After the Catherine Palace was built in Tsarskoye Selo, in 1792, the empress Catherine II wanted to build near her palace another palace to commemorate the marriage of her grandson Alexander, the future emperor Alexander I.
The building of the palace was commissioned to the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi, who began to erect the palace in the style of classicism. All contemporaries were unanimous that the work of Quarenghi was just perfect. Alexander Palace was indeed very beautiful, as to the canons of classicism architecture.
The two-floor palace has big wings on both sides connected by the through colonnade. You need to come through the colonnade to get the main entrance. Before the entrance of the palace there were set up two sculptures, and from the Rotunda, the largest room of the Alexander Palace you can get in the park of the same name.
In June, 1796 the palace was finished and ready for habitation. The Grand Prince Alexander and his wife made the palace their summer residence. At that time it was called the New Palace, but later it was always called Alexander Palace, although it changed many hosts.
In summer Nicholas I often lived in the Alexander Palace, but the time of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II left the most significant traces on Alexander Palace. The heir of the throne Nicholas was born there in 1868. When he became the emperor in 1894, he always stayed at Alexander Palace in summer.
After the revolution of 1905 it was dangerous for the royal family to stay in St. Petersburg, and so Nicholas II decided to live outside the city. And for 12 years from 1905 to 1917 Alexander Palace was the main residence of the royal family. There were held all the main state ceremonies and the members of the royal family went to St. Petersburg only in case of extreme need.
In the Rotunda Hall of Alexander Palace the emperor Nicholas II and his family were arrested and exiled to Tobolsk and from there to Yekaterinburg, where they were executed at the cellar of the Ipatiev House. Later, on its site was erected the Church on Blood in Honor of All Saints.
Until 2009 Alexander Palace was occupied by various organizations, and only in 2010 they began to restore the interiors of the palace. For today, there were restored all main halls of the Alexander Palace, as well as the private chambers of the family of Nicholas II.