Discussions about the Alexander Palace > The Alexander Palace

Children's Island

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Cathy:
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

londo954:
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.

BobAtchison:
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

londo954:
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.

Cathy:
Hi Londo954

Thank you so much - your message is so informative.

Cathy

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