Author Topic: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza  (Read 139445 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BobAtchison

  • Moderator
  • Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 888
    • View Profile
    • The Alexander Palace
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2004, 08:49:14 AM »
Greg:

There is a book I saw that had a full page description of what happened to that estate and its things.  I wish I could remember where I read it, perhaps you have already seen it.

It had a description of Nicholas's swimming bath there (it pre-dated the one in the AP) and that's why I remember it.

I will see if I can find it.

When the things were sent to Moscow from the palaces of Petrograd (in 1915 and 1917) and Poland some were separated by their value (and whether they were the Tsar's personal property or not) and sent to the Kremlin.  After the revolution some things were sent back to Petersburg and others were kept for the use of the Bolshevik government and its officials.  Not all of the things that should have returned to the AP went back.  Alexandra's huge and beautiful Roentgen desk went to the Hermitage - where it is still to be found (this desk was original to the palace).

Some things that had historic value that came from other palaces were sent to the AP because their original homes no longer existed or were not palace-museums.  I assume the museum curators made these recommendations that required the approval of their Bolshevik bosses.

Bob

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2004, 09:35:13 AM »
As far as i know Nicholas considered this hunting lodge(i would call it palace) "almost too luxurious". The Party bosses in communist Russia were hunting there many times and in december 1991 Russia, Ukraine and Beloruss signed the agreement dissolving the soviet union in this place, so it must be well preserved.
I seen two interiors and were really beautiful, very much in the Maple´s style with a cozy corner couch and so on.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline Greg_King

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
    • Atlantis Magazine
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2004, 09:23:23 PM »
Skernevetski stood in a large park on the outskirts of Warsaw.  The first house was built in 1463, six years after the Catholic Church had purchased the estate as a county retreat for the Archbishop.  In 1609, Archbishop Voytek Baranowski commissioned a palace, directing that it be built in Renaissance style; at the same time, a formal garden was laid out, complete with long allees and hidden pavilions.  A century later, in 1761, Polish architect Efraima Schroegera extensively remodeled the Bishop’s Palace in the then-fashionable neoclassical style; over the next four decades, the gardens were extended, and a large, English-style park, with an artificial lake and carefully-placed glades dominated by groups of classical statuary, created to shield the estate from the rapidly spreading Warsaw suburbs.  In 1795, the Palace was again redone in the neoclassical style, this time by architect Stepan Jakuba.  In 1820, Alexander I purchased the estate for his brother Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich, and-after further renovations by architect Carlo Rossi-it served as the official residence of the Governor-General of Poland.  In 1831, Nicholas I signed the estate over to the Imperial Crown, and thereafter it was used as not only a hunting lodge but also the Emperor’s official Polish residence.  In the reign of Alexander III, Skernevetski played host to an important meeting of the Emperors of Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary.  Although Alexander disliked the formality of the neoclassical Palace, he often stayed at Skernevetski, and made a number of improvements, adding a balcony above the courtyard for reviews, and ordering additions to the garden and park.  By the beginning of Nicholas II’s reign, the former country estate was surrounded by the urban sprawl of Warsaw, and the Emperor confined his stays to short periods, preferring to spend his holidays in the Polish countryside.  In March 1915, Skernevetski was occupied by the Germans.  In 1919, it was confiscated by the Polish Government and used as an official residence.  During World War II, the German Army occupied the Palace, and its neoclassical rooms served a more ominous purpose, as Warsaw Headquarters for the dreaded Gestapo.  After a period of restoration, the Bishop’s Palace housed several official institutions; in 1998, it was converted into a museum.

Greg King

Offline Greg_King

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 580
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
    • Atlantis Magazine
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2004, 09:27:28 PM »
Thanks Nick and Bob-

Antonio-the palace is no longer there.  During the First World War, Bielovezh itself remained untouched and, in 1918, it was seized by the newly independent Polish Government, which installed a number of organizations within its rooms, including the Bialowieza Provincial Offices, and the Polish Forestry School; the only change was made to the Chapel, which was converted to a Catholic Church.  In 1930, the lodge became the country retreat of the President of Poland, though the interior was not substantially altered.  During the Second World War, the Palace was seized by occupying German troops and used as their local headquarters.  When, on the night of July 17, 1944, they retreated, the Germans set fire to the building; at the end of three days, only the exterior brick walls were left.  The Polish authorities considered the building a danger, and in 1947 it was blown up.  For fourteen years, the substantial ruins lay neglected and overgrown; then, in 1960, the last vestiges of de Rochefort’s lodge were carted away, replaced with a tourist hotel.  Officially established as a National Park in 1932, the Bialowieza Puscha was added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1979.  In 1999, a permanent exhibition, “The Tsar’s Palace at Bielovezh,” was established in the old gatehouse-the only structure built by de Rochefort that remains-that contains furniture, photographs, plans, and bits of interior decoration salvaged from the ruins in 1944.

Greg King

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2004, 09:38:19 PM »
Hello Greg!
Thanks so much from your always great information!! The little i knew and posted was quoted from the catalogue of an exhibition  about Empress Maria Feodorovna that took place in Denmark.

elisa_1872

  • Guest
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2004, 06:00:48 PM »
Is it indeed true that at Spala a statue of Alexei, or is it at another Polish estate? If yes, can anyone also tell me whereabout the statue is located, in the grounds?

Best wishes,
Elisa :)

I had no idea what had happened to Spala.. too terrible to know what happened to the house... oh such terrible destruction... +++

Offline BobAtchison

  • Moderator
  • Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 888
    • View Profile
    • The Alexander Palace
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2004, 07:35:42 PM »
There is a wonderful statue of Aleksey at the Cottage at Alexandria-Peterhof...

Offline ptitchka

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 0
  • Oblazhayu Tsesaryevicha Aleksiya!
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2004, 10:24:22 AM »
Dear Elisa --  I am not sure about whether there is a statue of Alexei Nikolaevich at Spala, but I do know there is supposed to be one at the Cottage at Peterhof, 'looking down towards the place where he was born' (the seaside palace destroyed after World War II).  Here is a link so you can see:  

www.peterhof.org/kotimg/kot35.jpg

The boy did say when he was ill, 'When I am dead, please build me a little monument of stones in the woods.'  I wish there were such a place built in memory of the little Tsarevich, especially since he has not been found.  While many including myself revere him as a martyr, many others simply love the little boy.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Pravoslavnaya »

Offline Sarai

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 999
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2004, 07:49:33 PM »
There is a close-up of that statue in the last page of the book Nicholas II: The Imperial Family published by Abris Publishers, St. Petersburg.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Sarai_Porretta »

Offline Pippilin

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2004, 03:52:29 PM »
Does anyone know if any pictures of the hunting lodge (exterior of building) at Spala exist?  If not, could someone post a written description of what it looked like during the time of Nicholas II?  Thanks! ;D

Offline Sarai

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 999
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2004, 03:30:50 PM »
Peter Kurth's book Tsar has some pictures of Spala during the Tsar's time on pages 92-93. It shows pictures of the exterior and of a curtained balcony where Alexandra sometimes retired to during Alexei's illness. The house was described as a rustic, timbered hunting lodge in the forests of Russian Poland, near Warsaw, where the family went only in the autumn for the Tsar to hunt. It had dark rooms and Anna Vyrubova described it as "one of the dampest, gloomiest palaces I have ever seen." The book says that Alexandra never liked the place, and never went there again after Alexei's near-fatal illness in 1912.

elisa_1872

  • Guest
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2004, 04:22:44 PM »
Hi Pravoslavnaya, and Bob!
Thanks so much for your replies about the Alexei statue, it must have been the one at Peterhof i was thinking of. Thanks again!!
Great question about the Spala interiors, i too would love to find out more about them. Thanks Sarai for those details! :)

Elisa

Offline Pippilin

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2004, 11:30:52 AM »
JM and Sarai-- Thank you for the info on Spala.  After looking at the exterior picture of the lodge and knowing of Alexei's near-fatal accident there, I can more than understand why Alexandra would not want to return.
Gloomy inside, gloomy outside!

Offline Sarai

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 999
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2004, 01:09:15 PM »
Pippilin,
Massie's Nicholas and Alexandra also offers this description of Spala (pg. 182): "Lost at the end of a sandy road, the wooden villa resembled a small country inn. Inside, it was cramped and dark; electric lights were left burning all day so that people could find their way through the tiny rooms and narrow hallways. Outside, the forest was magnificent. A clear, fast-flowing stream cut through the middle of a wide green lawn. From the edge of the lawn, small paths branched off into the forest. One was called the Road of Mushrooms because it ended at a bench surrounded by a fairy ring of mushrooms."

Offline brnbg aka: liljones1968

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 769
    • View Profile
Re: Imperial houses in Poland: Spala, Skierniewice, Bialowieza
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2004, 02:33:35 PM »
i don't know about anyone else, but i'd love to see the plans for the now non-existant palace.    (mr. king mentioned the gate-house museum had a set {or something like that...})    

does anyone know if they (or a linear-type likeness of them) has ever been published?  online, in a book or otherwise?

"when i die, i hope i go like my grandfather --
peacefully in my sleep; not screaming & in terror,
like the passengers in his car."

-- anonymous
.