Let's continue our walk through Pushkin (formerly known as
In the northern part of the Alexander
Park, comparatively close to the buildings discussed in the previous
album, stands the Alexander Palace.
The panoramic view is subject to fairly
standard deformations. Of course the palace wings are actually parallel
to each other.
The palace was designed by Giacomo
Quarenghi for Catherine II's favourite grandson, Alexander Pavlovich,
hence the name. Built in 1792-96, the palace was presented to the future
Alexander I on the occasion of his wedding.
It has been occasionally
styled the New Palace of Tsarskoe Selo.
Following the 1905 Russian Revolution,
the Alexander Palace became the permanent residence of Emperor Nicholas
II who had been born in Tsarskoe Selo. It was here that he reigned for
22 years. It was also the place whence his family was deported to
Siberia on August 1, 1917.
In 1918 the palace was opened to visitors
as a museum.
Later the right wing would house a rest home for NKVD officers, and
the left became the Young Communard Orphanage.
During the Nazi occupation of Pushkin,
the halls of the Alexander Palace housed the German headquarters and
gestapo, and the cellars became a prison. The square in front of the
palace was turned into a cemetery for SS soldiers.
In June 1946 the
palace was turned over to the Soviet Academy of Sciences. The Russian
Literature Institute and the All-Union Museum of A.S.Pushkin were
permitted to store their collections here.
5 years later the palace passed to the
Ministry of Defence. The military has been gradually removed from the
palace since 1997. It seems like they're going to restore all the
interiors. Some parts of the palace are already open to the public.
The Egyptian Gates are situated in the
same area (not far from the barracks mentioned in the previous album).
They were set up in 1827-30 in order to
replace the old toll-bar which had been made redundant by the expansion
of Tsarskoe Selo.
According to my booklet, "the idea" belonged to Adam
Menelaws, but "the project" was executed by William Hastie.
The sculptor Demuth-Malinovsky copied
some of the Egyptian hieroglyphs from the drawings of Vasiliy Dodonov.
Built in brick and clad in cast-iron, the
gates were restored after the World War II.
To this day the gates decorate the town's main entrance from the St
Right in front of the Egyptian gates
stands the statue of Alexander Pushkin. I suppose it is the second most
famous Pushkin memorial in the town (after "Pushkin sitting on a
This monument was installed here in the 100th year of the
From 1912 to 1937 the statue had been exhibited in the hall of the