An exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, opened Friday at the Museum of Novosibirsk. The exhibition focuses on the Emperors Alexander III and his son, Nicholas II and their respective contributions in the creation of Siberia’s largest city. Novosibirsk was founded in 1893 as Novo-Nikolayevsk, in honour of both Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II.
“The idea to open another Romanov exhibition in the city was decided early last year,” said curator Irina Khlebnikov, “when Novosibirsk had unveiled a monument to Alexander III. There was a sudden surge of interest in the historical theme, and we realized that the evidence linking our city and the imperial family, the citizens are virtually unknown.”
One of the most interesting exhibits is a silver cup, which Nicholas I gave to his son Alexander II on the occasion of the birth of his grandson - Alexander III in 1845.
The exhibition also features original engravings, documents and objects, rare photographs related to the life of the royal family, as well as cards and magazines of the early twentieth century. In addition, the exhibition offers unique documents from the archives of the first women's Novo-Nikolayevsk Grammar School marking the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 1913.
Of particular interest are perfume bottles made by the famous Russian Brocard factory. According to Khlebnikov, Brocard made a distinctive perfume for the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in honour of the 1913 Tercentenary. The fragrance was so popular that it continued to be sold after the Revolution, however, under a different name: Red Moscow.
The last emperor, Nicholas II did a lot for Novo-Nikolayevsk. He brought both the Trans-Siberian and Altai railways to the city, making Novo-Nikolayevsk a major crossroads between Russia and its Siberian outposts. After a terrible fire in 1909 in which more than 700 homes were destroyed, Nicholas II allocated funds to rebuild the city. To this day, the people of modern-day Novosibirsk maintain a special relationship to the memory of the last Russian Emperor.
The Tsar Exhibition: Imperial Family and Novo-Nikolayevsk will run until the end of January 2014.