Cottage Palace and Farm Palace of Alexandria Park
Alexandria Park is a spacious landscape that was formed in the 19 century to the east of the Peterhof residence.
It was named after the beloved wife of Nicholas I – Alexandra. She wasn’t fond of grand interiors and preferred to live away from the court, so Nicholas I built a private English-style mansion–the Cottage Palace– that became an intimate space for her and her family.
The Cottage Palace
The palace reminds of a seaside villa or a Gothic house, but nonetheless it’s an elegant building decorated with balconies,terraces and cast-iron arcades overrun with greenery.
The Cottage was designed in neo-Gothic style that brings you back to the era of knights and princesses. Gothic ornaments are used in the molded décor of arches and vaults, furniture design and spectacular applied art. Paintings of Aivazovsky, Kiprensky and other famous Russian artists complete the cozy atmosphere of the house. According to Nicholas I, it was the place where he wanted to be a husband of the landlady rather than the Emperor, and Alexandra admitted that she hadn’t been happier anywhere else.
A small private garden preserved the original design with elegant marble fountain and a sculpture of “Madonna and Child” by Vitali. The park around the Cottage has more interesting pavilions and buildings to see including the Farm Palace, neo-gothic Coptic Chapel, Palace Telegraph station, etc.
The Farm Palace
Photo by Ninetails. Source: Shutterstock.
The original building was designed as a farm to emphasize the rural character of this residence. The Tsar even ordered cows from England, and invited an English shepherd– all to make it look a countryside house. Later in the middle of the 19 century the building was extended to include living rooms for the Crown Prince (future Alexander II) and his wife.
When Alexander II ascended to the throne,it was decided to turn this small farm into a palace. And,like the other constructions of Alexandria, it was designed in neo-Gothic style. It was quite a modern home with all necessary amenities including a water supply system, a shower, an elevator and bathing rooms. One of the best halls of the palace is the Blue Study of Alexander II, where he received his ministers. Later, one of the most important events of the 19 century happened here – the draft for serfdom abolishment was prepared within the walls of the palace. This room contains lots of memorial items that belonged to the Emperor – a leather suitcase for documents, a drawing set, an ivory crucifix.
During the tour you will learn about the fate of this Russian Emperor, look into the private life of royalty and learn fascinating stories about different generations of the royal family who used to live here.