Alexander Palace, just like Catherine Palace, is located in Pushkin, town named after the Russian poet in 1937. It is mostly known under the name it had until the Bolshevik Revolution: Tsarskoye Selo (the tsar’s village).
The construction of this palace originated from Catherine II. However it was not meant for her. She gave it as a wedding gift to Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, her grandson and future Emperor Alexander I.
Designed by architect Giacomo Quarenghu, the Neo-Classical style palace was built between 1792 and 1796. With an elongated shape, it is made of two double wings as well as a main central building. This one opens on a Corinthian double colonnade.
Alexander Palace also has a 200 ha park. Its main entrance is located on Catherine Palace’s honor square, separated from it by the big Chinese bridge. The entrance leads to the “New Garden”. It is divided in four squares with 200 m long sides. The garden is surrounded by the Cross canal. The garden displays a Chinese village, the big and the small Chinese Bridge as well as the Dragon Bridge. The park also has a landscaped garden with three ponds and artificial hills. It contains several neo-classical constructions such as the white tower, the arsenal, the chapel and the lamas’ pavilion.
In the end Alexander I preferred to stay in Catherine Palace, unlike his successor Nicolas I. Alexander III also spent a lot of time in the palace although his very favorite was Gachina palace. Nicolas II, his son, who was born in Alexander Palace in 1868, made it his main residence in 1904. This is where he lived until he was sent to Siberia with his family in late July 1917.
After the Revolution the Palace was turned into a museum. During the Second World War it was occupied by German forces. It then became property of the Soviet fleet until 1997 when it reopened as a museum.