Ropcha (en russe : Ропша) est une région suburbaine de l’oblast de Léningrad, en Russie. Situé à environ 20 km au sud de Peterhof et à 49 km au sud-ouest du centre de Saint-Pétersbourg, à 80 mètres d’altitude. L’ensemble du palais et des parcs du village de Ropcha fait partie du « Centre historique de Saint-Pétersbourg » classé au Patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO Le palais de Ropcha devait être restauré pour y ouvrir un hôtel de luxe en 2010, projet qui a avorté.
The Ropsha Palace
I know that top photograph has been posted before, and many people still ask where this is.
The Ropsha Palace was founded by Peter the Great, during the Great Northern War. Upon hearing about the curative properties of Ropsha’s mineral springs, the Tsar planned to make it his summer retreat. It was here that he built a wooden palace and church near the waters.
Empress Catherine II granted the estate to her nephew and heir, the future Peter III of Russia. It was there that he was brought under guard after the coup d’état of 1762, and also where Peter III was allegedly murdered. After his death in 1801, the palace was handed down to his son, Nicholas I. Nicholas presented the estate to his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in 1826. . “
I present to My Dearest Wife, My Alexandra Fedorovna the farmsteads of Ropsha and Kipen, with all of the settlements, buildings and institutions belonging to them.”
In the ensuing decades, it was seldom inhabited until Nicholas II turned Ropsha Palace and parks into a hunting and fishing retreat. The Tsar was seen here surrounded by aristocratic milieu coming from all over Europe for hunting, fishing, and dining in splendor. The Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, the Tsar’s sister, spent her wedding night here with her new husband Grand Duke Alexander “Sandro” Mikhailovich in 1894.
During the Russian civil war, it was rescued from the Bolsheviks on two separate occasions, under heavy fire. During the Second World War, the Nazi Germans robbed and vandalized the imperial estate; a special unit looted the palace and moved its valuable art collection back to Germany. Then the palace was destroyed by the Nazis using explosive devices. The palace was left in a terrible state of ruin and disrepair due to the magnitude of damage inflicted by the retreating Nazis in World War II.
Alexandra, Olga, Marie, and Anastasia
On the steps of the Ropsha Palace.
In 2008, the investment group Gruppo PASIT Italia planned to invest 200 million euros in turning the palace into a five star hotel. The palace, however, was declared a monument of historical importance, by both local and national government agencies.
The Federal Property Management Agency denied the Italians the contract. Instead, efforts went ahead to restore the palace, but were cut short, when a fire nearly destroyed what was left of the structure in 1990. Sadly, the palace has continued to deteriorate ever since.
But as of 2011, the independent organisation, the Constantine Fund has turned its attention to the crumbling ruins, and plans to restore it to its former glory, as it has for many other churches and historical buildings in the area.
So good news ahead, we may one day see the beauty of Ropsha restored.
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