Author Topic: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony  (Read 13605 times)

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Vanya Ivanova

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Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« on: December 17, 2011, 10:19:21 AM »
I've had a good search through the archived posts but cannot find specific mention of these two things. I am planning my first trip to St Petersburg in 2012 and really want to visit the Alexander Palace and Park. In particular I wanted to know if one is able to visit 'The Childrens Island' in the park? Has the little pavilion there been renovated and can you walk on the island itself?

Also, I am aware that HIM Empress Alexandra's balcony has been demolished but are visitors allowed to walk around outside that part of the palace where it was located? I would find it most interesting to see the views of the surrounding park from this location. I would really appreciate any tips/recommendations in general about a visit to the palace as many of this sites members have been numerous times and have such in depth knowledge. I would just like to say as a new member what an invaluable and wonderful resource to the study of Russian History and affairs this site is.

regards

Vanya Ivanova

Offline pastpalacelife

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 02:16:34 PM »
Vanya, I don't know the answers to your questions, unfortunately, but I am very envious of your travel plans.  I'm curious as to where you are traveling from?  One day I hope I will get to visit Tsarskoe Selo!  The older I get (48) the less appealing the prospect of jet lag becomes!  I live in Asheville, NC.  Enjoy your trip and be sure and take lots of photos! Tracy

Vanya Ivanova

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 03:24:04 AM »
Dear Tracy,


Thank you for your encouragement I shall most definitely post any photos from my visit. I live in the city of Bath in the United Kingdom and fortunately there is an airport in the nearby city of Bristol, the flight times to Russia from the UK are not too bad roughly 3 and half hours. I imagine from the United States (East Coast) it must be about 10hrs? which is not ideal. Yes, jet lag is rather tiresome I once spent 23 hrs on a flight to Australia not something i'd ever wish to repeat. I am very much hoping that Tsarskoe Selo retains a sense of poignancy and isn't 'too busy' with visitors as this can sometimes ruin the atmosphere of a place.

It would be wonderful to get a few 'quiet moments'  getting a sense of what the Palace was like when the Emperor and his family lived there.

Offline Vladimir_V.

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 11:54:21 AM »
Look: http://eng.tzar.ru/museums/palaces/alexander_park/landscape_park/children
At the moment the Children’s House is in a state of conservation.

The island without any bridges! People visit it in January-February.

Offline Ena

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 08:07:41 PM »
One of our forum members, Laura Mabee, visited the Children's Island when she studied in Russia.

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=14016.75

It's really only possible to visit the island in the winter time, when the canal is frozen over.  If the ice is hard and safe enough, you can just walk over.  As of now, you cannot go inside of the pavilion.

I visited the park a few years ago, and you will definitely get a great view of it from the banks.  As for walking around the palace grounds, near to where the balcony once was, it's really a very open space, so you can go wherever is allowable.  I don't recall any real barriers, but that may have changed since my visit.

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 10:35:12 PM »
I've never been to the palace, so I'm envious of your trip too. But yes, as Ena said, you can't really visit the island unless you go in the winter and the ice is thick enough to walk across. In the summer, however, I believe some locals go swimming there, so if you travel then and bring some swim trunks, have fun!

I think you would be able to walk around the area that Alexandra's balcony was located. From photos, it seemed like the only areas around the palace that the public was prohibited was along the back and perhaps the right wing of the palace when the navy occupied that wing (it was the navy, right)?

I hope you will share your photos with us. I always love to see new photos of the palace.

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2011, 08:26:37 PM »
Wonderful thread! Have a great time!

"Give my love to all who remember me."

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Vanya Ivanova

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 06:27:35 AM »


Just wanted to say a big thank you to all those who responded to my enquiries, the website mentioned is especially helpful.

I am reading Grand Duchess Olga Alexndrovna's republished memoirs at the moment. They are really fascinating. I'm not sure how it would stand with copyright laws so I won't quote the book but she specifically mentions the Alexander Palace Park and her brother's enjoyment of it. She muses that its atmosphere must be very different now that the park is open to the public. Then states that among the imperial residences the Alexander Palace Park had a peculiarly meloncholy ambience. She also speaks about a little Chalet much used by Tsar Nicholas 1's daughter Grand Duchess Alexandra who died in childbirth. There was a memorial statue dedicated to this young woman and her child just outside the chalet.

I must confess I had not heard of this before and would welcome any info about it. I imagine it no longer exists as it isn't mentioned in any  modern tourist info. Also sorry to keep asking questions but is it true that another of Nicholas 1's daughters also wrote a memoir of her childhood? if so can you still get this book?

thanks again and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the members

Offline primrose

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 08:53:18 PM »
I've recently returned from St Petersburg where I spent a lovely sunny day at Alexander Palace and in the Park. The Palace and grounds were almost deserted and I was able to wander around everywhere except for the island itself where the Children's House is. But I could get up quite close and have some photos to share with you...




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Offline primrose

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 08:55:51 PM »



"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

Winston Churchill

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 06:37:10 PM »
Looks beautiful right now. Thank you for sharing them! How about some of the AP/other things you saw?

Offline blessOTMA

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 01:30:44 AM »
Stunning photos primrose! Thank you so much for posting them !!

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Offline Jen_94

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2012, 04:07:41 AM »
Wonderful images Primrose!! The Children's house looks lovely. :)

Vanya Ivanova

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2012, 05:38:46 AM »
Thanks so much for posting the pictures Primrose, to have the park almost to yourself must have been very atmospheric, I envy you. Your pictures are the clearest I have seen of the Pavillion on the island. It looks as though there are windows for a basement level and the ground dips away slightly at the foundation also suggesting a lower ground floor, fascinating.

Offline Sunny

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Re: Childrens Island and the Empress's Balcony
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2012, 09:45:48 AM »
What i have always wondered is: how does the childrens' house look *inside*?
It's odd, but i'd like to know it. But mybe it's impossibile since i read it's not easy to visit it and i fear one can't visiteit *inside*.
But i was wodering, did it have sofas, a kind of kitchen, beds orsomething like we use to have in our playing houses nowadays?
Just dreaming... but i've tried so many times to imagine its interiors...
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