St. Petersburg has lots of off-the-beaten-track museums and landmarks. Alexandria palace and park ensemble is one of such gems. Located close to Peterhof, this landscaped park remains little visited by foreign tourists as it is not so widely advertised as other summer residences of the Russian tsars.
Alexandria Then and Now
Palace and park ensemble in Alexandria served as a summer repose place for 4 generations of the Romanov Dynasty. It formed in 1826-1829 on the orders of Nicholas 1 as a present for his wife, Alexandra (hence the name of the estate). Empress Alexandra, being very kind-hearted and humble, managed to create a special world of piece, comfort and warmth. Her children and grandchildren appreciated the friendly environment and spend every summer at their “dacha” adjacent to Peterhof.
Contemporary Alexandria is a perfect place for a family city break. Kida can play at the open gym that Romanov princes used to train, participate in a tournament or festival (frequently arranged here), take part in interactive tours and historic re-enactments, ring the bell of the toy firemen tower of the Romanov kids or simply take a walk through one of the most beautiful landscaped parks.
What to See in Alexandria
There are two beautiful palaces on the grounds of Alexandria estate:
- Cottage Palace in Gothic style was built for Nicholas 1’s family. Temporarily Cottage Palace is not available for visitors due to restoration works.
- Farm Palace – country-side residence of Alexander II.
Initially a farm with a barn, room for shepherds, kitchens and pantries was constructed for the heir to the throne, prince Alexander (future Alexander II). Nicholas 1 believed his son needs to know where the food comes from. In the end of 1830s a two-storey building with living rooms of prince Alexander was added to the Farm. Later on, the whole farm complex was reconstructed a number of times, and in 1860, when Alexander II ascended the throne, the modest Farm turned into a cozy and exquisite Farm Palace.
As a museum, Farm Palace opened its doors for visitors in 2010 after the WWII destruction and long restoration process. The palace keeps some memorabilia – private belongings of Alexander II Liberator as well as original furniture.
How to Get to Alexandria from St. Petersburg
- By an electric commuter train from the Baltic train station in St. Petersburg to New Peterhof station. Practically all electric trains going in Oranienbaum direction are suitable. Travel time is about 40 minutes. From the train station one can opt to walk (around 1,5 km) or take bus 200A or 278 to Palace Telegraph Station museum.
- By bus or shuttle called “Marshrutka” from Avtovo metro station. One will need bus 200 and 210 or Marshrutkas 224, 300, 424 and 424A in Peterhof direction.
There are also marshrutkas going from other metro stations, but there’re more running from Avtovo, so I would recommend planning that route. It takes about an hour.
The definite disadvantage of the bus is too many people and absence of air conditioning.
Guided Tours to Alexandria
It is possible to take a guided tour to Alexandria separately or in combination with a tour of Peterhof. The two country-side tsars’ residences are located within 5 minutes’ drive from one another. One can opt for a full day trip outside St. Petersburg to Alexandria + Peterhof Palace & Park.
Alexandria: Visitor Information
Alexandria and Peterhof parks are open daily from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m.
Cottage Palace in Alexandria is currently closed for the restoration.
Farm Palace is open Tue – Sun from 10:30-18:00. In winter the palace is open on Saturdays and Sundays only.
Contact us to arrange a visit to Alexandria.