The chapel of Peterhof Palace was attached to the far end of the facade. This was the traditional baptismal church of the Tsar's children and each one of Nicholas's and Alexandra's children was brought here in turn. Baroness Sophie Buxhoeveden describes the baptismal service of little Tsarevich Aleksey, the youngest child of the Tsar and Tsarina. A boy had long been hoped for and he was the last after four girls:

"The news spread rapidly to every village in Russia, and great demonstrations took place. The baby's christening was like a pageant. No heir to the crown had been born in Russia, as heir, since the seventeenth century, and the ceremony was surrounded with splendor that matched the importance of the event. It took place in the Chapel of the big Peterhof Palace on August 24th, 1904. King George V of England (then Prince of Wales) and the German Emperor were among the baby's godfathers. The Empress Marie Feodorovna was his godmother. The baby Tsarevich was appointed Colonel of many regiments and decorations were showered on him. Imperial bounty in every form, amnesties, remittances of sentences, gifts of money were among the signs of the Emperor's joy at the birth of an heir. The baby throve through it all. At the ceremony of his baptism old Princess Galitzin once more carried an Imperial infant in her arms to church, and this time her task was still more difficult, as the result of a slip would have been even more terrible. Indeed, she was always in such terror of falling on these occasions, that she had rubber soles put to her shoes, court floors being proverbially slippery. The baby lay on a pillow of cloth of gold, slung to the Princess's shoulders by a broad gold band. He was covered with the heavy cloth-of-gold mantle, lined with ermine, worn by the heir to the crown. The mantle was supported on one side by Prince Alexander Sergeiovich Dolgorouky, the Grand Marshal of the Court, and on the other by Count P. Benckendorff, as decreed by custom and wise precaution. The baby wept loudly, as might any ordinary baby, when old Father Yanishev dipped him in the font. His four small sisters, in short Court dresses, gazed open-eyed at the ceremony, Olga Nicholaevna, then nine years old, being in the important position of one of the godmothers. According to Russian custom, the Emperor and Empress were not present at the baptism, but directly after the ceremony the Emperor went to the church. Both he and the Empress always confessed to feeling very nervous on these occasions, for fear that the Princess might slip, or that Father Yanishev, who was very old, might drop the baby in the font."

The Chapel was very beautiful inside and it was open to visitors in 1900. The palace and the chapel were damaged during World War II. When the complex was restored afterwards the chapel was made into a post-office with only one dome, even though there were many other places to place this facility. The picture below shows the church as restored.

Left: The gilded interior of the Chapel before the Second World War. This view shows the open door of the ikonostasis.

Next photograph: In the Great Morskaya

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