Palace of Alexei Alexandrovich

As a palace for a member of the imperial family, its location is highly unusual. It is situated in a marine district near the ship and timber yards of New Holland. The explanation is simple however: Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich Romanov, brother of Tsar Alexander III, was the head of the Naval Office and Russian Fleet so he ordered to build the estate at the embankment of the Moika River at Kolomensky Island.

The island was named after Kolomna – a historical name of one of the low-land areas of the city. The life of the Grand Duke was connected with the fleet since his childhood. He received a domestic education and served on many ships; he even took part in an around-the-world cruise. The construction of the palace began in 1885. The exterior design of the palace was made taking into account the customer’s desire to live in an estate that would resemble medieval French castles. The architectural ensemble consists not only of the palace itself but also a 4-storey residential building, a cart-house, a horse and carriage service, a laundry building, greenhouse and a garden. The front yard was hedged from the Moika embankment with wrought-iron fence with gilt ciphers.

Following the devastating defeat of Russian Fleet during the Tsushima Battle against the Japanese Empire in 1905, Alexei Alexandrovich retired from the position of General Admiral. Alexei oversaw a defining battle in the history of naval warfare. The Battle of Tsushima was the only decisive naval conflict where one side suffered a crushing defeat and the first in which wireless telegraphy was critical. A whole line of Russian ships surrendered on the high seas, the last time such an event was ever to occur. He died in 1908 in Paris but was buried in St. Petersburg.

The palace complex at the Moika Embankment was handed over to the Music House in 2005. At the present time large-scale restoration works are underway in order to re-create the historical look of the palace. Tour to st Petersburg