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The Revival Of Ropsha
17.07.2014 08:39
The Revival Of Ropsha

As the Director General of the “Peterhof” State Museum-Reserve Helena Kal’nitskaya said, the works on the concept of the object museumification have been ordered, and after that the search for funding of its restoration will begin. “A cultural centre that would promote the revival of Ropsha area will be created there. But it is too early to talk about the exposition that will be presented in the former imperial manor house,  now we have very few exhibits in Ropsha, so the restoration of such monuments is quite difficult” - Kal’nitskaya noted.

      The order of the President of the Russian Federation on the transfer of the property complex of Ropsha ensemble to the “Peterhof” Museum-Reserve was signed in 2012. In November of the same year “Peterhof” Museum started to prepare documents, but due to undocumented land title the museum couldn’t start preservation and maintenance of Ropsha monuments and form a concept of the ensemble museumification. This breach was revealed during the audit by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation which published its report in February 2014. 

      Ropsha was founded by Peter the Great, after wresting the region from the Swedes 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. He later abandoned his plans for Ropsha and presented it to Prince Peter Romodanovsky as a gift. In 1734 the estate passed to his son-in-law, Count Mikhail Golovkin.

      In 1741, the Golovkin’s fell into disgrace with the Empress Elizabeth. She believed that Golovkin was an associate of Anna Ivanovna, and was thus exiled to Siberia, and the Ropsha estate was confiscated to the treasury.

      The Empress requested that the Court architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, prepare plans for a new palace at Ropsha. As Rastrelli was busy with other projects, his designs for Ropsha were never executed. During the Russian Civil War Ropsha saw some heavy fighting, as General Yudenich wrested it from the Bolsheviks on two occasions. 

      During the Second World War, the territory was invaded and occupied by Nazi troops. During that time, 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.

      It was not until the 1950s that the palace was rebuilt and used to house two local military battalions of the Leningrad military district. 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.



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Ropsha Peterhof    

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