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Messages - G.Michael

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Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: March 27, 2018, 10:42:43 PM »
Thank for yet another fascinating blog post.
What path would official visitors have taken to get to Nicholas I’s rooms on the third floor?
Using Their Majesties Own Staircase would seem too intimate, no?

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: January 07, 2014, 10:27:06 PM »

here's a better view....

This is very helpful. Thank you. I especially appreciate the labeled floor plan, which has already helped answer a few other questions. Thanks again.

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: January 06, 2014, 09:14:29 PM »
I'm reading a history book called "The Accession of Nicholas I," in which most of the narrative takes place at the Winter Palace. And I am trying to match up one of the rooms mentioned in the book with the floor plans of the palace that have been posted earlier in this (very old) thread.

The book describes an extraordinary meeting of the State Council in a room "near the dark corridor." At the time, it was apparently known as the Assembly Hall, where the council usually met during the reign of Alexander I.

 Nicholas I later used the space as a playroom for his children and put a large model of a ship in it, according to the book.

Any idea which room this would be?


Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Pavlovsk, the Palaces
« on: April 27, 2013, 10:27:58 PM »
This link includes a drawing that is said to be Charles Cameron's design for the "large cabinet." I assume the design was never carried out, or at least it doesn't exist in this form now. But can someone tell me where the "large cabinet" was meant to be? Perhaps the Library of Paul I, which was eventually finished by Brenna and Voronikhin?

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: July 10, 2012, 10:01:07 PM »
To bring back an old discussion from earlier in this thread, I recently stumbled across another depiction of the Catherine Palace in yellow, this one apparently from the 1830s. I don't know about the original color, but it seems the palace was not always blue.

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Russian Palace Architecture
« on: December 20, 2011, 08:00:51 PM »

My interest in Russian history and architecture began in college, after I enrolled in a Russian history course for the simple reason that it fit my schedule better than any other "non-Western" history course.

On the first day of class, the professor asked how many people were taking the course only because their degree requirements included a credit for "non-Western" history. Virtually every hand went up, including mine.

The professor then said something that made an impression on me and sparked my lasting fascination with the subject.

"Russian history," he said, "is the story of a great nation on the eastern fringe of Europe trying desperately to assert itself as a part of Western civilization. The fact that we are calling this story non-Western history should tell you that it will be a tragic and frustrating drama."

 I would suggest that Russia did not "copy" Western architecture, for the simple reason that Russia considered itself Western and therefore considered Western style it's rightful inheritance.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Floorplans of the Alexander Palace
« on: November 30, 2011, 07:59:47 AM »
From what I understand it was budget and space that was the ultimate deciding factor but I also understand that Catherine by that time in her life largely lived at Tsarskoe Selo and she preferred Alexander to be close. His mother lived at Yelagin in the city. Also the Alexander Palace was meant to be a Summer residence. I think in the city Alexander lived at the Winter Palace or at Kemensotrovsky (traditional home of the heir) but I could be wrong.

Also, from what I understand, the design was watered down to avoid overshadowing the heir's relatively modest palace at Pavlovsk. Some members of the court didn't think it was appropriate for Alexander's palace to outshine his father's.

Am I right to assume that the original site in St. Petersburg would've been the location of the old Summer Palace, where Paul eventually built the Mikhailovsky Castle?

The Alexander Palace / Re: Floorplans of the Alexander Palace
« on: November 24, 2011, 09:30:34 PM »

I hope you will find this link interesting and helpful.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Pavlovsk, the Palaces
« on: September 10, 2011, 10:41:53 AM »
To "Russian Art Lover":

Suzanne Massie's book mentions that Gonzaga built a ballroom attached to the Rose Pavilion, and that he converted all four facades of the pavilion into "theater stages." This was done to celebrate Alexander I's return to Pavlovsk after his victory over Napoleon.

I don't know if this could be what your Italian source is referring to.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Pavlovsk, the Palaces
« on: September 10, 2011, 10:35:04 AM »
my bad - sorry for the confusion - yes the card shows Pavlovsk, not Strelna. There is no mistake or typo. The Cabinet/Study of GD K.N. was also called the Grand Dining Room. It WAS (!) located on the Ground Floor of the main building of the Palace. Originally (late 18th century - to somewhere circa mid 19th century) there were TWO rooms there, designed by Cameron and then "touched up" by Voronikhin - DRAWING ROOM and DANCE HALL (ROOM)....then somewhere in the XIX c these two rooms were combined in ONE - GRAND DINING ROOM which was PROBABLY AKA GD K.N.'s Cabinet/Study. I believe that is what we see on the postcard.
Now the most interesting part. After the 2d WW, during the Palace Restoration it was decided to re-create the original Cameron's design...hence there are  TWO ROOMS again - Dance Room and Old Drawing Room. They can be easily located on the present-day Floor Plan/ Just have a look. Remove (in your imagination) the dividing wall between these two room and - SURPRISE ! - you will see how the "postcard" room could easily fit into the enlarged space.
Hope that was of some help ...

Excellent! You are right, of course. I had read that the two rooms were once combined, and it's nice to see how it looked. But I have to say the restorers were right to put it back to the way it is now.

On another topic, has anyone ever seen the circular room in the center of the ground floor, beneath the Italian Hall? On the postcard mentioned above, you can see a doorway leading into that room, which doesn't have any windows of it's own.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Pavlovsk, the Palaces
« on: August 12, 2011, 10:40:01 PM »

The link below includes a postcard, supposedly showing GD Constantine's "cabinet" at Pavlovsk. But the room doesn't seem to match anything on the floor plans.

Any idea where this room was located? Or perhaps the room is misidentified?

Palaces in St. Petersburg / Re: Private rooms of the Winter Palace
« on: October 28, 2009, 11:54:36 PM »
I believe the photo in question is mislabled.  The damage seen in the photo appears to be WW 2 damage . . . the quality of the photo also suggests it is not a photo from the 1880s.

I have to agree with this assessment.

As for the location of Alexander II's dining room, I believe it faced a small internal courtyard near the October Staircase and was adjacent to the White Hall and the Golden Drawing Room. On this link, it is -- if I'm not mistaken -- between rooms No. 52 (the White Hall) and 54 (Red Boudoir), and just to the left of room 53 (Golden Drawing Room.)

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: December 01, 2008, 11:28:20 PM »
The link, posted above, should work if it's copied and pasted. I thought someone who reads Russian might be able to discern some context for the image -- when was it painted, for example? Clearly, it depicts the palace as painted white. Now, whether this was the ORIGINAL color, I don't know . . . but surely the palace has not always been blue.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: Catherine Palace Restoration
« on: November 26, 2008, 07:28:31 PM »
For what it's worth, here's another depiction of the Catherine Palace painted white.

Scroll about halfway down the page:!anzikl/e_9.html

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