August 30, 2021

A Revolutionary Restoration



A Revolutionary Restoration
The palace is beautiful, but that clear Petersburg sky is the real gem. Alexander2018, Wikimedia Commons

Since 2012, the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoe Selo, just south of St. Petersburg, has been under renovation. Now visitors can once again get a look (and take a selfie) at the last home of the Romanovs.

The renovations, which included the refurbishing of thirteen interiors, seek to portray the palace as it was during the Russian Revolution. Those visiting the palace can see where Nicholas II, after abdicating the throne in March 1917, lived with his family before being taken to Siberia, a journey from which they wouldn't return. Wander through the Romanovs' sitting rooms, offices, libraries, and bedrooms, and try not to think about those pesky communists.

The renovations also make Alexander Palace a must-see in the town of Tsarskoe Selo, a name that literally means "Tsar's Village." This was the nineteenth-century equivalent of today's Martha's Vineyard, where the upper-upper classes would go to get away from the rigors of city life, an idyll complete with monuments to themselves, fake ruins, a school for the nobility (Pushkin's alma mater), and even a faux-Chinese village.

It's also the only palace to have its own Faberge Egg:

faberge alexander palace
A tiny palace for tiny Romanovs. | Shakko, Wikimedia Commons

 

You Might Also Like

The Tsar with the Dragon Tattoo
  • May 04, 2021

The Tsar with the Dragon Tattoo

Something you probably did not know about the last Romanov: before he ascended the throne, he got a huge dragon tattoo in Japan.
The Emperor Has No Clothes
  • November 03, 2020

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Unexpected nude photos of Nicholas II appeared online last week, causing quite a stir, despite being more than a century old.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
The Spine of Russia

The Spine of Russia

This coffee table book is the photographic journal of an epic 6000-kilometer road trip. The book includes over 200 compelling images of Russians and Russian places met along the way, plus a dozen texts (in both English and Russian) on everything from business to education, from roads to fools.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

Faith & Humor: Notes from Muscovy

A book that dares to explore the humanity of priests and pilgrims, saints and sinners, Faith & Humor has been both a runaway bestseller in Russia and the focus of heated controversy – as often happens when a thoughtful writer takes on sacred cows. The stories, aphorisms, anecdotes, dialogues and adventures in this volume comprise an encyclopedia of modern Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby of Russian life.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955