A commemorative plaque to Palladius, Metropolitan Bishop of St Petersburg and Ladoga, who crowned Tsar Nicholas II in 1896, was unveiled and consecrated on 16 September in Peshelan, the village where he was born (1827), in the district of Nizhny Novgorod region.
The granite memorial plaque was established thanks to the efforts of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society at the local Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.
The rector of the Ascension Monastery of the Caves, Archimandrite Tikhon (Zatyokin), consecrated the memorial plaque.
Throughout his active life, His Eminence Palladius zealously served Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church. The most expressive qualities of his soul were his boundless kindness, always benevolent and willingness to any service, his undying love, mercy and compassion for the underprivileged. In 1894, Metropolitan Palladius was made an honourary Member of St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
He took part in the coronation ceremonies of Emperor Alexander III in 1883, and on 14 May, 1896, His Eminence Palladius was honoured to lead the Sacred Crowning of Their Imperial Majesties, the Emperor Nicholas II and the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.
Metropolitan Pallady reposed on December 17, 1898 in St. Petersburg. He was buried at St. Isidor Church of Alexander Nevsky Lavra. In 1932, his relics were moved to Nikolskoe cemetery at the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. In 1988, a cross was placed on his grave.
Today, marks the 40th anniversary of the demolition of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg. An unremarkable house (typical of pre-revolutionary Ekaterinburg), in 1918 became a tragic symbol of 20th century Russian history.
The event was marked on 19th September, with the opening of the exhibition Ipatiev House: From Destruction to Repentance, which opened at the Tsar Spiritual and Enlightenment Center in Ekaterinburg.
Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill led the opening ceremony, noting that the “destruction of the Ipatiev House became a symbol of the destruction of all Russian history.”
The exhibition presents more than 120 exhibits - including items retrieved from the Ipatiev House before its destruction, archival materials, and photographs dating from the early 20th century to 1977. The exhibition is a joint project of the Tsar Spiritual and Enlightenment Center, the State Archives of the Sverdlovsk Region, the Documentation Center for Social Organizations of the Sverdlovsk Region, the MomArt Foundation, and the private collection of Vitaly Shitov.
In 1974 the Ipatiev House was formally listed as a Historical-Revolutionary Monument. But, to the embarrassment of the government, it was steadily becoming a place of pilgrimage for those who wished to honour the memory of the imperial family. Orthodox Christians and monarchists would come - in growing numbers each year - on the night of 16/17 July to light candles and say prayers. Agents of the State Security Commission reported to authorites their sympathies as "painful interest" and qualified as "anti-Soviet demonstrations".
The proposal to demolish the house was made in 1975 by KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov. A secret resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU of 4 August, ordered the demolition of the Ipatiev House, due to the fact that it was "attracting the attention of the foreign press". Andropov's proposal was adopted unanimously. The decision of the Politburo "On the demolition of the Ipatiev House in Sverdlovsk" was signed by Second Secretary Mikhail Suslov , since Brezhnev was on vacation in the Crimea.
It was not until two years later, however, that the Politburo in Moscow ordered its destruction. The task was passed to Boris Yeltsin, the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU. Demolition of building began on 22 September, 1977, and took two days to complete. Yeltsin later wrote in his memoirs, published in 1990, that "sooner or later we will be ashamed of this piece of barbarism."
The exhibition Ipatiev House: From Destruction to Repentance, runs until 19th November, 2017 in the Tsar Spiritual and Enlightenment Center, situated in the Patriarchal Compound of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg.
The photos below show some of the 120 items on display at the exhibit, many of them retrieved
One of the honoured guests at the opening ceremony was Vitaly Vasilievich Shitov, author of the pictorial history The Ipatiev House: Chronicle in Documents and Photographs 1877-1977. This Russian language title is the most comprehensive study on the history of the Ipatiev House, featuring 720 pages, with 1032 photographs and documents. Published in 2013, only 500 copies were published.
Shitov is a well-known Urals historian, photojournalist, and graduate of the Faculty of Journalism of the Ulyanovsk State University.
Vitaly Shitov was the only journalist and photographer who managed to capture the historic demolition of the Ipatiev House, using a hidden camera. His exclusive photo report about the demolition of the Ipatiev House was published only in 1990 during perestroika. It was a sensation! After the "discovery" of the archives, Shitov began a study in detail about the tragedy, one that would span many years.
The Evacuation of Palace and Museum Treasures in Autumn 1917 Topic: Winter Palace
The Main (Terebenev) Staircase of the New Hermitage
On 15 September 2017, the pinpoint exhibition The Evacuation of Palace and Museum Treasures in Autumn 1917 opened on the landing of the Main (Terebenev) Staircase of the New Hermitage.
On 25 August 1917, due to the threat of the city being bombed by the German forces, the Provisional Government adopted a resolution “on the decongestion of Petrograd and its region”. This referred to the evacuation of government institutions, which included the Winter Palace and the Hermitage.
That same day, at a meeting of the General Assembly of the Hermitage, Count Dmitry Ivanovich Tolstoi, the museum’s director, spoke about the serious danger of Zeppelin bombing raids and the threat of the museum being plundered by the Germans or the common rabble. Fearing for the collections, the staff had begun to pack up the most valuable part of the stocks even before the government decree on evacuation that was published on 1 September. The minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly indicate that by 25 August, they had “650 crates packed and ready for dispatch”.
The crown jewels, symbols of imperial power kept in the Winter Palace, books of genealogy and precious objects from the Treasure Gallery had already gone off to Moscow in August 1914, immediately after the outbreak of the First World War, and they were being stored in the Armoury Chamber in the Kremlin. Now the imperial thrones and palace silver were to be removed from the residence. The custodian of the property of the Winter Palace, Nikolai Nikolayevich Dementyev, took charge of preparing the valuables there for dispatch. The selection of the items was carried out in conjunction with the Art Commission. The overall supervision of the evacuation was entrusted to Prince Sergei Vladimirovich Gagarin, acting head of the chancellery of the former Ministry of the Court, and Prince Ivan Dmitriyevich Ratiyev, deputy head of the Petrograd Palace Administration. The preparations to remove the valuables were not made public and all the letters that arrived in the Hermitage with Prince Gagarin’s signature were marked “Secret”.
The first consignment of crates was sent on a “special train” on 15 September 1917. The Hermitage items were accompanied by the senior curator, State Councillor Yakov Ivanovich Smirnov, and the head of the library, State Councillor Stepan Artemyevich Gamalov-Churayev. The pair did not manage to get back to Petrograd before the next consignment was due to leave. Ahead lay the packing of paintings, sculptures, the most valuable part of the numismatic collection and rare books. That was a difficult task considering the shortage of working hands and packing materials. Nevertheless, on 7 October a second train left from the Novovoinskaya platform of the goods station on the Nikolayevsky Railway and arrived safely in Moscow. All the valuables were received by the Moscow Palace Administration and placed for safekeeping in the Armoury Chamber and the History Museum.
The dispatch of a third train was scheduled for 25 October 1917. On that day the storming of the Winter Palace began. The train did not leave the city.
This small display is part of the forthcoming exhibition The Winter Palace and Hermitage in 1917, which will open on 25 October 2017.
The Head of the Department of Archives of the Sverdlovsk Region Alexander Kapustin, has proposed a reconstruction of the Ipatiev House as a monument to the fate of Russia's last emperor Nicholas II and his family.
Kaputsin made the announcement on September 19th, during the opening of the exhibition Ipatiev House: From Destruction to Repentance, in the Tsar Spiritual and Enlightenment Center in Ekaterinburg.
Kaputsin noted that all the original drawings and photographs of the destroyed facade and interiors of the house have been preserved in the archives.
He also noted that during the demolition of the building in September 1977, measurements of the building and its rooms were taken, and preserved in the archives. A reconstruction would be an exact copy of the original. The new Ipatiev House would house a museum dedicated to the final days of the Imperial family during their house arrest, and the events leading up to their murders on the night of 16/17 July 1918. The museum would also offer temporary exhibits dedicated to the events of Russia’s national history.
Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill noted that the “destruction of the Ipatiev House became a symbol of the destruction of all Russian history.”
From a historical perspective, it is an interesting proposal. Where exactly would the new Ipatiev House be located is still unknown. The Diocese promised to clarify this at a later date.
The Ekaterinburg news agency 66.RU polled its readers with the following question:
"Is it necessary to reconstruct the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg again?"
88% - NO / 12% -YES
September 22nd marks the 40th anniversary of the demolition of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg.
The proposal to demolish the house was made by KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov in August 1975, however it was not until two years later that the Politburo in Moscow ordered its destruction. They passed the dirty deed to Boris Yeltsin, who served as chairman of the local party. The destruction of the building took two days.
Vandalized Monument of Nicholas II Reconsecrated in Novosibirsk Topic: Nicholas II
Monument to Emperor Nicholas II and Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich in Novosibirsk
This article was originally published by Pravoslavie.ru on 18 September 2017
The rector of the Novosibirsk St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Archpriest Alexander Novopashin, re-consecrated a monument to Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and Tsarevich Alexei on Friday, restored after it was damaged by vandals, reports the Novosibirsk Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The priest called on all Christians who were present at the consecration of the monument to pray to the holy martyrs that they would forgive the people’s callousness, negligence, rigidity in sins, and unwillingness to be corrected, that they were unable to protect the monument from the desecration of vandals.
The monument to the Royal Martyrs was initially consecrated on July 16 this year by Metropolitan Tikhon of Novosibirsk and Berdsk. The monument was attacked less than two weeks later when a 31-year-old Novosibirsk man placed a ladder against the newly-consecrated monument, and, having climbed up it, dealt several blows with an axe. Security officers happened to pass by at the time and were able to detain the vandal and hand him over to the police. Motive and cost of damages are yet to be established.
Specifically, the head of the tsarevich was damaged, while the statue of the tsar was not.
“You remember what was written on the banner that until recently hung over the south door of the cathedral: ‘Forgive us, Your Majesty!’” Fr. Alexander said, addressing the flock. “It’s not just a beautiful phrase. It’s a prayer of deep repentance, but repentance should be confirmed not only by a broken spirit, but by outward acts. As in the 90s we restored churches destroyed by the Bolsheviks, so today we are restoring what they have destroyed more recently. This is one of the forms of our repentance,” the priest continued.
“The tsar’s murder was not some political assassination. By that time the emperor had no political power. But he remained anointed of God, the center of spiritual power in the country, and therefore to spiritually decapitate Russia, the Bolsheviks killed him and his entire family. It was a blow to the soul of the Russian people,” Fr. Alexander emphasized.
The cathedral rector also emphasized that Tsar Nicholas is a role model for all Christians. His deep humility before the executioners, his patience, bravery, strength, and his enduring state in faith are Christian qualities that were the reasons for his canonization.
“Grant us, O our Lord Jesus Christ, by the prayers of the holy Royal Passion-bearers, a clear mind, a strong faith, and love for our history, our Fatherland, and our fellow man!” Fr. Alexander concluded.
After the consecration, Fr. Alexander received an email greeting and congratulations from Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria, which is deeply symbolic as the king of Bulgaria is a relative of Tsar Nicholas II.
Click here to read an article about the unveiling and consecration of this monument on 17 July 2017, and here to read an article about vandals attacking the monument on 1 August 2017.
Sergei Mironenko, Scientific Director of the State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF) made the following statement last week with regard to the controversial film ‘Mathilda’: “I am deeply disgusted with all this, to be honest. I did not see the movie, but I did read the script. The script is an outstanding work, however, with a minus sign.”
During an interview with the radio station Ekho Moskvy, Mironenko noted: "Alexandra Feodorovna was a shy woman who blushed easily, and loved her family, yet in the film she is seen lifting her skirt in one of scene and says: ‘Nicky, Nicky, look at my legs.’ “I do not know if this scene went into the film or not," he added.
Other scenes from the script of the film were also criticized by the historian, which, he said, are absurd from the point of view of historical science: "the film suggests that Alexander III and Maria Feodorovna (Nicholas II’s parents) chose ballerinas from the Mariinsky Theater in St Petersburg for a mistress for ‘Nicky’, which of course could not be in principle, it was absolutely impossible" - he said.
The Scientific Director of the State Archives of the Russian Federation emphasized that all the assumptions which the film make about the continuation of a romantic relationship between the heir and the ballerina after his wedding with Alexandra Feodorovna “have no basis”.
"It is known that after Nicholas II married Alexandra Feodorovna, he abandoned his hobbies, he was in love with ’Alix’, devoting all his time to her. Read their letters. Read the diaries of Alexandra Feodorovna. Their correspondence is the truth, it is not necessary to invent anything", - stressed Mironenko.
Sergei Mironenko served as Director of State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF) from 1992-2016, and remains its Scientific Director to this day. With access to the Romanov Archives, Mironenko is considered a leading expert and authority on the life and reign of Russia’s last tsar. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, he has written articles and essays on the subject, organized exhibitions, and participated in conferences, televised interviews, and discussions.
This Week in the News - The Romanovs and Imperial Russia Topic: News
Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky
The release of the controversial film 'Mathilda' next month, has has drawn the ire of monarchists and conservative Russian Orthodox activists. In recent weeks, an escalation of threats and violence against the director, the film company and cinemas across Russia. Their actions have prompted harsh criticism from such prominent figures as Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations Metropolitan Ilarion of Volokolamsk, and Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye.
On a personal note, I wholeheartedly agree with Metropolitan Ilarion, who says he is against the restoration of censorship, but at the same time is opposed to attempts at insulting the memory of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, who was murdered by the Bolsheviks.
"I do hope that during the year that marks the 100th anniversary of the tragic events that directors, authors and painters will be able to pay a worthy tribute to the memory of the slain monarch," Ilarion added - PG
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This Week in the News is a new feature on my Royal Russia News blog. It includes a link and brief summary to a full-length article published in the past week from a variety of English language media sources.
This new initiative is a courtesy to those who do not have a Facebook account, or for some reason cannot view the Royal Russia Facebook page - now, with more than 117,000 followers from around the world!
Royal Russia is pleased to offer our dedicated followers with the following full-length articles, on a variety of topics covering the Romanov dynasty, their legacy, monarchy, and the history of Imperial and Holy Russia, for the week ending 16 September 2017:
In the course of the examination of the “Ekaterinburg remains,” believed by many to belong to Tsar Nicholas II and his holy family, Russian researchers have identified similar features on the skulls of Tsar Alexander III and that presumably belonging to Tsar Nicholas II, Denis Pezhemskii, a member of the patriarchal commission for the study of the remains and biology kandidat and anthropology expert, stated in an interview with pravoslavie.ru.
Mikhail Romanov, the first monarch of the dynasty that ruled Russia for more than 300 years, was not your typical tsar. He was delicate, kind and relied much on the support of a national assembly composed of members from every segment of society. All this contributed to the success of his reign. Alexey Timofeychev writes in RBTH.
September 8 (August 28, O. S.), 2017, marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia (Her Imperial and Royal Highness Princess Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, de jure Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia)—the aunt of the current Head of the Russian Imperial House, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia.
Catherine I was an unusual Russian empress. She was a foreigner and did not know how to write in Russian. She was of common origin and made her way to the throne as a war trophy. And yet, Peter the Great remained with her for more than two decades and bequeathed her an empire. At the time, some people explained her rise to the top as the result of her flirtation with black magic. Alexey Timofeychev reports in RBTH.
Alexey Timofeychev selected five places that witnessed quirky, pioneering and captivating moments in Moscow’s rich history. Among the heroes of these stories are the son of an 18th century industrialist and mining magnate, a tea merchant, the first Romanov tsar, Stanislavsky and Pasternak.
After the 1917 October Revolution many ancient buildings were destroyed, transforming the appearance of the Russian capital. While some sites were rebuilt after the fall of the Soviet Union, unfortunately, some never were. Ksenia Zubacheva reports in RBTH.
Moscow’s second best-known cathedral took 66 years to build, has seen three political regimes, was demolished and then rebuilt. On the 200th anniversary of its foundation, Nikolay Shevchenko presents a brief history of the grand Christ the Savior Cathedral in RBTH.
Very disappointing news on the issue regarding the removal of Lenin's corpse from Red Square The Russian government has not supported the bill on the burial of revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin, as reported in the conclusion of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Thousands of monarchists and conservative Russian Orthodox activists march in St Petersburg against the movie Matilda
The chief of the Moscow Patriarchate’s external relations department, Metropolitan Ilarion, of Volokolamsk, has said the controversy over the film Matilda reminds him of the rows over the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose staff in 2015 fell victim to a terrorist attack after publishing caricature images of the Prophet Muhammad.
Hilarion Alfeyev is a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church. At present he is the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow. He is also a noted theologian, church historian and composer and has published books on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history as well as numerous compositions for choir and orchestra.
Until recently the ministry has been trying not to meddle in the scandal around the film, but recent violent events forced it to make certain comments, Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky said on Wednesday.
"Any intentions of 'initiators' on the ground to ban the screenings, any attempts of pressure against private or municipal cinemas are pure lawlessness and censorship, which is directly against the Russian Constitution," Medinsky told TASS.
Two knives from the Neo-Gothic Fabergé silver service found in Poland
A Polish scientist claims that he has found two knives produced by Peter Carl Faberge, which were considered to be lost. The knives from the Neo-Gothic Fabergé silver service were commissioned by Alexander and Barbara Kelch in the late 19th to early 20th centuries.
Alexander Ferdinandovich Kelch was a Russian nobleman who lived in St Petersburg at the end of the nineteenth century. He is now known mainly as a patron of Fabergé, and according to archived documents, the family owned the second largest collection of Faberge in Russia. Kelch commissioned seven eggs for his wife Barbara. Two of these eggs - the Kelch Hen Egg (1898) and Chanticleer Egg (1904) - are on permanent display in the Fabergé Museum in St Petersburg.
The knives were a part of larger collection. They were made in the Neo-Gothic style very untypical of Fabergé and decorated with dragons and gryphons. The fate of these unique pieces of art was lost after the Great October Revolution of 1917. The researchers of Fabergé heritage agree that the set of knives’ is one of the most prominent masterpieces of the great master.
The silver service collection was created specially for the Kelch mansion in the Neo-Gothic style under construction at 28 Sergeievskaia, in St Petersburg. According to archival documents, the silver tableware ordered by the Kelch’s was designed to match the decor of the dining room with its style and decoration.
The Kelch service was made in a Moscow branch of the Fabergé firm. Alexander paid the astounding sum of 125,000 rubles for the Kelch service. For comparison, both of the Kelch eggs ordered in 1900 cost only 13,500 rubles.
Click here for more information on the Neo-Gothic Fabergé silver service + additional photographs and VIDEO,compiled by Dr. Adam Szymanski, Polish art historian specializing in Russian art and Fabergé
The Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve have released some new photographs of the restoration of the church in the Catherine Palace. The restoration has been possible with the financial assistance of Russian natural gas producer and distributor Gazprom.
The Church of the Resurrection is the architectural masterpiece of the 18th century architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The Palace Church of the Resurrection was consecrated on July 30, 1856. Over the years, the church was restored twice after fires in 1820 and 1863. During the Great Patriotic War, the church was severely affected by Nazi shelling and looting.
The restoration work is being carried out by specialists of the Tsarskoselskaya Amber Workshop, and is expected to be completed by December 2018, and is scheduled to open to visitors in early 2019.
Click here to read more about the restoration of the Church of the Resurrection in the Catherine Palace, and here for a current video (in Russian).
Feodorovsky Gorodok, situated near the Alexander Park in Tsarskoye Selo, will at long last be restored. The project, which was announced last week will include a hotel for very important guests, including foreign delegations. The new project will also house the patriarch's apartments and apartments for the members of the Synod, as well as the creation of a pond with a bridge and a house for waterfowl in a landscaped park.
The history of the Feodorovsky Gorodok began in 1905, when the family of Emperor Nicholas II decided to move from the Winter Palace in St Petersburg to the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. Nicholas II ordered the construction of an ensemble of buildings in the Neo-Russian style, which included a railway station of the imperial branch linking St Petersburg - Tsarskoye Selo - Pavlovsk.
Next came the barracks of His Imperial Majesty’s Private Escort, constructed on the lime avenue which led to the Imperial residence. A little later the Feodorovsky Sovereign Cathedral was built near the palace pond. The Emperor personally laid the foundation stone, and later attended the consecration with his family in 1912.
Opposite the cathedral, whose restoration is now coming to an end, it was decided to build a town for the clergy, named Fedorov. Resembling a mini Kremlin, built in the Neo-Russian style, it was the last pre-revolutionary attempt to strengthen Russian statehood as a national idea. It became a masterpiece of atypical architecture for classical Petersburg.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Feodorovsky Gorodok complex was transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate. Due to lack of funding, restoration efforts were met with constant delays, which left the complex in a dilapidated state. In 2001, the architectural ensemble was registered as a monument of Russian cultural heritage, and protected by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.
Artist concept of the Feodorosky Gorodok after restoration
The restoration and reconstruction will not be financed by the Russian Orthodox Church, but by the management division of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, it’s current owner.
Fedorovsky Gorodok is located on Akademyecheskii Prospekt, and consists of seven buildings. The complex was built in 1913-1916 by the architect Stepan Krichinsky in the Neo-Russian style, approved personally by Nicholas II. During the First World War, an infirmary was located in the Gorodok. It was here that the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, along with her daughters administered care for wounded Russian soldiers.
The management division of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation are now engaged in the restoration of the historic complex of buildings. The project's plans were developed by the E. Yu. Merkuryeva Architectural Workshop LLC, a firm whose previous projects include the restoration of the Konstantin Palace (Strelna), and the Senate and Synod building (St Petersburg), which today house the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library and the Constitutional Court.
The patriarch's quarters will be housed in the Rose Chamber, while apartments for the nine permanent members of the Synod will be housed in the Belaya (White) Chamber. The project provides for the restoration of the historical appearance of the facades and interiors of all seven buildings, including the restoration of paintings and tiles, as well as landscaping and development of a park for guests.
Project developers note that the newly restored Feodorovsky Gorodok should be complete by the autumn of 2019.
The Feodorovsky Gorodok is currently in a state of terrible neglect and disrepair
Click here to review more articles and photographs (including beautiful aerial views) of the Feodorovsky Gorodok at Tsarskoye Selo.