The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Reserve have announced that the Alexander Palace will receive its first visitors after reconstruction in late 2019, in which a third of the palace will be opened, said Olga Taratynova, the Director of the State Museum.
“Initially, we wanted to open the Alexander Palace at the end of this year. Technical issues, however, have resulted in further delays, which prevent us from opening the palace this year. We can confidently say that the first stage will be completed at the end of next year, in which an entire wing – about 30-35% of the palace will be open to visitors,” she told journalists on Thursday.
“While the palace is currently closed to visitors, the building remains heated, somehow functioning, allowing the restoration process to move forward, forcing us and contractors to work faster,” added Taratynova.
The project provides for restoration repairs with the adaptation of the Alexander Palace to a multi-functional museum and exhibition complex.
To preserve the existing building, a staircase and one of the elevators will be dismantled, as well as a cargo platform and bathrooms on the first floor. Meanwhile, the interiors will be re-planned, for the sake of preserving the historical elements.
The Alexander Palace was built between 1792-96 by Catherine II for her favorite grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, the future Emperor Alexander I. The two-story U-shaped building was built in the Neo-Classical Style. Its central part is marked by a protruding portico decorated with two rows of white Corinthian columns. The palace was designed by the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi.
The palace became a residence for a succession of Russian monarchs: each making changes to its appearance and interiors. It was here in March 1917, that Emperor Nicholas II and his family were held under house arrest until their exile to Siberia on 1st August of the same year. During the Soviet era, the building was adapted to various needs – an orphanage, a sanatorium and, finally, a museum.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 July 2018