The Holy Royal Martyrs Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 7 minutes, 35 seconds Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The inimitable Zhanna Bichevskaya, a famous bard and folk singer in Russia, sings about the Holy Royal Martyrs in this montage of photographs of Tsar Nicholas II and his family. You do not have to understand Russian to be moved by Bichevskaya's haunting voice.
Volkswagen Funds Hunt for Russian Art Lost in World War II Topic: Russian Art
Peterhof Palace in 1944, after the destruction by German troops in World War II. The palace is among the museums benefiting from a research project funded by Volkswagen and German government foundations to try to track down art treasures lost in the war.
Volkswagen AG is providing funding of 600,000 Euros ($794,000) for a joint German-Russian research project to track down Russian art treasures lost in World War II, a statement from two state-owned funding bodies said.
Volkswagen-Stiftung, the research-sponsorship arm of Europe’s biggest carmaker, will fund 75 percent of the 800,000 euro costs, with the rest coming from the two German state-owned funding institutions – the State’s Cultural Foundation and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.
Russian museums lost hundreds of thousands of artworks and cultural treasures through plunder and destruction by German troops in World War II. The project will bring Russian and German historians and art historians together to comb the archives of both countries, as well as of the western allies.
“We have high hopes that we will not only gain new historical insights, but will also find traces leading to individual artworks,” the Russian museum curators were quoted in today’s statement. “Despite efforts to register losses and our own research, we still rely on assumptions and speculation. This project is a breakthrough.”
The research begins with the museums of Novgorod and Pskov as well as the royal palaces at Catherine Park, Gatchina, Pavlovsk and the Peterhof Palace, according to the statement.
Yeliseyevsky Store Reopens in St. Petersburg Topic: St. Petersburg
The historic Yeliseyevsky store, one of St. Petersburg’s oldest food stores, will reopen after undergoing years of renovation work on March 8.
The reconstruction work has restored the original façade of the historical building on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. On the first floor, workers have restored 33 meters of counters behind which goods are sold by weight and built 12 new counters where exclusive food products will be sold, the store’s press service announced.
The top floor of the distinctive Style Moderne building is due to house an upscale restaurant, while another restaurant and bar will open in the former cellar of the store.
The story of the Yeliseyev brothers’ trading house began in 1813 when Pyotr Yeliseyev came to St. Petersburg, bringing with him a portable stall and a sack of oranges, and began selling them.
Construction of the building took place from 1901 to 1903 and the store was opened in time for the 90th anniversary of the trade dynasty.
In Soviet times, when many food items were scarce and rationing was commonplace, the Yeliseyevsky store was famous for offering a wider range of rare delicacies.
The main room of the store is a large shopping hall decorated with mirrors, stucco molding, bronze wall lamps with crystal decorations, and marble and redwood paneling.
The number of Russians who go to church increased considerably over the past two decades. Sociologists have found that the most frequently observed ritual is the placement of candles in church (it is observed by both believers and non-believers).
Over the past 16 years, the number of Russians who go to church, mosque, or synagogue increased from 57% to 71%. 7% of the respondents go to religious buildings at least once a month, 30% go to religious buildings from time to time, and 34% go to religious buildings rarely.
The number of Russians who do not go to church has decreased considerably (from 42% to 26%), VTsIOM told Interfax, citing its study.
According to VTsIOM, 11% of Russians at a pension age and 11% residents of Moscow and the Moscow region and only 5% of young people and people in villages go to church at least once a month.
83% of Orthodox respondents reported going to church. 11% of the respondents said they go into churches rarely or from time to time.
The most frequently observed ritual in church is the placing of candles. 81% percent of Russians who go to church reported observing it, and 80% of those who go to church rarely and 82% of those who go to church from time to time said they place candles in church. The ritual is equally observed by Orthodox respondents (86%) and respondents who do not consider themselves believers (81%).
The poll, which was conducted in 138 populated areas in 46 regions, territories, and republics of Russia in mid-February, shows that a considerable number of people who go to church (38%) just speak to God, 31% read prayers, 27% kiss holy relics, 33% give alms, 29% donate money to the church, and 9% go to church to sanctify things.
11% of those who go to church told sociologists that they normally just watch.
Restoration of the Shaking Bridge at Tsarskoye Selo Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
The 12.35-meter-long and 0.8-meter- wide bridge to span the Krestovy Canal near its corner between the Ozerki and Kitchen Ponds was produced in 1825 at the Alexandrovsky Foundry to the design of the architect Adam Menelaws, who a year later supervised its installation in the Alexander Park.
The bridge of the suspension type, that was fashionable all over the world in the 1810s-1820s, had a wood-planked footway and the openwork cast-iron cantilevers on granite abutments holding earth-anchored metal cables. Initially of white colour, the bridge was painted green since the mid-twentieth century and then pale or dark gray after 1981.
Demolished during the Second World War and reconstructed in 1949, the Shaking Bridge underwent major restoration works in 1962-63 and later in 1970. The bridge had to be dismantled in 2002 as its condition was causing serious concern.
A renovated Shaking Bridge is expected to span the Krestovy Canal again in April 2012, thanks to the efforts by the scientific restoration center specialist whose accomplishments at Tsarskoye Selo include the Small Chinese Bridges in the Alexander Park and Giacomo Quarenghi’s bridges near the Kitchen Ruin and Creaking Summer-House in the Catherine Park.
Nicholas Romanovich Meets Former King of Bulgaria Topic: Nicholas Romanovich
Nicholas Romanovich recently met with the former King of Bulgaria, Simeon, at his home in Rougemont, Switzerland. Simeon was accompanied by the deputy of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Rumen Petkov.
“I hope I will be able to visit Bulgaria and get acquainted with this country, which we have always felt very close, mostly because of the language,” Nicholas Romanovich Romanov, Prince of Russia, said in a special interview with FOCUS News Agency.
“The Bulgarian language is intelligible for all Russians, I find the rest of the Christian languages much harder. I cannot speak Bulgarian but I can read absolutely everything,” he added.
“The friendship between some countries and others – the traditional friendship between Bulgaria and Russia, the traditional friendship between Russia and Greece – all this used to have great importance in the past,” he remarked.
“To me, Bulgaria is something very close and at the same time – something very distanced. The Bulgarian relations with Russia have not always been easy. There were some difficult political situations,” Romanov said.
A small museum has been established at the Petrovsky Palace in Moscow, where visitors can now view items from the 1896 Coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, including souvenirs distributed marking the event.
Members of the Russian Imperial family stayed at the palace, before the tsar made his official entry into Moscow for his coronation ceremony.
Ropsha Palace in Urgent Need of Repair Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 18 seconds Topic: Ropsha
"The state of the palace at Ropsha is urgent and requires immediate intervention if the historical building is to be saved." This message has been sent to UNESCO from the Public Chamber of the Leningrad Region and the local branch of the All-Russian Society for the Preservation of Monuments. The groups have asked UNESCO to declare the palace at Ropsha as a World Heritage Site.
Preservation groups have also called on the federal government to step in and save the former Imperial residence. Local government insists that they lack the funds to restore the building and are pressing the Ministry of Culture to come to the rescue, as they did with the Konstantin Palace at Strelna.
Palace of the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich at Tsarskoye Selo Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
Overshadowed by the Catherine and Alexander Palaces, the palace of the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich at Tsarskoye Selo is one that most visitors overlook while visiting modern-day Pushkin.
The land that the palace sits was presented to Prince Victor Pavlovich Kochubey in 1817, as a gift from Emperor Alexander I. It was here that the prince had a palace built. In 1835, Emperor Nicholas I purchased the palace for his son, the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich.
In 1875 the palace changed hands yet again, when it was purchased by the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich. The grand duke served as president of the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg for more than 30 years until his death in 1909. During the First World War, the palace became a meeting palace for members of the Imperial family, headed by Vladimir’s widow, the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna. It was here that they plotted against Emperor Nicholas II and his policies in dealing with the war against Germany, his wife, Rasputin, and more.
In the last few years, the palace underwent a major restoration, and today, the former residence of the grand duke serves as a wedding palace for the residents of Pushkin. Two lions stand guard at the steps of the staircase leading to the main entrance to the palace which overlooks a beautifully kept garden.