Author Topic: Private rooms of the Winter Palace  (Read 277642 times)

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Offline JM

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Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: March 09, 2004, 08:34:17 PM »
I was wondering if there are any photographs of the private rooms of Nicholas and Alexandra in the Winter Palace. Were there any pictures taken before these rooms were demolished? Does anybody know what these rooms looked like? Please post anything you know!

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2004, 09:03:47 PM »
You can find photographs of these rooms in a number of books: "Nicholas and Alexandra: The Last Imperial Family of Tsarist Russia" (the catalog from the exhibit); "Nikolai v Aleksandra" (Russian version of the same, from 1994); "The Winter Palace in the Reign of the Last Emperor" (this from memory-but I think the title is correct, published in Russia in 1998-2000); and "Ermitage: Istorii v Arkitekturya" by Boris Piotrovsky, 1991.  In Fulop-Miller's book on Rasputin there is a single photograph, identified I believe as one of Alix's rooms in the Alexander Palace, which is in fact her Sitting Room in the WP.  Geraldine Norman's book "The Hermitage" also has a few pictures of these rooms.

Finally-if you go rent a copy of Eisenstein's "October" you can see film footage of these rooms used in his movie.

Greg King

Offline pers

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2004, 12:02:16 PM »
Does anyone have a copy of the layout and use of all the personal suite rooms, especially those facing the inner courtyard as well?  Apparently we cannot tour those rooms, at least I have not had access to them the two times I have been to St Petersburg.

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2004, 09:29:56 PM »
Joanna,
i had acces to the Nicholas´ and Alexandra´s rooms in 2001, but those inner rooms you are interested in are closed. they were bath rooms and so on and i understand they are too small to visit. In 2003 Nicholas´and Alexandra´s rooms, save the gothic library, were closed. At least in July.

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2004, 10:40:16 AM »
Hello Joanna!
From what i know the rooms of the ground floor just below Alexandra´s corner drawing room were occupied by the grand duchesses Olga and Alexandra Nicholaevna, daughters of Nicholas I. However, in 1855 these suite of rooms looking to the Neva and Admiralty were lavishly redecorated by Stakenschneider for the wedding of Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaevich with Alexandra Petrovna(nee Princess Oldenburg).  The new rooms were lovely, as everything done by Stakenschneider.
I´ve always thought that the children rooms were in the second floor, above those of Nicholas and Alexandra, but i do not know the exact location. In fact, just above Alix´s corner drawing room there was Nicholas I´s room, and his study next door, and also his other rooms, all looking to the Admiralty.
The balcony you said is that of Nicholas I´s corner drawing room. There was also another balcony  in the first floor, in the corner study of Nicholas II, that had formerly been a lovely winter garden of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna(the first).
Relating Princess Dolgorukaya´s apartments, i read that Empress Maria Alexandrovna could hear from her rooms the steps(above her room´s ceiling) and noise of princess Dolgorukaya and her children, so i assume the Princess´rooms were right above those of the Empress.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2004, 08:54:51 PM »
I vaguely recall reading that N II had a rather elaborate bath installed  in the private apartments at the Winter Palace.  Does this still exsist?
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2004, 10:10:58 PM »
Hello Joanna!

The first room after the malachite room would be the white-empire(one window), then silver room, corner drawing room, bedroom, boudoir, Nicholas´study(with arches), dressing room and bathroom and also a little room, the library, billiard room and finally the reception room(with adjoining dark room).

The room with Zinaida´s portrait is the billiard room, you can recognize it for the beautiful parquet floor that belonged to the former Pompeyan(?) dining room, that was destroyed to build Nichola´s famous White dining room.

There was three other staircases, one was just behind the bedroom, with another next door, and a third was off the white dining room. There was also a bigger and more formal staircase after Nicholas´reception room, with two windows looking to the enclosed garden and Admiralty.

Hope this will help...

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2004, 04:13:04 AM »
I'm dying here, because I have a very complete plan of these rooms, but no way to post it!  However, to add a few more details: From the Concert Hall, you enter the Malachite Hall; that opens to the Arabian Hall (long, narrow, extending south toward Palace Square); that opens to the Rotunda, which in turn leads to the Dark Corridor; directly off the Rotunda, opening east, was the private chapel.  From the Malachite Hall, doors opened to the White Dining Room, facing a small inner court.  Also from the Malachite Hall, doors opened to the Empire Drawing Room, overlooking the Neva, then came the Silver Drawing Room, then Alexandra's corner Drawing Room.  Continuing along the side of the Palace was the bedroom; then A's boudoir; door at the back opened to her bathroom which overlooked the small inner court; then A's dressing room.  Nicholas's study was at the corner of the wing, connecting two rooms, one long, one short, via an arch.  His bathroom was reached from a door on the right side of the bed-down a corridor-it overlooked the inner court.  From N's study, a passage room, then a room for an adjutant, these extending back on a west-east axis, into the body of the palace.  His Library opened off these, then next his Billiard Room, then his reception room, next to the Saltykov Stair.

As to his bath and tub-I've got copies of the plans for the room.  At the WP, Krasovsky designed a tub, set in a recess lined with concrete and faced with Dresden tiles, which was reached by eight marble steps; it was indeed sunken.

Greg King

Offline pers

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2004, 08:18:32 AM »
Greg,
Can't you send it to Bob so that they can post it?

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2004, 11:36:29 AM »
Joanna, which Baedeker do you have?  I recently sold  a pre-revolution [I think]  Baedeker & I do not recall a floor plan.  It might have been a bit later [20's perhaps]. If I missed a floorplan I shall be most regretful of selling it !!
Greg, what book or such do your floor plans come from ?  I have or had, haven't seen it in years, a floorplan from  I suppose the 30's. It is stored away in files which I have not dug through in years. The interesting thing about it is, though, all the captions are in Japanese. I suppose it is Japanese, that is where I found it.  I recall trying to match up rooms with a modern plan and promptly got lost, which is why it was filed away.
Cheers,
Robert
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2004, 06:22:22 AM »
I'll see what I can do-the plans are from an immense book (not kidding-700 pages, 1,000 photos and plans) on the architecture of the Winter Palace that I picked up in Petersburg about a decade ago.

Greg King

Offline David_Newell

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2004, 06:52:21 AM »
Greg, which book?? you know me, I love to know where AF kept her shoes and riciculous stuff like that. It helps me build apicture of daily life and with that she becomes more real!!!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by admin »

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2004, 10:50:47 AM »
Hello Joana,

There was a reprint of the famous Baedecker guide for Russia from 1914(if i remember well):

"Russia: a handbook for travelers".

It´s out of stock and can be quite expensive in the second hand market, but have to be very intersting...

Offline Janet_Ashton

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2004, 03:03:18 PM »
Quote
I do want to find pre 1917 Baedeker not only for the fascination of descriptions of the buildings then but especially what was written of Tsarskoye Selo!

Joanna


Joanna
      If you can't get an inter-library loan and don't mind waiting maybe a month I can get the descriptions of Tsarskoe from the 1914 Baedeker and post them.....'cause alas this book will cost you your life-savings to buy!

Janet

Offline Daniel Briere

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Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2004, 04:14:27 PM »
Indeed a facsimile of the the 1914 English edition of the Baedeker Guide for Russia was printed in 1971 by Arno Press Random House. The book is much bigger than the original, which makes it easier to read. The maps and plans (in B & W) aren’t too good (if I recall correctly the original edition had color maps) but the book is fascinating to read! There is almost no information about the Alexander Palace though, as it was closed to the public. As for the Winter Palace, pre-revolutionary Beadeker guides provide no floor plan (only of the Hermitage part) and no information about the private rooms as they were off-limits to visitors.

The Parade and State Rooms of the Winter Palace could be visited “during the absence of the Imperial Family. Visitors obtain cards of admission on presenting their passports at the office of the Chief of the Palace Police”. The Crown Jewel Room (top floor) could also be seen, but only by permission “from the Court Chamberlain at the request of the traveller’s ambassador”! The Imperial Crown and regalia (now in Moscow) were kept there.

I might add that the private rooms were shown to the public after the Revolution, including Alexander II’s Study which had been kept intact since he died there in 1881. Some post-revolutionary guide books provide some interesting information about some of these rooms. I don’t recall if they were emptied in the 1930s or as WWII broke out.
Daniel Briere