The Farm

The Farm was built between 1828 and 1831 not far from the Cottage in Alexandria. The original design of the building belongs to Scottish architect Adam Menelaws, with later changes introduced by Heinrich Stackenschneider.

The Farm was originally intended for keeping cattle and housing cowherds. But as the imperial family grew in size in the 1830s, it was decided to turn the building into a residence for the eldest children of Nicholas I. For many years, the Farm was the summer residence of the future Tsar Alexander II, who played at the nearby ruined bridge, toy fortress and lookout tower.

The Farm was turned into a museum after the revolution, before being awarded to the NKVD as a rest home in 1926. The buiding suffered during the Second World War, when it was the headquarters of the occupying Nazi forces. After many years of neglect, the Farm was restored between 2003 and 2010 and finally reopened to the public.

The Farm is the only museum in Russia with surviving interiors dating from the mid-nineteenth century. The eastern wing is home to a permanent exhibition on the private life of the family of Alexander II. The garden of Empress Maria Alexandrovna has been recreated next to the building, complete with flowerbeds, pergolas, fountains and sculptures.

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