Farm Palace. Photo Peterhof New Farm Centre
It was initially constructed as a farm for Nicholas I and his family by A. Menelaws. The neo-gothic farm for the Cottage built in the English style could not do without English cows, so 10 of them were brought to Alexandria from Britain together with their shepherd. Delicious dairy products were produced at the farm.
In the 1840-s, when Nicholas's elder son and the heir to the throne, Alexander, grew up and got married, the farm was transferred into his residence. Alexander lived here throughout the summer months with the family and as it gradually extended, so did the palace. All the later adjustments were headed by А. Stackenschneider. Inside it was kept modest and cosy, just like the Cottage, where Alexander spent his childhood, was.
The Farm Palace is the only residence of Alexander II, he did not build any other palaces for him or his family during his reign. Just like his father, he often worked from his house in Alexandria and many important meetings took place in the Farm Palace.
After the assassination of Alexander II, his son, the emperor Alexander III, also spent summer seasons in the Farm Palace. The son of Alexander III, Nicholas II, grew up there, but when he came to the throne, he built a separate summerhouse for him, on the seashore of Alexandria (I will write about it later).
During the war the Farm House was turned into the headquarters of the German army. Its main premises survived, and after the war it was used as the residence hall for the workers of the Watch Factory. It was reconstructed only in the 2000-s, but most of what was recreated tragically burnt down in 2005. So, another reconstruction followed, and it was finally open as a museum in 2010.
If you visit the museum, you will discover how the families of Russian tsars Alexander II and Alexander III used to live and you will find out a lot of interesting facts from the history of Peterhof as a popular seaside resort at the turn of the 20th