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What Is Alexander Palace?

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  • Written By: A. Leverkuhn
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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The Alexander Palace is an impressive palatial residence in Russia. It was the common abode of the last Russian Imperial family. Situated in town of Tsarskoe Selo, the palace is one of several grand Imperial mansions located in the suburbs of Russia's former capital city, St. Petersburg, in the northwestern reaches of Russia. Together, these palaces and their surrounding grounds memorialize many aspects of the personal lives of the Romanov dynasty.

The origin of Alexander Palace was as a gift from Catherine the Great to her grandson Alexander I. Tsar Nicholas II, the great great grandson of Alexander, eventually moved into the property with his family. They used the palace as their day-to-day abode, while commuting to the Winter Palace, and other locations in the center of St. Petersburg for official royal functions.

Following the Tsar's abdication in 1917, the members of the royal family were evicted from the Alexander Palace, moved to a remote location, and eventually executed by the Bolshevik's. The building would then become a museum until World War II, when it was used for a military headquarters. Today the palace is a public museum, where visitors can see a lot of period artifacts and scenes of historical Russia and its culture.

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As a former Russian royal residence, the Alexander Palace is a unique landmark in Russian history. It is part of what represents the move of the Russian nation from monarchy to communism. The royal family that stayed there were the last of their kind, and still have a unique place in Russian history and Russian memory. This makes the palace a major world history site, and one that is protected and maintained for its historical value.

By the 1990s, parts of the Alexander Palace had become ruined, having been abandoned for decades. Public agencies helped to repair the property and get it ready to become a museum once again. These included renovations to the roof over certain parts of the palace, including a portion called the Nicholas II wing.

The Alexander Palace includes many different kinds of areas. The palace includes multiple libraries as well as recreational areas and grand halls where many artifacts of the royal family are displayed. One example of the ornaments in these sorts of buildings is the Faberge egg, a decoration original to Russian history. Some of these eggs are actually referred to as Alexander Palace eggs. These decorations often include photos of the royal family and other mementos.

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