Author Topic: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza  (Read 139501 times)

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James Nicolas

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Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« on: February 03, 2004, 04:37:44 PM »
Is the Spala Hunting Lodge still intact ?

Who owns it ?

What is its history since the Revolution ?

Your insites are welcomed


Offline jda

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2004, 03:00:10 PM »
I think that the site of the Spala  hunting lodge is now a sports' camp.  There is a site that seems to talk about it but it is in Polish.  www.spala.pl  Also I read somewhere that at the outbreak of WW1 all important items were removed ahead of the German armies.

David Newell

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2004, 12:45:36 PM »
Spala Hunting Lodge was destroyed by the Germans in 1944 nothing remains, except some ancillary buildings

Quote
Is the Spala Hunting Lodge still intact ?

Who owns it ?

What is its history since the Revolution ?

Your insites are welcomed



James Nicolas

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2004, 03:20:11 PM »
Thanks david,

that is a shame.

Do you have further information as to why it was destroyed ?

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2004, 10:29:11 AM »
I believe I read somewhere that it was occupied by high Nazi officials during the war, but could have confused that with Bielovyezhe.

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2004, 05:04:11 PM »
About Spala: The wooden lodge, built in 1884, was occupied during the 1st World War by German troops, until 7 December 1918.  In 1920, Josef Pilsudowski made the dacha his country residence.  In the Second World War, Germans again occupied it; in 1943, Hitler visited and spent the night in Nicholas and Alexandra's old bedroom, sleeping in their bed.  On the night of 17 January, 1945, the Nazis burnt the wooden palace when they retreated from the area.  Hope this helps!

Greg King

James Nicolas

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2004, 03:23:41 PM »
Thanks Greg for your response.

I am in Melbourne Australia and I purchased your book here and enjoyed it immensely. I would get you to sign it only we are on the other side of the world.

I look forward to obtaining a copy of your special edition of your magazine on the book.

Just one question , is the Governors house in Tobolsk open for tourists ?

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2004, 09:00:56 PM »
About the Governor's House: I never made it as far north as Tobolsk, so I can't speak from personal experience.  The last I heard, a friend who had been there told me that much of the furniture from the Imperial Family's tenure was in storage and was being returned to the house.  Plans were then underway to restore the rooms as they had been in 1917-18 as a museum.  But I'm afraid I don't know if these continue or not!

Greg King

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2004, 09:04:01 PM »
I've been reading about the demise of various homes and palaces, and was saddened to read about the destruction of Spala . . . until I read that Hitler had stayed there and slept in Nicholas and Alexandra's bed. If it was fated to be destroyed by fire, too bad it didn't happen with Hitler inside.

When I think of Spala, I think of Alexei's near-fatal accident. And I also think of how Grand Duchess Olga Nicholievna and her cousin, the only child of Ernie and Ducky, played together, and how the little girl died suddenly--she drank some impure water, if I recall correctly--and how frightening this must have been for Olga to have lost her playmate.  Perhaps it is appropriate that the dark hunting lodge of Spala--where so much death and sadness occurred--no longer survives, but that we still have the splendid, light-drenched palace-by-the-sea of Livadia to visit.

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2004, 09:31:27 PM »
Princess Elisabeth of Hesse, Ernie's only daughter, actually died at Bielovezh, from typhoid.  Although there were all kinds of rumors going about at the time, the autopsy showed that she had been infected most likely before she left Darmstadt for Poland.  It came on Olga's birthday-and for the rest of her life Olga would remember her cousin and her death in the midst of her own celebrations.

Greg King

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2004, 09:34:13 PM »
Woops-typing too fast and not thinking-Elisabeth died at Skernevetski-and fell ill the day of Olga's birthday-though Olga much later made a number of references to her own birthday celebrations being clouded with memories of her cousin's death.

Greg King

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2004, 08:10:46 PM »
Thank you for the clarification!  Olga is my favorite, and I am in the process of writing about her.  I haven't read those references to her cousin Elizabeth that you mentioned, but--putting two and two together--figured this was a very sad memory for her, especially since she already would be aware of her little brother's vulnerability.  With these type of early childhood awarenesses, it's no wonder that Olga had an interest in poetry, was considered serious-minded, and in captivity seemed more introspective than her sisters.

This is also a great opportunity to thank you for your books re: the Romanovs, which I return to time and time again.  Wonderfully written, with excellent perspective, and very well-documented!

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2004, 07:30:45 AM »
I've been doing a lot of research lately into the Polish estates, and have a query for anyone here who might (?) be in Moscow or have good contacts there:

In 1915, Nicholas ordered all of the fittings from Bielovezh stripped and packed on a train to Moscow.  This included all of the carpets, furniture designed by Nicolas de Rochefort, paintings, chandeliers, etc., as it was feared the lodge would be occupied by the advancing German troops.  In Moscow, the contents of the lodge were stored at Neskuchnoye Palace.  In the aftermath of the Revolution, I have no idea what happened to them.  Does anyone have any insight into this, or an idea where they might have gone?  I doubt that anything remains at Neskuchnoye, but it might be worth asking if they photographed the inventory or might have a piece or two.

Thanks in advance!

Greg King

Offline Nick_Nicholson

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2004, 08:56:17 AM »
Dear Greg,

I don't really know what happened, but I can tell you that when I was at Christie's we sold a small pair of tables which had Bieloviezh labels on them as well as Soviet painted inventory numbers.

This indicates to me that the objects were probably inventoried in Moscow after the Revolution.  You might also check the Lepke Auction Catalogues for the Berlin sales of 6-7 November 1928 and 4-5 June 1929  -- many pieces from random palaces found their way into these sales.  If the pieces were sold in prvate sales during the thirties, you will have a much harder time.

I suggest that you contact the curator at the Wilanow Palace Museum in Warsaw, as I remember that they had some Bielovezh information in the mid-nineties.

Best,

Nick
Nick Nicholson
New York City

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2004, 09:22:02 AM »
Thanks for the information and hints, Nick!  Having slopped through dealing with various auctions houses and old catalogues (Christie's, Phillips, etc.) a decade ago to track down Alexandra's jewelry sold in the west, I suppose going this route can't be much worse!  I'm just rather curious-the museum at Bielovezh has a few things, but nothing substantial.

Greg