Author Topic: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.  (Read 21288 times)

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Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« on: January 16, 2014, 03:50:34 PM »
You can see them in this video:
http://www.tv100.ru/news/unikalnye-nahodki-v-carskom-sele-86063/

Announced at the Alexander Palace yesterday, builders have discovered sections of the palace's historic past, constructed in the 19th century, and cemented over in the early 20th. During the continuing large-scale restoration of the palace's basements, workers restoring brick walls literally stumbled into them.

Two secret passageways were sealed into the wall for more than half a century. As builders dismantled the masonry, they could not believe their eyes. Two staircases were preserved, one in perfect condition, and even the wooden railing did had not rotted.

In the adjacent wall is another gem -- a toilet. On the wall, Metlaskoy tile one hundred years old still clings to the walls, but no plumbing remains. It is believed that the toilet belonged to Nicholas II himself, as the stairs lead to his private apartments.

The other Imperial mystery was waiting for restorers literally around the corner. There, a servants' tunnel has miraculously survived under a layer of concrete.

The tunnel, according to correspondent Anastasia Glebova appears to have been an underpass connecting the Alexander Palace kitchens to the main palace constructed in the 19th century by the architect Danini. After World War 2, the tunnels were concreted over.

While the restorers knew Danini's architectural plans from the late 19th century, in which he rebuilt sections of the the Alexander Palace for Nicholas II, they were unaware that In Soviet times, these stairs - and the underpass were bricked over.

The military occupied the building for years, and because cement was scarce and of poor quality, it was easy to see where later work had been done. To the delight of the restorers, the basement was almost untouched by civilization under the plaster and brick.

The management of the museum not decided what to do with the secret staircase and toilet - just to preserve them, or to restore them and restore access to Nicholas II's apartments as they were under the emperor. Neither is the fate of the tunnel certain - whether it is will become available to all visitors or to remain for official use only.

Offline Lady Macduff

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 04:01:35 PM »
Stairs leading from Nicholas's apartments to the kitchens?
We are sitting together as usual, but you are missing from the room. - AN

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 04:21:35 PM »
I understood the information to be that there were two separate sections cemented over in the basement: one is the tunnel to the kitchens and the second is a bathroom connected to Nicholas' apartments. So not stairs leading from his apartments to the kitchens.

This is really interesting, but I thought they had already been working on the tunnel leading from the kitchens in recent years. I'm curious which room the stairs come down from-- the new study maybe? Or Nicholas' bathroom (if it didn't already have a toilet in it)?

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 05:05:58 PM »
Bob has always known their location. The toilet was just past the swimming bath in his bathroom   Yes the stairs lead from the bathroom to the basement so maids could clean it and plumbers etc could do maintenance work without having to go thru private rooms

Offline Maria the Beautiful

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 08:18:50 PM »
Thanks for posting the video.  It's exciting to view these areas that have been virtually untouched for so many years.  However, this is confusing to me.   If Bob always knew about their location, why was this a surprising revelation to the workers.   And as EmmyLee mentioned, I thought we were always aware of the tunnel connecting the kitchens to the AP.  Is this a different tunnel they are talking about?   

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 08:25:15 PM »
While Bob knew what had been there the surprise was their existence at all. It was believed destroyed. The new basement room is one not known and not known to have survived.

Offline londo954

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 08:43:18 PM »
It would seem the palace still has some secrets to reveal ... I always wondered why there appeared to be no toilet in Nicky's bathroom

Offline koloagirl

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 11:10:33 PM »

Aloha all!

That video is so fascinating, altho' I don't understand Russian, one can easily see the amazing staircase, tilework in toilet room and those servants passageways!

So Nicholas II's bathroom that we have seen some photos of (partial photos)....the big bathtub that the Grand Duchesses "swam" in sometimes was in that area in the family area....and the stairs would have taken Nicholas down to his private toilet room?  I remember something about GD Anastasia writing that she was using his "WC"....so I picture her trooping down those stairs to the lovely tiled room for that purpose.

Interesting, because as has been said, we have never seen a WC in the bathroom of Nicholas in photos before to my knowledge.

That is so amazing....all that sitting there untouched all these years....to be discovered now and in such good condition!  Wonderful!

Janet R.
Janet R.

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 09:17:41 AM »
No.  The WC was adjacent to the big swimming bathtub in Nicholas' private bath, same level.  The stairs do not go down TO the WC, they go up from the service access tunnel to the bathroom level. The girls were allowed the special treat to occasionally go into his bathroom to "swim" in the huge and deep tub.  The tub, by the way, required very special high pressure plumbing to fill it with hot water before the water went cold.

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 12:41:21 PM »
Oh, the WC is on the main floor? A corner of the room was bricked over then? I'm surprised they didn't break into that earlier, if so.


Offline gleb

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 05:35:10 AM »


To my opinion, that is the area where the hidden stairs and the toilet room where located, everything matches, if you watch the videos which have been posted. It was a toilet room for the staff to me.

Offline Rodney_G.

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2014, 02:12:59 PM »
Thanks for posting the video.  It's exciting to view these areas that have been virtually untouched for so many years.  However, this is confusing to me.   If Bob always knew about their location, why was this a surprising revelation to the workers.   And as EmmyLee mentioned, I thought we were always aware of the tunnel connecting the kitchens to the AP.  Is this a different tunnel they are talking about?   

Yes, I thought a tunnel connecting the AP with the kitchen that served it was a known quantity. How else would hot meals be delivered scores of yards in the open air in North Russian winters? Was there also an above-ground covered passageway perhaps? This is a bit confusing. Or is it the issue that the underground tunnel survived, though plastered off?
Rodney G.

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2014, 03:28:31 PM »
The kitchen tunnels still exist.

Offline Sanochka

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Re: Hidden room and basement passages Discovered in the AP.
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2014, 01:39:25 PM »
Not one, but TWO exciting new discoveries to stir the imagination!  One picture on the Royal Russia site must be the Alexander Palace entrance to the tunnel leading to the kitchen.  It's very much how I've always imagined it to look while examining basement floor plans. 

It always amazes me to see such things about a palace that was kept hidden from view for so long.  Downright chilling, really.