The Ropshinskiy Palace – which is part of the global cultural heritage – is going through a genuine disaster. Several days ago, part of its façade crumbled – and those running the Peterhof museum cannot rule out that the destruction will continue.
Even now the building looks like ruins. Specialists have estimated – it would be worth around 20 million rubles to return the historic building to its original look. That’s a hefty sum, and the process of gathering the needed sum has been long. That’s while the time is working against the Palace. Tatyana Bazhenova found out how likely the situation is to change.
There’s no need for a detailed examination to see – the Ropshinskiy Palace is in a critical condition. Those protecting the city have been alarmed for a long time, as well as the local residents. Two years ago the mansion was brought under Peterhof museum’s control. It is them who are new lining up documents to hold restoration works. But time works against them.
At the end of New Year holidays – another collapse. All 5 columns of the fronton didn’t hold together.
Elena Kalnitskaya, CEO Peterhof museum: “The weather hurt us bad. The building has been roofless for 25 years as it is, and now it got wet too. Now workers say it stands on a very humid soil. The winter is warm. Everything was iced, the structures didn’t last. Possibly, if that didn’t happen, we would have still had to fix this – it is unsafe”
In this case, the calamity actually helped. According to the plan, the building will first be made hazard-free. There has already been a plea made for money from the Ministry of Culture. The Palace is in for a major restoration. The re-building – almost from a raised to the ground state – was estimated to cost 5 billion rubles.
By the way, main building aside, there are more than 20 historic buildings on its territory. The restoration project will be presented in the early days of spring.
Sergey Pavlov, head architect of Peterhof Museum: “Those interiors will be neutral, but the outside architecture will be restored with a maximum authenticity. What we’re seeing now is 19th century. It would be wrong to talk about just one architect – this is a sequence of time buildup”
The new caretakers also want to debunk the myth of the most mysterious and terrifying Palace of the region. It is only 12 years younger than St. Petersburg itself. The residence, where members of Tsar’s family rested and hunted, played witness to a mysterious death of Peter the 3rd.
In the Soviet times, it was the home to a German hospital, later – to the battalion of Leningrad region. The Palace had even been used as a bird farm – it didn’t work out because of sudden fires and another partial loss of structures. However, it has bravely withstood the test of times – workers have managed to find authentic historic elements during the expertise.
Sergey Peschanskiy, head engineer of construction company: “The building has been rebuilt many times – both during the Soviet period and in the pre-revolutionary one. Many historic structures have remained, while elements of decoration have been almost entirely lost. We revealed just 5-6 spots with historic ornaments. We will retain it all during our works”
The museum’s employees have invested a lot of efforts already, but have so far done things which do not require financing – cleaned the park and put a warning placard on the Palace’s façade.
Tatyana Bazhenova, repoter: “The plans of Peterhof Museum seem grandiose. After the reconstruction, the building shall be used as a school of restoration. An entire campus will be set up on its territory, where they will be able to master the difficult skill without any distractions. Although, it will take at least 5 years to restore the pearl of Ropsha”.