The Romanovs and their palaces. Александровский дворец | Alexander Palace | Russia | Pushkin town (Tsarskoe Selo) | 24 kilometers (15 mi) south from the center of St. Petersburg.
The Alexander Palace was presented as a gift by Catherine the Great for her favorite grandson, Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, the future emperor Alexander I of Russia on the occasion of his marriage to Grand Duchess Elizaveeta Alexeevna, born Princess Luise Marie Augusta of Baden. The palace construction was completed in May of 1796, and in June the Grand Duke Alexander Pavlovich, his spouse and his court moved into the new Palace. The Palace in the classical style is considered to be the pearl among the creations of Quarenghi and one of the main masterpieces in the world. The art-critic I.E.Grabar wrote that “there are palaces bigger and more regal, but there is no palace which architecture is more beautiful”. In the center of the main northern façade is a magnificent Corinthian colonnade passage consisting of two rows of columns. In 1838 two sculptures were placed in front of the colonnade. A.S. Pushkin immortalized these sculptures in his poems. In the early XX century, during the reign of Nicholas II, the Alexander Palace was the main residence and a summer dacha for the Imperial Family, but it became a real home for the last Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna during the last 13 years of their reign. The Alexander Palace was the focus of court life: here are accepted after, celebrated the 300th anniversary of the House of Romanov and the 200th anniversary of Tsarskoye Selo. From this palace the family of Nicholas II was sent into exile in Tobolsk. (x) (x)