Close to the Alexander Palace, on an island in the middle of a pond, in the landscape part of the Alexander Park stands the Children’s House – a small pavilion that was created to the design of the architect Alexei Gornostayev in 1830 for the children of Emperor Nicholas I. The house contained a drawing-room and four smaller rooms, all fairly simply decorated. Until the war the original children’s furniture survived here; it was upholstered in leather in the room for Grand Duke Alexander (the future Alexander II) and in cretonne in the rooms of his sisters Maria, Olga and Alexandra.
A marble bust of Alexander’s head tutor, Karl Merder, was set up in front of the house, and to the right, by “Kind Sasha’s Headland” there was another – of the poet Vasily Zhukovsky, who also played a part in the upbringing of the heir to the Russian throne.
In the nineteenth century the island could be reached by a small ferry and, at the end of the century, also by boat, through a lock constructed in 1898.
In the second half of the nineteenth century several of the imperial family’s favourite dogs were buried on the island. The graves were marked by small tombstones, two of which have survived down to the present day.
At the moment the Children’s House is in a state of conservation.