Oranienbaum's Chinese Palace Fully Opens After 20 Years of Restoration

Oranienbaum's Chinese Palace Fully Opens After 20 Years of Restoration


After restoration, all the halls of the Chinese Palace in Oranienbaum have been opened to visitors at the Peterhof Museum-Reserve. The work was carried out over 20 years.

As Peterhof reported on its website, the restoration was carried out in stages, with halls opening year after year.The opening of the last four rooms of the palace - the Chinese Boudoir, the Toilet, the Portrait Room and Catherine's Study - completed the restoration of the museum for the 295th anniversary of the birth of Empress Catherine II.

"The Chinese Palace, which survived the war, was one of the first country palaces and residences to open to visitors. The post-war restoration was heroic. Restorers, on their own initiative, having practically no methodological manuals, revived this beautiful palace after the war. But soon the palace needed a systematic scientific restoration," said the museum-reserve's general director Roman Kovrikov, whose words are quoted on the website.

He noted that since the palace was not heated, it was important to make sure that it had a stable temperature: in the summer up to 20 degrees, and in the winter no more than 15. In addition, it was necessary to take into account such a factor as the humidity level.

"Since the palace does not have its own foundation, it was necessary to carry out very lengthy preparatory work.We can proudly say that 99.9% of the Chinese Palace is everything that has come to us from the 18th and a little from the 19th centuries. That is, we now have with you a palace fully restored to the heyday of the Rococo style. There is no other Rococo palace in Russia," Kovrikov emphasized.

The work was carried out by museum staff, craftsmen and young specialists of the Leningrad restoration school.

"It is impossible to compare the Chinese Palace with any other museum. This is a museum that has preserved not only the interiors of the Catherine era, but also the very aura - what we call the feeling of history, when we enter and believe that Catherine II was here," said Tatyana Syasina, an employee of the department "Storage and Study of Oranienbaum Monuments".

According to her words, which are also quoted on the website, now it is necessary to fill the new halls of the exposition with exhibits, and also to continue work on the restoration of museum items.

As noted in the Peterhof Museum-Reserve, the Chinese Palace was built by the architect Antonio Rinaldi in 1762-1768 and was part of the grandiose palace and park complex "Own Dacha" of Empress Catherine II.

"Receptions were held in the palace, to which only the closest and most important persons were invited. They did not live here, they came here for a short time to plunge into the atmosphere of celebration, magic and fun. Initially, the palace was one-story, and only in the middle of the 19th century it acquired new features," the message says.

The building has no repeating door frames, panels, sashes, each interior is completely independent.

"The Chinese Palace embodied the fashionable influences and aesthetic preferences of the 18th century. The decoration of the palace was made by European and Russian artists and craftsmen with exceptional skill and has no analogues," Peterhof noted.

The implementation of the large-scale restoration project became possible thanks to the support of PAO Gazprom,the museum-reserve said.

Overall, the opening of all the halls of the Chinese Palace is a great event that will make this unique monument of Russian architecture even more accessible to visitors.

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