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Thursday, 24 July 2014
Exhibition: For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland Opens in Saint-Petersburg
Topic: Exhibitions

On July 25th, the Museum of the History of Religion in St. Petersburg opens a major exhibition For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland, timed to the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War - one of the largest armed conflict in the history of mankind. More than 120 unique monuments of the museum's collection will reveal hitherto unknown page of military history - the activity of "spiritual front" in force in all European armies in the early XX century.

The exposition contains authentic items belonged to soldiers and officers of Entente - military-political bloc of Russia, Britain and France - and the Triple Alliance (German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires) as well as unique in its iconography icons, paintings, sculptures and graphics (posters, postcards, flyers), military medals, military uniforms, photographs from the museum collection.

The unconventional solution of the exhibition space illustrates not military, but ideological and spiritual confrontation between the two military-political blocs, held both at the front and in the rear, as well as the role of the clergy of the Russian military in maintaining the spirit of the army.

One of the sections of the exhibition is devoted to military clergy – a part of the Russian clergy involved in the pastoral care of servicemen of different arms of the Russian Empire. Martial and spiritual feats of Russian priests are depicted in a number of paintings and graphic works of 1910s ("A Christmas Prayer for the position", "Prayer at the battery box", "Feat Russian priest", etc.). The exhibition is also complemented with documents showing awarding orders chaplains, and photos.

A special section of the exhibition features memorial icons with inscriptions on the back.

A semantic center and the completion of the exhibition will be the jewel of the museum's collection - a makeshift church of His Imperial Majesty of Consolidated Infantry Regiment (late XIX – early XX centuries) with a set of unique items, including details of military priest vestments and church furnishings, including - the original candlestick made of bayonets to the rifle No. 2.
The exhibition For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland runs until September 18th, 2014 at the Museum of Religion in St. Petersburg. 
© Yeltsin Presidential Library. 24 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:03 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014 7:13 PM EDT
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Exhibition : A Royal Passion for Art. William II of the Netherlands and Anna Pavlovna
Topic: Exhibitions

Marriage Portrait of William and Anna Pavlovna as a royal couple, 1816. Artist: Jan Willem Pieneman  
The exhibition : A Royal Passion for Art. William II of the Netherlands and Anna Pavlovna has opened at the  Musée d’Art de la Ville in Luxembourg. The exhibition runs until October 12th, 2014.
William II (1792-1849) was both King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxembourg, as a result of the personal union linking the two countries. He reigned from 1840 and was a true “Art King”. Together with his wife, tsarevna Anna Pavlovna (1795-1865), he amassed an outstanding art collection, which after his death was auctioned and scattered all around the world.

Masterpieces from this prestigious ensemble are being shown in three successive locations, all of which have a connection to the history of the royal couple and their art collection: the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the home city of Anna Pavlovna, where a significant part of the royal collection ended up, the Dordrechts Museum in the Netherlands and Villa Vauban in Luxembourg, a country that was formerly part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and home to one of the collectors who acquired works from the royal collection.

The exhibition brings together different artworks stemming from the collection, including 16th- and 17th-century Flemish and Dutch painting (amongst others Quentin Massys, Jan Gossaert, Bernard van Orley, Rembrandt workshop, Jan Steen, Peter Paul Rubens), Italian Renaissance and Baroque art (amongst others Francesco Melzi, Agnolo Bronzino, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Spanish Baroque (Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Velazquez workshop) and 19th-century romantic painting.

Tragic end to an art collection

Shortly after the death of William II, it was revealed that the royal collection was heavily burdened by debt. Immediately prior to his death, the king had received a secret loan of more than one million guilders from his brother-in-law, Tsar Nicholas I. The art collection acted as guarantee. Upon William’s death, his brother, Prince Frederick, decided to sell the collection. The auction took place in 1850 and attracted important art collectors from all over Europe, among them the Luxembourg-French banker Jean-Pierre Pescatore, as well as various museums. The largest art collection of the Netherlands was thus dispersed, with parts of it ending up in museums throughout the world.

House of Orange and the Romanovs

A further focus of the exhibition is the royal couple William and Anna. Through William’s marriage in 1816 to Anna Pavlovna, the House of Orange became linked to the Russian dynasty of the Romanovs. Anna was the daughter of Tsar Paul I and the sister of his successors Alexander I and Nicholas I. Drawn from the Dutch Royal Collections in The Hague, the exhibition showcases official portraits, precious wedding gifts, several ornate pieces of furniture from various royal residences and richly decorated private objects that once belonged to William and Anna. The young princess and later queen brought a magnificent dowry with her and ensured that the Calvinist kingdom acquired some of the splendour of the tsarist court, in the form of opulent interiors and a “glamorous” court life. William II had a neo-Gothic hall designed and erected to house his art collection on the grounds of his Kneuterdijk Palace in The Hague.

The exhibition “A Royal Passion for Art” offers visitors a fascinating insight into the life and passions of a 19th-century European royal couple, which left their mark well beyond the boundaries of their territories, not least due to their commitment to art.

The exhibition is a cooperation between the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the Dordrechts Museum, the Royal Collection of the Netherlands in The Hague and the Villa Vauban – Luxembourg City Art Museum. 
© Musée d’Art de la Ville Luxembourg. 24 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:44 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014 6:53 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Follow Royal Russia on Facebook
Topic: Royal Russia


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:31 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 23 July 2014 6:19 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Tsarskoye Selo Hosts Imperial Porcelain Exhibit
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo

A new exhibit Imperial Porcelain. The Binding Thread, will premiere on July 23rd  in the Grotto Pavilion located in the Catherine Park at Tsarskoye Selo. The exhibit coincides with the 270th anniversary of the Imperial Porcelain Factory.

Exhibition organizers are heralding the exhibit as a unique opportunity to trace the history of the St. Petersburg school of porcelain art. The event will showcase approximately 200 works, including a number of rare porcelain pieces from the Imperial Porcelain Factory (still in operation) and from the storage rooms of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum. The collection from the latter presents Russian, Western European and Far Eastern porcelain, the formation of a collection which is inextricably linked with the history of three centuries of the imperial residence.

Tsarskoye Selo was the venue for important state receptions for nearly two centuries, hosting formal dinners, balls and masquerades. The summer residence was also a favourite of the imperial family, where they found peace and solitude. The palace interiors were decorated with splendid vases of various shapes and sizes, with moulded handles, and unique pieces of porcelain depicting the famous paintings by European masters from the Imperial Porcelain Factory (IPE), who worked exclusively for the needs of the Imperial Court.

The exhibition Imperial Porcelain. The Binding Thread, runs until September 30, 2014 at the Grotto Pavilion (above) located in the Catherine Park at Tsarskoye Selo. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 22 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:59 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 22 July 2014 9:03 AM EDT
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Monday, 21 July 2014
Gatchina: From the Imperial Age to Today
Topic: Gatchina

Gatchina Palace served as a favorite residence of Emperors Paul I and Alexander III
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the July 20th, 2014 edition of Russia Beyond the Headlines. The author Veronika Prokhorova, owns the copyright presented below.

Gatchina is one of the most beautiful and enigmatic suburbs of St. Petersburg. It was the favorite residence of Emperors Paul I and Alexander III. Gatchina is also considered the birthplace of the Russian military air force, and it is here that the Maltese Order met

Gatchina’s history dates back to the start of the eighteenth century, when Tsar Peter I decreed the construction of an estate that he gifted to his favorite sister, Natalia Alekseevna. After the death of the Tsar, the estate was repeatedly passed from one owner to another until it was acquired by Empress Catherine II -- she complained about the estate to her favorite count Grigory Orlov, who then commenced active construction at Gatchina. After the death of Count Orlov, Gatchina became the residence of Paul I, who lived there for 18 years and granted Gatchina city status and its own coat of arms. Later the city came under the ownership of Maria Feodorovna, then Nicholas I, Alexander I, Alexander II and Nicholas II.

Gatchina is known for its palace and park. The royal palace is like a secluded castle, rising over the peaceful waters. One of the oldest buildings of the park, established under the first owner of Gatchina, Grigory Orlov, is the Eagle Pavilion, allegedly sponsored by V. Brenna. The pavilion is a circular temple -- the rotunda is 9.5 meters tall. It features a semicircular colonnade of ten Tuscan columns with a semi-dome roof decorated with coffers and seashells. Its stairs consist of three steps leading to a stylobate made of pure ashlar stone. The colonnade is crowned with an eagle, carved out of white marble, holding a shield with Paul I’s monogram.

One of the most romantic spots in the Palace Park is the Humped Bridge, which spans the Long Island across the channel that links the Silver and White lakes. The Humped Bridge consists of three main parts -- two strong abutments and a steep arch span.

The main building of the ensemble is the Palace of Paul (or Gatchina Palace). It was originally built by the architect Rinaldi for Catherine’s favorite, Count Orlov. Rinaldi designed a magnificent castle on the hill in front of Silver Lake. The three-story main building is decorated at the sides with high pentahedral towers, while two galleries withdraw to auxiliary wings their own closed courtyards -- the Arsenal and Kitchen wings. A collection of Italian paintings, assembled by the estate’s owners, is located on the top floor of the palace. Later Gatchina was passed on to Paul I, who invited the architect Vincenzo Brenna to reconstruct the palace.

The Menagerie occupies a large territory in the northern region of the Park and was intended for the court’s hunting. Part of the Menagerie is called Miracle Glade. It is now a specially protected nature territory, where rare plants grow.

The main road of Gatchina is 25th of October Prospect, which begins immediately upon entrance of Gatchina, behind a circular square, which is followed by district buildings. A planned development district, Hohlovo Fields, stretched from this area to the Orlov groves. Until the October Revolution, ladies-in-waiting and other palace folk lived in this area. After World War II a sanatorium kindergarten was located here. There is also a cemetery of German soldiers and not far from the kindergarten were concentration camps, in which many Soviet prisoners of war were killed during the war. At the turn of the fifties and sixties construction began on a residential town for employees of the Leningrad Institute of Nuclear Physics. Later the streets of Hoholovo were taken over, the fragile houses with sheds were removed and brick houses were built in their place.

The Priory Palace, situated in the park at Gatchina was built during the reign of Emperor Paul I
Next go to Sobornaya Street, and if you walk towards the center, the majestic Cathedral of St. Paul, with its sky blue domes, will rise in front of you. A few years before World War II the congregation was dissolved and the church building was reconstructed under the Culture House with a cinema. During the war, church services were reinstated and were used to hide wounded officers of the Soviet army from the Germans.

The Gatchina “Arbat” begins behind the church. Previously a market was located in this area, but now there are stores, cafes, and restaurants, as well as a small shopping center nearby. A “Cloth Factory” building is also located in front of the former market square. It has had that name since Paul I situated skilled seamstresses, who made Prussian-model uniforms out of red and green cloth for his soldiers.

An old, stone, two-story building in an eclectic style is located on Krasnaya Street. Long corridors and identical doors can be found inside the building. Before and during the war, this was a prison. It is said that in Gatchina there were many prisons with solitary confinement, in which it was only possible to sit on one’s haunches, which was thus called “glass.” Old residents say that the Germans were equipped with this “convenience.”

The grand, dark-red brick St. Basil’s Cathedral can be found to the right of the market. The cathedral was consecrated in 1914, and soon after World War I began. The cathedral was left at such and not plastered. During Soviet times the cathedral housed a warehouse and only resumed service at the end of the eighties.

The Warsaw Station is also notable in Gatchina. In 2013 the 160th anniversary of the arrival of the first railroad in Gatchina was celebrated. The modern Warsaw Station is a post-war building built in the strict and sparse style in pale-yellow. Before the war, the building was adorned with colored bricks and consisted of a long hall with arched windows and doors; the covered platform adjoined the building via stalls.

Another attraction of Gatchina, built at the very end of the eighteenth century under the orders of Paul I, is the Priory Palace and its landscaped park, built on a swamp on the shore of the Black Lake. The palace is surprising because, with the exception of its tall tower and socle, it is made of pure sifted earth, moistened with solution, and closely packed into form. This unique technique was used by the architect N.A. Lvov.

The palace was intended to serve for only 20 years, but it has stood for three centuries, a feat that could well be listed in the Guinness Book of Records. It owes its name to the Maltese Order, of which Paul I was a patron. The palace was constructed as a residence for the Prior -- one of the chief dignitaries of the Order, a French émigré, Prince de Conde. Conde never came to Gatchina, and the castle was instead used by the Russian Maltese Order for meetings.

Many streets in Gatchina are named for Russian and Soviet pilots, which is not surprising, since Gatchina is renowned for housing the first Russian aviation school. In 1909, a region near Gatchina was designated for testing airplanes, and the first military airfield was established there. In autumn of the following year, training began in the Officer Aeronautical School, which at the start of World War I was reorganized as the Gatchina Higher Aviation School. Graduates of the school included the famous pilot Pyotr Nesterov, author of the “death loop” and the first air ram in battle, which resulted in his death. The first Russian female pilot, L.V Zvereva, also graduated from the Gatchina Higher Aviation School. In 2002, Gatchina opened the only museum of aviation engine history in Russia. 
© Veronika Prokhorova / Russia Beyond the Headlines. 21 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:26 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 21 July 2014 4:35 AM EDT
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The Legendary Journey of Peter the Great
Topic: Peter the Great

Peter the Great at Deptford Dockyard. Artist: Daniel Maclise, 1857
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the July 18th, 2014 edition of Russia Beyond the Headlines. The author Joe Crescente, owns the copyright presented below.

Peter the Great travelled to many different countries on his educational voyage in the last years of the 17th and elements of the European lifestyle: all of which went on to help shape modern Russia

Nicholas II was the first Russian Tsar to travel to the Far East and Siberia. However, the inspiration for educational trips for future heirs to the crown came from Peter the Great’s legendary European journey of 1697-1698.

Peter the Great was that rare autocrat that liked to lead by example. He viewed his trip to Europe as a journey of knowledge that would have the potential to positively impact the people.

From an early age Peter was fascinated by shipbuilding and sailing, and always had ambitions of making Russia a major maritime power. When Peter became the sole ruler of Russia in 1696, the Russian Empire had access to only one port, in the North Sea at Arkhangelsk. At the time the north Baltic Sea was controlled by Sweden, and the Black and Caspian Seas were commanded respectively by the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid dynasty, an early Persian state. After capturing the fortress of Azov from the Ottomans in July 1696, Peter was determined to gain further access to the Black Sea. But, he knew that at that moment Russia couldn’t take on the Ottoman Empire alone.

Thus, Peter came up with the idea of his Grand Embassy, a diplomatic mission with the goal of securing allied support against the Ottoman Empire. In particular this trip sought to strengthen the Holy League, a union of Christian empires that Pope Innocent XI had formed in 1684. Russia joined in 1686. Peter also sought to use this journey to acquire knowledge and technology and hire foreign specialists for service in Russia.

In 1697 Peter set off with a 250-person entourage on an 18-month journey. Officially the “Embassy” was headed by three of his closest advisers and Peter used a pseudonym throughout the trip, Pyotr Mikhailov, as he wished to be anonymous. Although Peter was the first Tsar to travel abroad, he was easily recognizable as he was more than two meters tall. Records from the time attest that few European leaders were fooled by the disguise.

The first leg of the trip was considered unsuccessful. He met with the heads of France and Austria. France was unwavering in its support for the Ottoman Sultan and the Austrian leader was mostly concerned with keeping things quiet to their east, so that they could pursue their objectives to the west. Europeans on the whole were largely uninterested in Peter’s ambitions.

From there, Peter moved on to the Netherlands, where he took on an apprenticeship as a shipbuilder in Zaandam (the house where he lived is now a museum: http:/ / For the Tsar, learning about naval technology was crucial to his objective of creating a truly modern navy, and Dutch sailing vessels were considered among the most advanced in the world at the time. The home where Peter stayed belonged to Gerrit Kist, a Dutch blacksmith that had worked for a stint in Moscow for the Tsar. Kist and the Tsar remained friends for life.

Peter’s visit to the Netherlands was the most influential of any country he visited. There, he acquired not just technical knowledge, but also learned about how Europeans lived. One notable technology that Peter discovered was the fire hose. This was especially important considering the prevalence of fires in 17th Moscow. He learned about the technology from its inventor, Jan van der Heyden. Afterwards he went to Amsterdam and with a little help from its mayor, Nicolaas Witsen (an expert on shipbuilding), Peter was able to put what he had learned in Zaandam to use by going to work at the largest shipbuilding yard in the world. He spent four months at the wharf, which was owned by the Dutch East India Company. In addition to acquiring vast maritime knowledge, Peter also set to work hiring skilled workers, sailors, and lock builders. But his biggest prize was probably luring Cornelis Cruys, a high-ranking official in the Dutch Navy, to come to Russia. There, he was appointed the vice-admiral for the Russian Navy and became the most influential adviser to the Tsar for maritime affairs for decades to come.

From Holland Peter moved on to England, where he met King William III and toured the cities of Oxford and Manchester, where he learned about city planning. He would put this knowledge to use several years later when he founded St. Petersburg. After England, Peter’s entourage collectively journeyed to the cities of Leipzig, Dresden, and Vienna, and met with August the Strong, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and Leopold I, the Holy Roman Emperor and a frequent antagonist of the Ottoman Empire.

Peter was forced to return early to Russia in 1698, as the Streltsy—armed Russian guard units—had rebelled. The uprising was crushed before Peter made it back from England.

Peter was very impressionable during his “Embassy” and came back convinced that certain European customs were superior to Russian ones. Peter announced upon his return that nobles had to cut their beards (or pay a tax) and wear European clothing. The calendar was changed to better align with the European one. The rest of Peter’s reign until his death in 1725 was marked by several victories over Sweden, which led to Russia’s status as the supreme power in northeastern Europe. While Russian troops engaged Ottoman forces on several occasions, no significant settlements were made. St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 and the country began to look west.

One of the first things that Peter did upon his return was to divorce his wife, Eudoxia Lopukhina. For Peter the Great it really was out with the “old” and in with the “new” after this life-changing journey. 
© Joe Crescente / Russia Beyond the Headlines. 21 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:13 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 21 July 2014 4:19 AM EDT
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Sunday, 20 July 2014
Help Keep the Memories of Old Russia Alive - Please Support Royal Russia
Topic: Royal Russia



© Royal Russia. 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:00 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 20 July 2014 10:49 AM EDT
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Saturday, 19 July 2014
A Russian Moment No 41 - The Yelagin Palace, St. Petersburg
Topic: A Russian Moment

The Yelagin Palace was built during the reign of Alexander I for his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (wife of Emperor Paul I)
This charming summer palace located on one of the islands in the north-west of St. Petersburg was commissioned in 1818 by Emperor Alexander I from the young architect, Carlo Rossi, who would go on to become the undisputed master of neo-classicism in the city. 

The land and the original palace had been bought for the Imperial Estates from the heirs of Ivan Yelagin, a historian, poet, and statesman in the reign of Catherine the Great. Alexander chose it as the site of a summer residence for his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna (wife of Emperor Paul I), who found the journey between the city and her permanent home at Pavlovsk too wearisome. Rossi was responsible not only for the design of the palace building, but also for the stables and kitchen building, the pavilion with a granite pier, the guardhouse, the music pavilion and for much of the interior decoration of the palace, which feature richly painted marble walls and intricately inlaid wooden doors. The palace was completed in 1826.

Sadly, the palace served as the summer residence of Maria Feodorovna for only two years. After Maria Feodorovna's death in 1828, the Yelagin Palace became the summer residence of her younger son, Nicholas Pavlovich (Emperor Nicholas I). The palace then remained deserted for long periods of time. Emperor Nicholas II leased it to his prime ministers such as Sergei Witte, Pyotr Stolypin, and Ivan Goremykin. 

After the Revolution, the palace was briefly turned into a museum by the Bolshevik government. The palace was badly damaged during the Siege of Leningrad, but fully restored in the 1950s based on photographs and the original blueprints and used as a resort for workers. Since 1987, the Yelagin Palace has been home to the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art and Interiors from the 18th-20th Centuries. Exhibitions are hosted on the second floor of the building, while the ground floor is devoted to Rossi's restored interiors. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:31 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 19 July 2014 8:39 AM EDT
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Anna Vyrubova's House at Tsarskoye Selo Hosts Rare Exhibition
Topic: Vyrubova, Anna

A rare exhibition opened last week in the former home of Anna Vyrubova at Tsarskoye Selo. The Anna Vyrubova - A History in Photographs opened on July 17th at Vyrubova’s home which is situated at No. 4 Ulitsa Srednya, near both the Catherine and Alexander Palace’s. According to the web site the exhibit will run until August 17th.

The exhibition is a joint venture prepared by the Department of Culture, the Pushkin District Administration of St. Petersburg, the St. Petersburg SBD Chamber Choir, and the Yale University Library in New York City (USA).

Anna Vyrubova (1884-1964), was a lady-in-waiting, friend and confidante of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Vyrubova purchased the house in 1907 and lived there up until 1917. It consisted of a dining room, a drawing room with an upright piano on which she played duets with the empress, and three bedrooms on the first floor. A telephone was installed in the Drawing Room with a direct line to the Alexander Palace nearby. 

It was here at “Anna’s little cottage” that she received and entertained Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, their children, as well as Grigorii Rasputin. 

Vyrubova  describes her little abode in her memoirs, Memories of the Russian Court, published in 1923: 

“. . . my little house in Tsarskoye Selo, its modest furnishings beautified by many gifts from the Empress. Among these gifts were some charming pictures and six exquisitely embroidered antique chairs. A silver-laden tea table helped to make the salon cozy, and I have many happy memories of intimate teas to which the Empress sent fruit and the Emperor the cherry brandy which he especially affected.

The little house, however, was far from being the luxurious palace in which I have often been pictured of living. As a matter of fact, it was frightfully cold in winter because the house had no stone foundation  but rested on the frozen earth. Sometimes when the Emperor and Empress came to tea we sat with our feet on the sofa to keep warm. Once the Emperor jokingly told me that after a visit to my house he kept himself from freezing only by going directly to a hot bath.”

Anna Vyrubova’s former home as it looks today. It is situated at No. 4 Ulitsa Srednya, near both the Catherine and Alexander Palace’s.
Every day hundreds of visitors to Tsarskoye Selo walk past it not realizing the history behind the famous house with a Romanov legacy.
A former owner of Vyrubova’s house was Tepper de Ferguson (1768-1838), a composer and music teacher from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum. In the early 1800s, he taught music to Grand Duchesses Helena, Maria, Ekaterina, and Anna, the younger sisters of the Emperor Alexander I. In 1811-1812, he gave music lessons to Elizabeth Alexeievna (Louise of Baden), the Consort of Alexander I. Other notable guests included a young Alexander Pushkin, who along with his schoolmates attended musical evening parties at de Ferguson’s home.

Anna Vyrubova was an avid photographer, a hobby she shared with all the members of the last Russian Imperial family. She escaped to Finland in 1920, taking with her six Romanov family photo albums, containing hundreds of pictures taken between 1907 and 1915. The albums are indeed a truly remarkable survival. Today, they are held at the Beinecke Library, Yale University in the United States. 

In recent years, the tiny lemon-yellow house on Ulitsa Srednya in Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) served as a wedding palace where the locals came to marry. Occasionally it hosts concerts, however, this is the first exhibition to my knowledge to be held in Anna Vyrubova’s former residence. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:02 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 21 July 2014 3:53 AM EDT
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Friday, 18 July 2014
Communists Lay Flowers at the Grave of the Murderer of Russia's Imperial Family
Topic: Bolsheviks

On July 16th Sverdlovsk communists laid flowers at the grave of the killer of the Romanov family, the revolutionary Peter Ermakov. The ceremony was headed by Alexander Ivachev, leader of the local Communist Party Branch.

Peter Ermakov, born at Ekaterinburg in 1884 was a Bolshevik commissar, notable as having been among those responsible for the murders of Tsar Nicholas II, his immediate family, and their retinue. In 1935, Ermakov gave an interview to the American journalist Richard Halliburton, describing the burning and destruction of the bodies of the Imperial family and their servants. He died in 1952 at the age of 70.

Ivachev issued the following statement the day before: "Tomorrow, July 16th, the Sverdlovsk Komsomol will lay flowers at the grave of the revolutionary Peter Ermakov enforcing the decision of the Ural Regional Council for the execution of Nicholas II and his family. The event is dedicated to the beginning of the Tsar's Days,"- said the head of the Sverdlovsk branch of the Communist Party.

He also confirmed that several days ago, the monument was doused with red paint, the second time since the 90s and that the Communists intend to clean it up and lay flowers. Local monarchists are blamed for dousing Ermakov’s grave. The red paint being symbolic of the blood this evil man spilled and his involvement with one of the most heinous crimes in 20th century Russian history. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 18 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:55 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 18 July 2014 5:00 PM EDT
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