An exhibition of prints and formal portraits of members of the Russian Imperial family has opened in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. The event coincides with the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 2013.
The facade of an old stone building in the center of Tallinn is adorned with a huge billboard with a name that has become entrenched with the city's history: The Romanovs. According to museum officials, the exhibition halls are packed to capacity.
Formerly known as Reval during the Tsarist period, Tallinn's importance as a center of monarchical heritage in Russia is surpassed only by that of St. Petersburg and Moscow.
According to local historian Ilya Nikiforov: "Few cities in the Baltic region of the former Russian Empire were visited more than Tallinn."
"Peter the Great came to Reval in 1711, where he stayed at Maardu. His wife, Empress Catherine I often returned to Maardu where she maintained an estate. During his last visit to Estonia on July 25th, 1723, Peter the Great took rest at a farmstead, then it was from his wife's estate at Maardu that he departed for St. Petersburg onboard the Ingria.
"During the first years of her reign (1746), Empress Elizabeth Petrovna travelled through the Baltic region stopping at Reval. She was accompanied by her nephew and heir to the throne, Peter and his young wife Catherine (the future Catherine the Great).
The Emperors Alexander II and Alexander III often visited the area, and liked to rest on the waters in Reval (Tallinn) and de Hapsal (Haapsalu). Emperor Alexander II last visited Reval in 1859.
"Emperor Nicholas II visited Reval often as a child and heir to the throne. During his reign he established regular steamer service between Reval and St. Petersburg, and in 1905 ordered the construction of a new Imperial pavilion at the railway station.
"It was at Reval that the Emperor conducted important negotiations with the leaders of Great Britain, France and Germany. In 1908, Nicholas II came to Reval to meet with King Edward VII of Great Britain, followed by a meeting with the French President Faliero the same year. In 1912, the Emperor met with Kaiser Wilhelm II."
Tallinn City Council Deputy, Max Kaur has extended an invitation to HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, Head of the Russian Imperial House to visit the city and the exhibition devoted to her ancestors.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 04 November, 2012