SAINT PETERSBURG : Russia's Alexander Palace, the last home of the emperor Nicholas 11 before he and his family were executed by the Blosheviks, will reopen to the public next summer after  million-dollar renovations, officials said on Friday.

The palace, considered one of the best world of the Italian architect Giacomo Quranenghi, was built in the late 18th century for the future emperor Alexander I and became the permanent residence of the last Russian czar in 1905.

The palace, located on the outskirts of the former imperial capital Saint Petersburg, has been under renovation since 2012 and was completely closed to the public three years later.

The first eight rooms will reopen after the makeover next June or July, a spokeswoman for the Tsarskoe Selo State Museum, which oversees the vast neo- Classical edifice, said.

The renovations have so far cost some 2 billion rubles [28 million euros; $31 million], she added. The works were mainly done on the floors, tapestries and ceilings.

The first premises to open to visitors include the emperor and empress's rooms including the Mauve Boudir, Alexandra Feodorovna's favorite room, and the czar's bathing chamber designed in the Moorish style.

''The Alexander Palace  is a special place,'' Olga Taratynova, director of the Tsarskoe Selo Museum, told reporters during a presentation on Thursday.

''It was built for the Imperial family's private life which was pretty closely guarded. [AFP]


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