Tsarskoye Selo director rejects idea to hold weddings in the Alexander Palace

PHOTO: Director of the Tsarskoye Selo Museum-Reserve Olga Taratynova, standing in front of the Alexander Palace

On 15th February, the Russian media reported that Mikhail Baryshnikov, a deputy of the City Legislative Assembly, plans to submit a new bill which would permit the use of historic palace-museums as venues for weddings—including both the Catherine and Alexander Palaces at Tsarskoye Selo.

This is the second attempt by St. Petersburg deputies to allow marriages to be registered outside the city registry offices. In 2017, they sent an initiative to change federal legislation to the Ministry of Justice for approval. But the department, outlined a wide range of problems and obstacles, and rejected the implementation of the idea.

In Pushkin, the Director of the Tsarskoye Selo Museum-Reserve Olga Taratynova, recalled that there are two palaces under their administration and both are functioning museums: “The Alexander Palace is fundamentally not suitable for such purposes, it is in many ways a memorial museum, where a very special atmosphere reigns. And the nearby Catherine Palace is overwhelmed with visitors to accomodate such events. This is a place where people come perhaps once in a lifetime. In order to conduct a wedding in one of the halls of either palace, we would be forced to close part of the visitor route, which would deprive ordinary visitors of the opportunity to see everything possible. In this regard, we believe that some of pavilions located in the Alexander and Catherine Parks would be more suitable for weddings. These are beautiful historical buildings, located in secluded and picturesque corners of parks – including the Evening Hall, the Cameron Gallery, Chapelle and others,” Olga Taratynova noted.

© Paul Gilbert. 12 March 2022