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Friday, 25 March 2011
The Icon of the Mother of God
Topic: Nicholas II


In the village of Kolomna (Kolomenskoye), near Moscow, on March 2/15, 1917, the day on which Emperor Nicholas II abdicated the throne, a new icon of the Mother of God appeared, known as the "Reigning" icon. This icon was found amid the odds and ends and dust in a basement, following the directions given by a certain deeply pious, God-fearing woman, who had thrice received a vision while asleep. There had appeared to her a large, very dark icon of the Mother of God wearing a robe of royal purple, a crown on her head, holding the scepter and orb of the Russian sovereigns, and seated on a throne.

Over the course of several months, the icon miraculously renewed itself and became bright and clear. The significance of this icon, which wondrously appeared to the Russian nation on the day of its greatest spiritual tragedy (the day of the Tsar's abdication) is that the Mother of God, in an extraordinarly significant way, came herself to the "Home of the Theotokos," which had been prepared for her by all of Russia's history, at the most grievous moment in the life of the people chosen by God, and took upon herself the burden of the Supreme Authority in the Russian realm.

Knowing the exceptional power of the faith and prayer of the Sovereign, Emperor Nicholas II, and his especially reverent veneration for the Mother of God, we cannot doubt that he had besought the Queen of heaven to assume the royal authority over the people who had rejected their anointed Tsar. Unusual for a image of the Mother of God, she is depicted as stern of countenance and severe, and the gaze of her sorrowful eyes is commanding, full of tears of both anger and love. The people of Russia understood this miraculous, prophetic sign: penitential prayers to the "Reigning" Mother of God began to be offered up all throughout Russia, and the icon itself, in countless copies, began to adorn all the churches of Russia. A marvellous akathist to this icon began to circulate, and the whole Church fell on its knees when listening to it.

The atheistic government, of course, could not remain indifferent to such "religious propaganda," and began cruelly to persecute all who venerated this icon. The akathist was proscribed, and the icons themselves were removed from the churches. The composers of the service and the akathist were executed by firing squad.

© Ivan Mikhailovich Andreevsky. 25 March, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:01 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 25 April 2011 9:08 PM EDT
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Thursday, 24 March 2011
Ganina Yama's First Stone Church
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute, 28 seconds
Topic: Ganima Yama

The first stone church to be built at Ganina Yama will be named in honour of the Reigning Mother of God. The foundation stone for the new church was laid on March 15th, by Archbishop Vincent, followed by the laying of a commemorative plaque.

The church is being erected on the site of a wooden church that was destroyed by fire in September, 2010. The new church will also house a memorial museum dedicated to Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

24 March, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:40 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 5 December 2011 2:22 PM EST
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Restoration of the Naval Cathedral at Kronstadt


Restoration of this historic Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas at Kronstadt is expected to be completed within a year. The consecration of the cathedral will be carried out by Patriarch of Moscow and Russia, Kirill in March, 2012.

The cathedral had been in a terrible state of disrepair and neglect, however, restoration of the facade and roof, which began two years ago has been completed. Work on the interiors is well underway, with the upper tier of the iconostasis, artificial marble and stucco decorations already completed.

A total of 96 icons will be reproduced for the iconostasis, thanks to a series of photographs and diagrams from 1914.

Full restoration will be completed in 2013, when the cathedral will mark its 100th anniversary.

© Royal Russia. 24 March, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:42 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2011 4:05 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 23 March 2011
The Farm at Tsarskoe Selo
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo

The Tsar's Farm at Tsarskoe Selo was built between 1900-04. Sadly, the cottage was raised during the German occupation in World War II.

© Royal Russia. 23 March, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2011 4:05 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Topic: OTMA


A photo of the grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia (OTMA), in front of the Cathedral on the Spilled Blood, on the site of the former Ipatiev House, in Ekaterinburg.

© Photo: F. Nodé-Langlois / Le Figaro. 22 March, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:29 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2011 4:06 PM EDT
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Films About the Romanovs & the Russian Revolution


Russian Revolution films examine the events of the 1917 Revolution in many different ways. In most Russian Revolution films Hollywood stretches the truth or extracts a love story from the events. Some Russian Revolution films are about the events leading up to the Revolution which include the failing monarchy, Rasputin and his supposed influence over them, and the overthrow of the monarchy.

  1. Ten Days That Shook the World.” Based on the book of the same name by John Reed, an American socialist and journalist, about the Russian Revolution of 1917 that ended the Monarchy in Russia. This vintage film tells the story of the Revolution in a documentary format. The film stars Vladimir Popov as Aleksandr Kerensky, Vasili Nikandrov as V.I. Lenin, and Layaschenko as Konovalov.
  2. Rasputin and the Empress.” Factual integrity and Hollywood rarely collide and this film about the Russian Revolution is no exception. However, it is an interesting story of the waning reign of Tsar Nicholas and Alexandra. Historically starring John Barrymore as Prince Paul Chegodieff, Ethel Barrymore as Czarina Alexandra, and Lionel Barrymore as Grigori Rasputin together for the only time. The film's inaccurate portryal of Prince Felix and Irina Yusupov as Prince Chegodieff and Princess Natasha caused a major lawsuit against MGM.
  3. Scarlet Dawn.” Romance and intrigue with the Russian Revolution as the background. Russian officer Baron Nikita Krasnoff (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and his troops experience troop revolts. He makes his way to Turkey traveling with Tanyusha Krasnoff (Nancy Carroll). A treacherous love triangle ensues with the arrival of ex Mistress Vera Zimina (Lilyan Tashman).
  4. Anastasia.” The murder of the Russian Monarchy left an unsolved mystery when the body of the young daughter Anastasia was not found with the body of her assassinated family. In this film, General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine (Yul Brenner) attempts to present the Grand Duchess Anastasia (Ingrid Bergman), a woman with amnesia he hired as an imposter, to the remaining members of the Romanov family. Pure speculation topped with a sprinkle of fantasy but Brynner and Bergman are spectacular.
  5. Doctor Zhivago.” An epic tale that follows a young Russian doctor and poet Yuri (Omar Sharif) from the beginning through the Russian Revolution. Costarring Geraldine Chaplin as his wife Tonya and Julie Christie as Lara, his Mistress. It was the winner of five Academy Awards.
  6. Rasputin the Mad Monk.” Hollywood has its way with this less than factual tale about Grigori Rasputin (Christopher Lee), the inexplicable Monk who had a powerful influence over the Russian monarchy near the end of their reign. The story follows Rasputin’s rise to power to his assassination.
  7. Nicholas and Alexandra.” This winner of two Academy Awards tell the story of Russian Czar Nicholas II (Michael Jayston) and Alexandra (Janet Suzman) from the just before the Russian Revolution, to their overthrow, their incarceration with their children, and their execution. Beautiful costume design and photography.
  8. Reds.” John Reed (Warren Beatty) a radical Socialist and American journalist witnesses the Russian Revolution and the Communist takeover and is inspired to lead a similar revolution in America with the woman he loves Louise Bryant (Dian Keaton) by his side. Jack Nicholson as Eugene O’Neill is brilliant. Winner of three Academy Awards.
  9. Rasputin.” Another look at the mysterious man who influenced and manipulated Czar Nicholas and Czarnia Alexandra shortly before the Russian Revolution. This film portrays Grigori Rasputin (Aleksei Pertenko) as a decadent, corrupt, and power drunk sexual pervert. Costarring Anatoli Romashin as Nicholas II and Velta Line as Aleksandra Fyodorovna.
  10. Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna.” Since the Russian Revolution and the assassination of the monarchy, a handful of women have come forth claiming to be Anastasia Romanov who was thought to have survived the execution of her entire family. This is the story of Anna Anderson (Amy Irving) who claimed to be Anastasia. Costarring Olivia de Havilland as the Dowager Empress Maria, Jan Niklas as Prince Erich, and Susan Licci as Darya Romanoff.

© Screen Junkies. 22 March, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:34 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2011 4:06 PM EDT
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Monument to Stolypin to Appear in Moscow
Topic: Stolypin, Pyotr

Monumental Art Committee at Moscow City Council has approved the idea of setting up a monument to the well-known reformer Pyotr Stolypin.       

However, the future place of the monument and its financial source still remain unknown.

In 2002 the Committee already considered the possibility of creating a monument to Stolypin, however the experts then decided that one monument to the reformer in St. Petersburg is enough. Instead, it was decided to put up a monument to the storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. After all it was never established due to the economical crisis.

Next year will be the 150th anniversary since Pyotr Stolypin's birth.

© Russia Info-Centre. 22 March, 2011


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:20 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2011 4:07 PM EDT
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Monday, 21 March 2011
Seal of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD




The seal of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was made in 1898, by B. Reimer. The seal is made of gold and topaz, and topped with an Imperial crown. The seal was believed to have been stolen in 1922, but returned to the Armory Museum in Moscow in 1926, by the an employee of the Moscow Association of Jewelry.

It will be on display in the Exhibition Hall of the Assumption Belfry, from 6 April to 24 July, 2011, as part of an exhibition dedicated to Faberge and his contemporaries.

© Royal Russia. 21 March, 2011




Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 February 2015 5:53 AM EST
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Israel Hands Over Tsarist-Era Landmark
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD




Israel is handing back ownership of a czarist-era landmark in the heart of Jerusalem to Russia, defusing a long-simmering dispute between the two countries right before Israel's leader visits Moscow.

The hewn stone building, built in 1890 to accommodate Russian pilgrims to the Holy Land, is a prominent edifice on the Jerusalem landscape with its soaring turret and lush garden.

The site was named for Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, a son of Czar Alexander III, and is part of a complex known as the Russian Compound. Israel bought most of it from the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, paying with oranges because it didn't have hard currency.

Israel seized control of it after the Soviet Union severed ties with the Jewish state following the 1967 Mideast war. The two countries restored ties in 1991 and negotiations to return the courtyard ownership to Russia began in the 1990s.

© Associated Press. 21 March, 2011



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:53 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 11 February 2015 5:53 AM EST
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Sunday, 20 March 2011
Mansion of Count Sergei Witte
Topic: Witte, Sergei


The modest white and blue mansion at No. 5 Kamennoostrovsky Pl., in St. Petersburg was the former home of Count Sergei Witte. He was one of the most important political figures of Tsarist Russia.


He served under the last two emperors of Russia. He was also the author of the October Manifesto of 1905, a precursor to Russia's first constitution  and Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) of the Russian Empire.


Witte lived in his St. Petersburg mansion until his death in 1915.

© Royal Russia. 20 March, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:11 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2011 4:08 PM EDT
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