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Monday, 23 January 2012
In the Children's Rooms at the Alexander Palace Exhibit Extended
Topic: Alexander Palace

The exhibit, In the Children's Rooms at the Alexander Palace has been extended until 30th April, 2012.

The exhibit which originally opened in June 2011 is set out in the former rooms of the children of Tsar Nicholas II on the second floor of the Alexander Palace.

The exhibit tells the story of the lives of the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, as well as the Tsarevich Alexei, and includes more than 200 items, many being exhibited for the first time.

© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve. 23 January, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:33 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 23 January 2012 12:44 PM EST
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Friday, 13 January 2012
The Estate of Grand Duke Nicholas Michailovich at Borjomi
Topic: Nicholas Mikhailovich, GD

Grand Duke Nicholas Michailovich was the eldest son of the Grand Duke Michael Nicholayevich and the Grand Duchess Olga Feodorovna.

In 1909, after the death of his father, Nicholas inherited a vast fortune, including the estates of Grushevka and Borjomi in the Caucasus region of the empire.

The palace at Likani (Borjomi) was built between 1892-95 on the banks of the Kura River by Leonti Benois, and is situated about 160 km west of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.   

The grand dukes Likani Palace at Borjomi has survived to this day, where it is now serves as a summer residence for the President of Georgia.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 January, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:09 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 14 January 2012 9:20 AM EST
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The Imperial Train in the Grand Duchy of Finland
Now Playing: Language: Finnish. Duration: 2 minutes, 16 seconds

The highlight of the Finnish Railway Museum collections is the special train built for the Russian Emperor. The train was built for the Emperor's and Grand Duke's of Finland trips to Finland, an autonomic part of Russia at the time. The train consists of three wagons, Emperor's car, Empress's car and the lounge car. The three wagons are the only remaining Russian Imperial train cars in the world.

The decision to acquire imperial wagons was made in 1869, at the time of building of the railway line Riihimäki - St. Petersburg. The Emperor, Alexander the II, had already imperial wagons in other parts of the country and it was considered necessary to have such rolling stock for Finland also. The railway line connecting Finland to St. Petersburg was opened in 1870, but it was not until 1913 when the railway networks of the two countries were finally connected when the bridge over Neva-river was finished.

Originally the Imperial train consisted of six wagons. However, train's dining car, kitchen unit car and the heating car did not survive to our days. The oldest cat of the train is the Emperor's car which was built in Germany in 1870. The interior of the car was decorated with luxury materials. The walls and the furniture of the reception area of the car were covered with dark green leather, the ceiling is decorated with silk. Wooden decorations are made of American walnut tree and the carpeting is of wool plush.

The Empresses' car and the lounge car were built in 1870's in the Finnish Railway's repair shop in Helsinki. The decoration of the Empresses' car is blue silk and the lounge car and it's furniture are decorated with red silk. The outside of all the three cars was painted dark blue and decorated with golded imperial emblems. The cars were later modified and improved in many parts like in the heating system, illumination and the toilets.

The Imperial cars survived mainly for two reasons. They were built by the Finnish Railways and kept from 1914 in Kaipiainen train shed instead of earlier storage site in St. Petersburg. If the train had been left in town, it would have most certainly been destroyed during the Russian revolution in 1917 like happened to all other imperial trains in Russia.


© Finnish Railway Museum. 13 January, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:49 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 13 January 2012 2:37 PM EST
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Brasovo, the Country Estate of Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich

Situated seventy miles from Orel, the estate of Brasovo had originally belonged to the Grand Duke George Alexandrovich, son of the Emperor Alexander III. He had purchased it in 1882 for 4.3 million roubles. It covered some 430 square miles. The estate passed to Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich upon the death of George in 1899.

It was here that Michael came to live with his wife, Natasha (nee Natalya Sergeyevna Wulfert) in 1911 after Emperor Nicholas II conceded that she could stay there. Thanks to her artistic taste, she succeeded in making an elegant dwelling as well as a comfortable home, thereby creating for Michael a place where he found comfort, peace and happiness.

The comforts of this country house are emphasized in these beautiful watercolours by S.J. Zhukovsky (1873-1944) in 1916.

Artist:  S.J. Zhukovsky. Orenburg Museum of Fine Arts

 Artist: S.J. Zhukovsky. State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 January, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:19 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 14 January 2012 9:21 AM EST
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Thursday, 12 January 2012
Memorial Chapel at Borki
Topic: Alexander III

On 29 October [Old Style 17 October] 1888, the Imperial train carrying Emperor Alexander III and his family derailed at high speed near the town of Borki. The train was travelling from the Crimea to St. Petersburg when the accident occurred, killing and injuring dozens of people.

Alexander held the collapsed roof of the rail car on his shoulder while his family escaped to safety. The story of the miraculous escape resulted in a cathedral being built near the site, but was later destroyed by the Soviets.

In 1992, local residents embarked on an ambitious fundraising plan to rebuild the chapel. With the help of the Southern Railway, reconstruction on the chapel was completed in the summer of 2003.

Local residents and Orthodox faithful are optimistic that the Christ the Saviour Cathedral will be rebuilt on the site of the demolished church.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 January, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:36 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2012 3:41 PM EST
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Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Agate Rooms at Tsarskoye Selo Now Open to Visitors
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo

Visitors can now visit the personal apartments of the Empress Catherine the Great at Tsarskoye Selo.

Two rooms in the Agate Pavilion have been opened for visiting, the study and the library, where the empress liked to spend her free time.

18th century Russian craftsmen had an unrivalled experience in working with such materials as agate and jasper. Even the floor in the rooms is a work of art.

Children became the first visitors of the new exhibition.  A master-class was given to them by a professional stone-cutter.   

The rest of the rooms will be opened for visiting in 2013.

© TASS. 11 January, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2012 9:18 AM EST
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Tuesday, 10 January 2012
First Monument to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in Russia
Topic: Alexandra Feodorovna

A monument to the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Nicholas II can be seen at Ganina Yama, a monastery situated near Ekaterinburg.

It is the only monument to the last empress to be found in modern-day Russia.


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 January, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
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Monday, 9 January 2012
Old Russian Coins Auctioned Off
Topic: Numismatics

A 1766 pattern rouble depicting the bust of Catherine II came under the hammer at a numismatic auction in New York for $936,000.

The rare coin, which was issued only in three copies, was bought by an anonymous Russian collector by phone.

Coins from the days of the Russian Empire have caused quite a stir within numismatic circles.  

A 1876 gold coin worth 25 roubles sold for $210,600 and a 1736 silver rouble with the portrait of Empress Anna Ioanovna was snapped up for nearly $94,000.

© TASS. 9 January, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
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Saturday, 7 January 2012
Orthodox Christmas Mass in Russia's Major Cathedral
Topic: Russian Church

More than 30,000 churches and cathedrals across Russia have held religious services as Russia is celebrating Orthodox Christmas. The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, has delivered the Christmas Eve Mass in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow.

© Russia Today. 7 January, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:56 AM EST
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Thursday, 5 January 2012
Historic Building in the Alexander Park to Be Restored
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo


The Tsarskoe Selo Palace Museum Complex have announced plans to retore the historic White Tower.

Situated not far from the Alexander Palace, the 19th-century building in the Neo-Gothic style resembles a medieval knights castle. It was damaged during the Second World War.

Restoration will recreate the facade and brickwork, cast iron fences, and balconies. Work is expected to be completed in May 2012, and will be used to host exhibitions.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 January, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
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