Wandering Camera

Album 283
(Translated b
y Michael Tarley, Jr.)


The two albums, which will complete our tour of Strelna, will concentrate on the interior of the Constantine Palace. There are more photos than commentary this time around because there is so little information about the new interiors of the Palace. At the Saint-Petersburg House of Books store there is but one three-thousand-ruble book on the post-reconstruction Constantine Palace. The book is in a glass display case. I am sure they are just trying to keep it clean. :-)


Immediately by the entrance there is an elevator.
Not exactly antique and not pretending to be.
Personally, I think they could've tried to keep it more in style with the rest of the place.
A hallway lamp.
One of the many halls, the names of which I don't know (may be there really aren't any names to know).

Strewn everywhere are objects d'art, antique furniture (or modern copies), paintings, china, fireplaces (these are certainly modern).

A view through a window on to the other wing.
One more hall - the exhibition "State symbols of Russia" (from the Hermitage collection).
A nearby sign says:

"State symbols of Russia from the 18th-20th centuries
State Hermitage
State Heraldry
Administration of the President of Russian Federation
Russian State Historical Archive

The earliest use of the eagle as the official emblem of the Moscow Tsar is believed to be the depiction of the eagle on a hanging red-wax seal of Ivan III, dated 1497"


"The front of the seal shows a horseman striking a dragon with his lance. The horseman represented the Moscow Principality and the Grand Duke, later the Tsar. Foreigner's questions about the meaning of the seal were answered stating that the seal depicted "the sovereign on his steed". There is noting accidental about the similarity of the horseman on the seal to the traditional icon of St. George: the heavenly warrior was considered the protector of the Great Dukes of Kiev and Vladimir, whose successors were the Moscow Dukes. Starting in the 18th century the horseman on the seal is officially considered to be an image of St. George."

"The back of the seal of Ivan III shows a crowned two-headed eagle. In the European heraldry this figure was associated with imperial power. The appearance of this symbol on the tsar's seals can be seen as a political declaration: the Moscow rulers were thus declaring themselves equal to the greatest European monarchs."

"In the 16th-17th century the composition of the emblem is modified: the knight is placed on to the shield on the eagle's breast. The eagle is given a third crown and in its talons are placed the tsar's regalia - the scepter and orb."

"During the 18th-19th centuries many important events in Russian history were reflected on the state emblem. Peter I made Russia an Empire and the new Imperial crowns replaced tsar's crowns on the eagle's heads. Paul I took the title of the Grand Master of the Order of Malta and, for a while, the Maltese Cross was added to the emblem. The territorial growth of the country was accompanied by the appearance on the eagle's wings of the emblems of the newly acquired lands.

With only minor modifications, the eagle lasted until the 1917 revolution. It was this representation of the eagle that became the basis for the State Emblem of the new Russia."

Another exhibit. Our tour guide is showing various medals. The necklace-like object on the right is the medal of St. Andrew cast around 1861-62 (the medal was originally issued in 1699).
The sign on top plate reads:
"The gift of the Saint-Petersburg Bourgeoisie Association. 1856"

The origin of the monogram is unclear. At the top there is a coat of arms, below it are crossed anchors. At right are, I think, some Masonic symbols (compass, triangle, etc.) Maybe these are just some building-trade tools :)

The sign on the bottom plate read (loosely translated):

"The Taganrog Russian merchants of 1817 most humbly present this to Your Imperial Majesty"

The plate depicts a fortress, ships at sea, and the sun above.

A view from a window.
I've read somewhere that the Palace is heated in the usual (modern) way. For safety's sake it was decided to keep the fireplaces only as decoration.
A staircase and a landing.
The Blue Hall.
Also know as the Military Hall.

The decorations were designed at one time by the architect A.I.Stuckenschneider.

In 1986 there was a fire here - malfunctioning electrical wiring ignited some rafters. The managers of the Leningrad Arctic College decided to cover the hall with temporary roofing to prevent further damage.

Here is a view from a window in the Blue Hall. You see the Peter canal, the negotiations pavilion, and the Gulf of Finland.

In the next album we'll continue our tour of the interiors of the palace.



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