The Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (The Scientists’ House) Movie created by Mikhial Tretyakov, under supervision of L. Nikitin. With help of I. Khmelnitskaya Following the tempo of modern St. Petersburg, we rush through the city’s streets and squares not paying attention to it’s humble eyewitness reports about epochs, events, life stories. But if you stop for a moment and observe a bit closer, every single building will tell you it’s own story, it will share it’s secrets with you. In the very center of St. Petersburg (at Dvortsovaya embankment 26) there is a Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir Aleksandrovich Romanov. The Smaller Emperor’s Court, The second largest after His Majesty’s Higher Emperor’s Court. The Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich The key turns in the doorlock as smoothly as a hundred years ago And we enter one of the most mysterious places of the palace In 1905 there was an attempt on Vladimir Alekasndrovich’s life And therefore, all of the three windows , that face the Neva river were equipped with steel window shutters. The life breath of the Grand Duke is still being preserved in his cabinet. He would spend the majority of his lifetime here. This is a secret cabinet. The one of a kind cabinet-safe. Vladimir Alexandrovich kept the top secret documents here. The Grand Duke was the closest helper to his older brother, the Emperor, Alexander the Thrid. As a Senator, as a Member of the State Council, he would recieve visits from office holders, governemnt leader and politicians here. As a Commander-In-Chief of the St. Petersburg military distrcit he would recieve visits from commanders and generals of the Army. Here, The Grand Duke would hold the meetings of the Academy of Science as an Honourable Member of this insitution. The Conciliums of the Academy of the Fine Arts, that he used to run for 33 years. The Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich was the third son of Russian Emperor, Alexander the Second. Russian Emperor Alexander the Third was his brother. As all other Russian Grand Dukes, Vladimir Alexandrovich recieved military education, particpated in Russian-Turkish war, spent 7 months fighting in the Rushchuk regiemnt and was awarded with several medals and with the Weapons of Honour, decorated with diamonds, All of the awards would decorate this particular cabinet. The acrhitectural project of the Grand Duke’s palace was created by the architector Ryazanov, the Professor of Impreial Academy of Fine Arts. The interiors were desgined by Victor Schröter and Maximilian von Messmacher The palace was finished in just five years and was blessed in the days of the Grand Duke’s wedding ceremony, with the entire Royal family as guests. The Grand Duke’s Palace is also unique in terms of safe-keeping and integrity. Almost all of the interiors and details are original. Luckily enough, the Palace was never demaged neither during World War I, nor during World Was II The Palace is one of a kind. There is no palace as uniquie as this one in the whole St. Petersburg. When going upstairs on the main staricase, you can perfectly see the mirrors that were painted back in the days of the Grand Duke. These are the unique mirrors. Maria Pavlovna once saw similiar mirrors in Stuttgart and wished to have the same wonderful flowers that would never fade around her. They’ve order the mirrors from Italian master Titto Qilazzo, who was an amazing romantic floristic painter. He invented those colourings and applied them to surface at the temperature of 500C. That’s why the flowers keep shining and never fade away. The mirrors unite the versitile architechtural styles of the Palace. The upper site of the main golden staircase has the largest one-piece mirror to survive till nowadays. Its size is 4 by 2.5 meters. You won’t find any other mirror of this size. The staircase is amazingly beautiful: It has bronze and golden elements, and was inspired by the French architecture of Louis XIV. The mirror galore was the definitive feature of this style and, therefore, the golden staircase is decorated with mirrors on its top site. Meanwhile, the lower site is the most intereting one. This relatively small area was designed by the architector to replicate the famous Hall of Mirrors in Versailles. When at the botton of the golden staircase, it was possible to see your own reflection, repeated endlessly, and dive into the historical eternity. Vladimir Alexandrovich was the Commander-in-Chief of the Guards in St. Petesrburg military district. The coevals would remember him responsible for the mass shootings of the peaceful demonstration at the Palace Square on January 9th. The event that would be later called “The Bloody Sunday”. Not so many people know, that he was the only person to admit the responsibilites for the January, 9th tragedy. The Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich was an ideal example of a Russian Grand Duke: he was a handsome man with a bright and charming voice, with big gray-green eyes. He had profound knowledge in both Russian and European arts, Pictures by Repin, Sourikov and Kramskoy were kept in this palace. Vladimir Alexandrovich let the students copy the painitings from his collection. The main halls and interiors of the palace remain the same up to these days. All furniture pieces and things in this palace keep the memories about the amazing people, that lived here, about the events that took place here. Vladimir Alexandrovich got married by the age of 27. This was a love story. He married a 20 years old German Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin When baptized into Orthodox church, she given the name “Maria Pavlovna”. They lived long and happy family life, in fact. They had four sons: Alexander, who died as a baby, Kirill, Boris and Andrei Vladimirovich’s and a daugher – Elena Vladimirovna. The Grand Duke’s wife was a perfect match for him. Maria Pavlovna had a talent to arrange outstanding receptions. Fyodor Shalyapin, the famous opera singer, used to be a guest in this house; and, of course, a lot of painters would visit the palace of their patron. Famous musicians and artists were also invited frequently: Sergey Rakhmaninov, Henryk Wieniawski, famous Italian singer Adelina Patti and Sarah Bernhardt as well. Amatuer theatrical performances and musical evening were arranged. Vladimir Alexandrovich was the first one to financially support Dyagilev’s “Russsian Seasons” in Paris, where the new, innovative Russian ballett was succefully introduced to the audience. The high life of St. Petersburg was taking place here at the Smaller Imperial Court. Maurice Paléologue, the Freanch Ambasador to Russia, was describing this particular boudoir, made in Moresque style. Here, under the curious arabesques, endless and useless plots and affairs were born. And even the Grand Duke’s conspiracy of 1916. The eastern part of the Palace is occupied by the White Hall which used to be called “The Dance Room” It was designed in the style Louis XV or, as they would call it back in those days, “in Madame de Pompadour style”. The balls and receptions that would take place in Vladimir Alexandrovich’s palace were famous not only in Russia, but all across Europe as well. The first ever Russian Historical Ball took place here in January of 1883. The invitations stated, that guests should appear in traditional Russian dresses from the era of Russian Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, the costumes of the 17th century. Later, the Russian balls became very trendy and popular. and even most famous Russian ball of 1903 which was still insipired by the balls that took place in this very palace. The unique reception room in Russian style is located next to the White Hall. Vladimir Alexandrovich was famous for his gourmet tastes therefore, the balls were always accompanied by the rich dinners. The unique Oak hall is decorates with five art panneaus by the famous artist Vereshchyagin: Ilya Muromets at the Prince Vladimir’s feast, Dobrynya Nikitich rescues prisonned Zabava , Alyosha Popovich fighting the Tugarin-Snake, Zorya Lady and the Solar God The special library was created on the second floor. According to Alexander II’s last will Vladimir Alexandrovich was given the Imperial library which contained more than 10 000 books. Vladimir Alexandrovich health was dramatically damaged by the revolution of 1905 and by the tragical family situation. His older son. Kirill Vladimirovich, married his cousin, Victoria Melita, without even asking for the prior permission Nicholas II informed Kirill Vladimirovich that since then Kirill is a persona non grata in Russia, The Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich was deeply obused by this decision and the very next day he has state in front of the Emperor about this insult and asked to resign from commanding the guards in St. Petersburg military district. The Emperor agreed. These were the last years of Grand Duke’s life. He died in 1909. These walls remember joy and sadness, especially, right before the Revolution. All of this has been floating in the atmosphere of the palace which after 1911 was known as Vladimirsky Palace. After the Revolution the palace was saved because the House of Scientists was founded here But this is a completely different story.