featuring lifelike models of many of the country's most notorious rulers.



Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2004, 11:36:11 AM »
Antonio,

That is very interesting.  I have read "Education of a Princess," and don't remember that.  Can you find the citation?  Tsel'yadt maintains that the building was leased to the Anglo-Russian Hospital on a temporary basis, during the war and Dimitri's exile, and that the Palace was nationalized in 1918 as "Former property of the ex-Grand Duke Dimitri, the building on the Nevsky Prospect known as the Dimitrievsky Palace." (Tsel'yadt, p. 140).

Is it possible that Marie Pavlovna was mistaken, or that the Soviets were unaware in 1918 that the Palace had been sold?

Nick
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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2004, 12:06:45 PM »
Hello Nick,

Here you have the references:

In page 332:

"We had no longer the money to maintain this immense building. General Laiming had offers, and was already in negotiations with buyers. As soon as the sale was made, we would have to seek a new home."

In page 345:

"As the house on the Nevsky was being sold, we took an small furnished apartment on the Sergievskaya..."

Also in Princess in exile, page 70;

"His resources(those of Dmitri P. in Paris), i learnt afterwards, came from the sale of his palace in Petrograd during the revolution."


I assume this transaction was somehow lost due to the chaos that reigned in the city during those days. Maria´s memoirs have never been published in russian so the russian author could not possibly know about it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2004, 01:23:20 PM »
Yes, and in it, Prince Michael misspells the name of the palace and makes numerous errors.  His book is very annoying for that reason.

Antonio, how fascinating.  I wonder who bought the palace--they are obviously the ones who were dealt a financial blow when the revolution came.

It is also possible that Maria Pavlovna, knowing that no one could check, maintained that that is where the money for her brother came from -- from 1920 until 1932 it was well known in Paris that Coco Chanel paid all of Grand Duke Dimitri's bills.

We'll never really know!

Best,  Nick
Nick Nicholson
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Offline Mike

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2004, 03:07:42 PM »
Quote
 I wonder who bought the palace--they are obviously the ones who were dealt a financial blow when the revolution came.

Nick, according to this usually reliable site, the risky investor was N.D. Stakheyev, a wealthy merchant who owned Siberian golden mines, controlled the tea trade and was a well-known philantropist. Obviously he was in for a much greater loss in 1917 and later than just a SPb palazzo - even that magnificient.

I remember that in the 1970s when the BB palace was occupied by the Communist party's Kujbyshevsky District Committee and strictly off bounds to the public, they sometimes permitted evening lectures, musical concerts etc. in the palace salons. However you couldn't buy tickets - they should have been obtained.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Mike »

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2004, 05:16:59 PM »
Dear Mike,

What a great site!  I've never seen it before.  Thank you very much for the information.  I wonder what happened to the Stakheevs!

It is interesting that this building has become  a spectacular financial albatross to everyone who has owned it--from the B-B's, to two sets of Romanovs, to the Russian Government, who according to the current curator, can barely afford to make the repairs needed to keep the building open.

Best, and many thanks!

nick
Nick Nicholson
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Offline Mike

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #25 on: June 23, 2004, 06:05:39 AM »
Quote
 I wonder what happened to the Stakheevs!

Hi Nick,
The mighty Stakheyev dynasty seems to have living offspring not only in Russia but also in the West. Tatiana Browning, a co-author (with Kyril FitzLyon) of the book Before the Revolution: Russia and Its People Under the Czar is related to them. Her brother Peter Carson translated Chekhov’s plays into English for Penguin. Both of them participated, in October 2003, in the family festive get-together in Elabuga (Tataria) which is considered the clan’s birthplace. Moreover, the rector of Elabuga Teachers Institute Prof. Nayil Valeyev has made the Stakheyev family history his specialty. Look e.g. here.
Regards,
Mike

Offline AkshayChavan

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2004, 11:29:12 AM »
Somewhere i read that palace was badly burnt during revolution and interiors badly damaged. Does anyone know of this incident?

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2004, 12:13:34 PM »
I had never heard about the palace being burned during the revolution. As far as i know, it suffered heavily from bombing during the WWII.
The palace was then restored in 1958-59.

This photo is from the 1930s and the ballroom had already lost the rococo mouldings with sconces that used to ornate the far right and left corners, so i assume the palace suffered also some alterations before the WWII...

The palace also had a big chapel that looked to the Fontanka.




Offline Louise

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2004, 12:32:04 PM »
Again, thank you. I hope you have more information to share on BB. I love any information on where GD Sergei and GD Ella lived.

Louise
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Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Palace of Grand Duke Sergei, aka Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2004, 01:44:43 PM »
Quote
Again, thank you. I hope you have more information to share on BB. I love any information on where GD Sergei and GD Ella lived.

Louise


Well, as far as i can remember now they also had a country estate nemed Usovo, i think near to Illinskoe but they rarely used the house.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »