Author Topic: Children's Island  (Read 46279 times)

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Offline Cathy

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Children's Island
« on: April 18, 2004, 11:20:45 PM »
Hi

Would anyone have any information about the house on the Children's Island.  Has anyone
been inside?  Are there pictures of the interior?  I was there in '96; although unable to visit
the interior of the Palace (so jealous of those that have) I did extensive walks around the
grounds.  I noticed a concrete dock/ramp on the Palace side of the water and wondered if
that was a launch site for the family to visit the island in the summer (asumming they could
walk on the ice in the winter).
Was the house damaged during the occupation?  Was it restored in any way?  It looks in very good shape.

Thanks for any information.
Cathy

Offline londo954

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2004, 04:09:00 AM »
The childrens House was built alon a canal started by Elizabeth I which was supposed to run to St. Petersburg but was never completed. Th eplayhouse was enjoyed by the children of Nicholas II ( for illustration then and now see Kurth's "The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra p. 103. The concrete launch was where they could dock boats. See illustration same page. As I understand the house was built for Alexander III when he was a child and contained a sitting room and study all furnished in miniature and his  children and grandchildren all enjoyed it.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2004, 09:56:23 AM »
There was also a drawbridge that worked with chains across the canal.  You can see Aleksey playing with this in a number of pictures.  The posts were still there the last time I was there.

Bob

Offline londo954

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2004, 12:39:50 AM »
I found this on the Tsarkoe Selo website

http://eng.tzar.ru/alexander_park/alex_landscape/children

There are a couple of good pics there also

The Children's House is located on an island in the middle of the pond in the Alexander Palace's own park, and called the Children's Island. The small pavilion was constructed in the Empire style according to plans by the architect Gornostaev in 1830 for the children of Emperor Nicholas I. The house consists of a drawing room occupying the entire width of the house, and four small rooms belonging to Alexander Nikolaevich and Maria Nikolaevna (to the right of the drawing room), and Alexandra Nikolaevna and Olga Nikolaevna (to the left of the drawing room). The rooms are fitted out rather simply.

Prior to World War II, these rooms contained children's furniture, which in the room of Alexander Nikolaevich was upholstered in leather, and in the other rooms, in cretonne fabric. In front of the house a marble bust of Emperor Alexander II's tutor was erected with the words "To the Unforgettable Karl Karlovich Merder." To the right of the house is located the "Cape of Good Sasha" where a bust of Alexander Nikolaevich's second tutor, the poet Vasily Zhukovsky, was erected. The bronze plaque on the pedestal displays an engraving of Zhukovsky's poem "The Swan of Tzarskoje Selo." The island could be reached by boat through a lock built in 1898 to allow water from the Cross Canal into the pond, or by small ferry.


Offline Cathy

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2004, 01:05:40 AM »
Hi Londo954

Thank you so much - your message is so informative.

Cathy

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2004, 09:03:20 AM »
There really is not much to see there other than the little house, the posterns of the bridges and the graves of the dogs.  The house is more of a big shed.

Bob

Offline Cathy

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2004, 12:53:42 AM »
Hi Bob

I've just looked at your pictures of the grave stones of the imperial dogs taken in '91 0r '92.
How did you get to the island to take the pictures?  The pictures do not show any snow so I
assume it wasn't winter to walk across the water.  And I thought that there was no way to get
across on foot.  I would have loved to have peeked in the windows, imagining playtime, even
if it is now a shed.
I have been to Queen Victoria's Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and they have done a
marvelous job recreating the children's house for the public's viewing.

Thanks
Cathy

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2004, 09:33:24 AM »
Once when I was there they had drained the pond so you could walk across.  There were pieces of things at the bottom of the pond - remnants of the war, I suppose.

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2004, 08:46:52 PM »
Well, iīm sorry to say that iīve never been able to go on the Childrenīs island. I did never find the pond dried so i just did photographs and tried to find the graves from the distance( could this be said in english???). May be the next time...

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2004, 05:46:34 AM »
The curator at Tsarskoye Selo has been trying to raise funds to preserve the Playhouse for a few years, following an effort spearheaded by Linda Prodvorsky (this from memory so I may have her last name slightly wrong!).  A year or two ago Linda wrote an excellent article on the history of the playhouse for "Atlantis" and we were able to include a number of her interior photographs showing the detail in the three rooms within, and their condition, and also to solicit donations to help in the effort.  It's still an on-going process-the most important thing is the roof-which had enormous holes and thus water and ice damage to the fireplaces and decor inside.  But they are definitely trying to save it from ruin.

Greg King

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2004, 11:25:38 PM »
I gather that the Linda you mention is my friend Linda Kaari? I know she got married several years ago - we have been out of touch.

Offline Cathy

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2004, 10:58:44 AM »
Hi Greg

Yes yes yes - I'm so excited.

It is Linda Predovsky, No 4 Vol 2 of the Atlantis magazine per the web site.  Do I try to order a
back issue (I'm in Canada) or can you post the article for me?  I would love to read it and would
love to see the pictures.

I have written to Olga F. Filimonova Deputy Director on International Contacts of the State Museum "Tsarskoe Selo" via email so I'll patiently wait for a response.

Thanks
Cathy

Offline Cathy

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2004, 11:03:34 AM »
Hi Bob

I just thought I would tell you that, thanks to you, I have been able to identify the 2 little black/grey pyramids that I can see (with glasses) close to the children's house in my 5 pictures of the island that my sister and I took in 1996.  Great website!!

Thanks
Cathy

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2004, 05:35:22 AM »
Quote
I gather that the Linda you mention is my friend Linda Kaari? I know she got married several years ago - we have been out of touch.


Hey Lisa-

You know, I don't know her maiden name-she's American, married a Russian named Alexander, and lives in Petersburg.  Sound like the same person?  If so let me know as I have her contact info if you want it!

Greg

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2004, 05:39:59 AM »
Quote
Hi Greg

Yes yes yes - I'm so excited.

It is Linda Predovsky, No 4 Vol 2 of the Atlantis magazine per the web site.  Do I try to order a
back issue (I'm in Canada) or can you post the article for me?  I would love to read it and would
love to see the pictures.

I have written to Olga F. Filimonova Deputy Director on International Contacts of the State Museum "Tsarskoe Selo" via email so I'll patiently wait for a response.

Thanks
Cathy


Hi Cathy-

Yes-it's Linda's article on the playhouse you mention.  Unfortunately, I can't post it without her permission as Linda owns the copyright-we just published it.  But if you want the issue there are instructions on single issue orders on the "Atlantis Magazine" webpage at http://www.atlantis-magazine.com.html

It's a worthwhile cause and we were happy to help in a small way with awareness and donations.

Greg King