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Voronezh Oblast , Ramon

The Palace of the Dukes of Oldenburg

In 1879 the emperor Alexander II made a gift to his relative, Her Highness Princess, Eugenia Maximilianovna Romanovskaya, the duchess of Leuchtenberg (on her husband's side — the princess of Oldenburg) — for her wedding. It was an estate in Ramon village, Voronezh guberniya (province). In 1883 the architect Christopher Neisler created a design for the palace for the newlywed couple and the construction work began. The meter-thick walls took three years to build, and by 1887 the interior decorations were finished.

The palace is built in the Old English style. Gates and a tower with a built-in clock (by the Swiss company Winter) stood across from the manor house. The princess busied herself managing the life of the village. She was the first in Russia to build a steam-powered candy factory (the Steam Factory of Candy and Chocolate), while later become the Voronezh Confectionery. The factory's products were famous around the world and won many awards at international fairs.

Later a water tower was built and the palace enjoyed a hot and cold water pipeline. Next to the tower there were two houses for the servants of the princess. The princess established a scholarship fund, which supported the construction of a canteen and local hospital, as well as a railway.  The flow of new peasants to the village never stopped. As a result Ramon started to grow and turned into a properous village. In 1901, 33-year-old Peter, the son of Eugenia and Alexander of Oldenburg, married 19-year-old Olga, the sister of the emperor Nicholas II. A villa named Cozy was built next to the palace as a wedding gift. However, Olga didn't like the gift and a neighboring estate was purchased for the newlyweds. Later it received the name of Olgino.

After the October Revolution the owner of the house had to move to France and then to Toronto, Canada. A manager named Koch bankrupted the estate.  After the revolution, it was turned successively into a barrack, a school, a hospital, a plant office, etc. A legend says that during WWII, the German army refused to bomb the palace when they learned that its owners were of German origin. Leaflets were issued: «We will not bomb the palace».

Now there are organized tours around the palace complex. The first floor of the palace and an exhibition in the Svitskoye building are open to the public.

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Address: Voronezh oblast, Ramonskiy district, Ramon village

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