Author Topic: Children's Island  (Read 46253 times)

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Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2004, 02:13:46 PM »
Here's a picture I found of the Children's Island. When this was taken the canal had been drained. To the left of that guy's back (me) are the posts and railings of the rusted landing. In the background is the blue and white children's house.

Bob

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by admin »

christine martin

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2004, 04:53:45 AM »
Dear Cathy
I know Linda - now Linda Predovskaya.   As mentioned before, Linda married Sasha and lives in St Petersburg.   Last year she had a baby.   For some time she has been passionately concerned about  vandalism of the Children's House.   The glass of the windows had been broken many years ago.   The boards on the windows were vandalised and unfortunately it was only too easy to gain access to the house.   The interior was littered with rubbish - empty vodka bottles etc.   Linda raised funds and managed to have these windows made secure.   Unfortunately nothing has been done to restore the house.   To be honest, I do not think it would be outrageously expensive to restore - it always was essentially very simple.   Of course there are so many demands and too few funds.

Now it is only possible to access the island when the pond is frozen.   Although in the summer time the pond is a much favoured swimming place with local children, which, I must admit, is a joy to see.  Christine.

Offline Cathy

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2004, 01:34:01 AM »
Hi Christine
Thanks so much for your info - I have written to Olga F. Filimonova Deputy Director on International Contacts of the State Museum "Tsarskoe Selo" via email and have not received a reply.  Would you have a better contact person?
I am going to order Linda's article from the Atlantis magazine - I'm very pleased that she has written about the house and that she is interested in it's restoration.
This forum is great - it has brought people together to share interests and to preserve history.
Cathy

Christine Martin

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2004, 04:07:49 PM »
Dear Cathy

Olga Filimonova is the best person to contact.   She co-ordinates all foreign visits and enquiries at Tsarskoe Selo Museums.   She is the only person in the department who is totally fluent in English and access to a computer.   I know she is very busy and I also know how easily things get lost.

Tell me what it is you want to establish about the Children's House.   I will do my best to find answers, if not through Olga, then by way of another friend.

Best wishes
Christine.

Offline Cathy

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2004, 01:51:40 AM »
Dear Christine
Thanks so much for your reply - it is so nice to talk to someone who is over there, so close (via the web) and yet so far away.
The Children's House took my fancy when I was walking around the A. Palace - most people are interested in the palace and it's royal history (I am too). But the little lost house on the island is royal history too and I think it may be overlooked until it is too late to restore.  I'm just a little person very far away but I thought that a contact (me showing interest and maybe a monetary donation) may be helpful.
Greg King had mentioned that there was a fundraising process; I thought that I would contact Olga F. Filimonova at the museum for current information.
I love the detail you provided and Linda's article; they will be filed in my photo album to peruse with delight. I would love to be there to take my own pictures!!  Alas, I can't. Your contact and your information is the next best thing!
Cheers. Cathy

Christine Martin

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2004, 04:59:19 AM »
Dear Cathy

I would caution you about sending a donation.   There will be no accounting and no receipt.   As I noted on another site, any donations, including charitable ones are subject to 40% state tax.   Russian 'economy' is very different to what we understand in the west.

The exterior of the Children's House is in a remarkably good state of repair.   Perhaps this is due to its isolation.   It was when the pond was drained that, only minimal, vandalism occurred.   Linda has rectified that.   I cannot imagine it would be prohibitively expensive to restore, but as usual there are so many other calls on funding.   With the Children's House there would then be the additional problems of access and of security - if it was furnished.

There are five black marble pyramids in all.   Three large ones with two smaller on either side.   I remember the most obvious names - Voron ('Crow'), the Emperor's favourite dog, the Shetland collie, Zhilka, and the little terrier Alexandra Feodorovna brought with her from Darmstadt, Eira.   I have a note of all the names, their dates of birth and of death.   Isn't it ironic that these much loved animals reposed in a recognised cemetery, marked by gravestones, while their owners lay dumped and disparaged in a pit.  

Rest assured, the exterior of the Children's House is in a reasonably good state of repair.   In its beautiful sylvan setting one can sense an atmosphere of carefree joy - in the total peace one can almost hear the sounds of laughter echo through the years.

Best wishes,
Christine

(PS:  a little note of interest, did you know the Children's House even has its own telephone number through the Tsarskoe Selo Museum switchboard.   I think it is either 32 or 33.   Wouldn't they get a fright if somebody replied!!!)

Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2004, 04:17:02 PM »
Hi Christine--

So, this means that OTMAA had telephone service at the island?! Or was a phone later installed by the museum? And for what reasons would the museum install telephone service, if the house is so run down in other respects? Sorry to be confused about this!  :-/

Offline Cathy

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2004, 12:14:26 AM »
Dear Christine
The information you have just provided is worth a thousand pictures - although, come to think of it, I would love a thousand pictures.  I will be content now to let the memories of the Children's House withstand time.  And hopefully the weather.
Thanks so very much for your detailed information.  How do you know so much?  Do you visit often?
Cathy

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2004, 08:11:43 AM »
Pictures of the dog's graves are in the tread on Eira, Alexandra's terrier that Christine mentioned.

Christine I lost my notes on the dates and read them from the pictures - we couldn't be sure if Eira died in 1906 or 1908.  Can you fill us in?

Bob

Christine Martin

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2004, 11:11:43 AM »
Re the Children's House telephone - I have no idea when or why it was installed.   I was amazed when I saw it listed in the TSM telephone list.

Bob, I'm pretty sure Eira died in 1906 - she would have been about sixteen years old by then.   When I find these notes I'll confirm.
Christine

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2004, 11:09:11 AM »
Here's a photograph I took of another landing on the Children's Island.  This looking from the island towards the back left corner of nthe palace.  This gives you an idea about how deep the pond was.  The landings still had rusted metal work - you can see that on the left.

Bob


Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2004, 11:18:55 AM »
Hello Bob,
Im amazed to see that rusted metal work since ive never seen it when ive been there. Perhaps it was stolen. Its so sad.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2004, 03:09:45 PM »
Antonio, wasn't this the hanging bridge?  You know, the one you could ferry someone across on via a platform?

Bob

Offline Antonio_P.Caballer

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, Re: Children's Island
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2004, 05:41:41 PM »
I think so Bob,

This bridge had an iron "platform" that was moved from one end to the other through ropes that united both stone landings, to go the the island, and could be therefore isolated. Hope you can understand what i mean...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Antonio_P.Caballer »

Offline Cathy

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Re: Children's Island
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2004, 01:12:30 AM »
Thanks Bob so much - your picture is terrific!  It compliments one of mine that shows the pond full.  And I can see the bright green of the trees and grass; my picture was taken in May when everything looked quite brown and desolate.  I think summer would be a better time to visit to see life (in nature at least) and dream in living colour.
And Dominic, thanks so much for the platform information - I did not know about it.  And, my pictures do not show the iron scrollwork on the pillars either.  So they were removed or stolen (?) between Bob's picture and mine in 1996. Too bad.
When was your picture taken, Bob?
Thanks, Cathy