Gala Parade Halls - Marble - Mountain Hall
The Mountain Hall received its name during the reign of Nicholas I when a great slide was installed in this hall which took up about half the room. In Russia slides are called ‘Mountains’ - hence the hall’s name. Prior to the installation of the slide, which effectively obscured most of the room, the Mountain Hall room was one of the loveliest rooms in the palace. Its walls were encrusted with artificial marble of exquisite color and delicate veining, which gave the room a cold, glassy luster.
For children the slide would have been, of course, the most interesting object in the hall. It was ordered for the children of Nicholas I. His family spent long periods of time here. He had a large family and a large part of the palace was given over to family activities. This continued to be true in the reign of his son, Alexander II, who shared his father’s love of the palace and who also had a large family. The slide was used right up until the revolution by generations of Romanov children and was used by little Aleksey and his friends until the family’s exile to Siberia in August 1917.