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Messages - BobAtchison

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Imperial Russian Antiques / Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« on: January 30, 2004, 09:10:18 PM »
Chris, maybe we can get Nick to come in here and tell us more.

Alexandra Feodorovna / Re: Alexandra and Rasputin
« on: January 30, 2004, 09:08:47 PM »
Very good points, Investigator....

Sushismom, could you tell us more about the myths you see in Bob Massie's book?  I would really be interested in your comments.

Imperial Transportation / Re: Imperial Train
« on: January 28, 2004, 12:33:20 PM »
I have around ten photographs of the interiors of the private rooms of the trains.  I have always meant to put them up, but it would be a lot of work and I was hoping to have more of them and a better understandiing of the interiors before doing it.

I don't think Nicholas travelled on a train anywhere incognito.  The Okrana would never have permitted it when he was Tsar and his father would not have allowed it when he was alive.  Don't you agree?

The Alexander Palace / Re:  Alexander Palace Design
« on: January 28, 2004, 12:23:57 PM »
I'll check through my stuff and see if I can find the measurements.  I have detailed measurements of some of the rooms as done by Meltzer in his plans for the redecoration of 1902 - I will have to look.

The Myth and Legends of Survivors / Re: Anna Anderson and Anastasia
« on: January 27, 2004, 09:19:44 AM »
Anna Anderson made many mistakes in describing the rooms of the Alexander Palace.  They were obvious mistakes that someone would make if they has looked at pictures of the palace and misunderstood what they were looking at.  It was obvious Anna Anderson had never been in the palace. The real Anastasia would not have made those errors.

One of the Romanov family told me how when one of them entered a chapel with Anna Anderson she crossed herself - the wrong way.  It would be very diffcult for an person born into the Orthodox faith to make this mistake.

Also, Anna Anderson attended a lecture by a friend of mine at the Virginia Museum of Art.  She was old and senile at the time.  During the lecture she started speaking Polish loudly - there were some Poles in the lecture who were quiet surprized by this - as you can imagine.  the real Anastasia did not speak Polish.

Then there were witnesses to the murder, who saw all the bodies and identified them.  They saw Anastasia and Aleksey - all of them.

Finally we have the forensics - it is very difficult to argue with those findings.

A person can have an opinion about anything that diverges from reality.  If I avoid looking in mirrors I still think/believe I'm thin and 20 years old.... but I'm not.

Imperial Transportation / Re: Imperial Train
« on: January 26, 2004, 08:08:41 PM »
The Imperial Train wagons that Nicholas II abdicated in were kept at Peterhof after the revolution.  There was a revolutionary display with a platform and slogans.  It was left behind during the German occupation, but the items from it were rescued.  After the recovery of Peterhof by Soviet forces the train cars were found in terrible condition.  I don't know what happened to them after that.  A reconstruction of the train car was made and used in a Soviet film of the late 50's or 60's.  It was an amazing recreation.  One of the two men who accepted Nicholas's abdication remained in Rusia after the revolution and the film was his recollections of the event years later.

The Alexander Palace / Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« on: January 26, 2004, 08:03:42 PM »
All of the gala menus are in the archives of the palace in St. Petersburg.  Each day all of the events that took place in the palace were recorded in beautiful script in a huge book.  The personal meals that were served to the family in their private quarters are recorded as well.  That's where we found the recipes we have on the site.

They followed all of the fasts very carefully.

Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: The Lower Dacha (New Palace), at Peterhof
« on: January 25, 2004, 02:57:25 PM »
As far as I know there has been only one book on the palace that was published in Russia before WWII and it was reprinted by the Peterhof Museum people about 8 years ago.  The original book was really only a pamphlet.  The picture quality isn't great either, and there are just a few.

Many pictures that previous authors have described as being of the Alexander Palace are actually of the Lower Palace at Peterhof.

There is also a good section on the Lower Palace in a Soviet book on architectural monuments in the environs of Leningrad.  I found a copy in Russia 10 years ago.

So - about the palace... it was originally a telegraph tower near the seashore.  In 1883-85 the architect Tomishko built a small datcha or pavillion  there.  In 1896 Nicholas II had it extensively expanded. After the revolution the palace became a museum. Here was kept the Imperial train that Nicholas abdicated in. before the war the palace was taken over by Soviet officials who used it as a residence.  During the war the palace was damaged.  In 1946-47 Stalin ordered the palace blown up.  The palace vanished from all maps and curators at Peterhof were forbidden to tell people where it was.  One curator was jailed for pointing out the location of the palace in the 50's to some tourists.

I climbed all through the ruins of the palace in the 80's and 90's.  It was an amazing place, full of the remains of blasted remains of china and furniture.  I remember once seeing an ikon of Aleksey and a bunch of burnt candles on top of one of the mounds that covered the palace site.  It was a wild place, overgrown with trees and vegetation.  The mosquitoes were awful there.  It was a dangerous place.

I heard a few years ago that there were plans to build a new datch there for the government, and I don't know what happened to that idea.

Things from the Lower Palace were sold after the museum closed.  You can find things from there in the antique stores of Petersburg today.  The Peterhof curators buy back what they can.  They have the grand piano from the palace in the Cottage now.


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