Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute, 59 seconds
Topic: Paul I, Emperor
A unique and rare collection of books from the library of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (1786-1859), have gone on display in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.
The collection was given to the State Public Library in the Rostov in 1947, but it was not until many years later that the original owner of these books was found to be that of the grand duchess.
The books are bound in leather, their pages trimmed with gold leaf. It is believed that the grand duchess' library consisted of several thousand volumes, however, the library in Rostov retains only a fraction of the original collection. Many of the books are kept in special storage rooms and in need of repair. Experts estimate that the restoration would cost millions of rubles.
Born in 1786, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna was the third daughter of the Emperor Paul and the Empress Maria Feodorovna. In 1804, she married Charles Frederick, Hereditary Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. The couple had four children together. The Grand Duchess retired from public life after the death of her husband in 1853. She died on 23 June, 1859, and was buried in a Russian style chapel at Weimar.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 March, 2012