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Saturday, 10 March 2012
Coronation of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna
Topic: Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress


The Coronation of the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna took place at Moscow on 6th May [25th April O.S.], 1742.

Her Coronation dress and mantle are currently on display at the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.

Elizabeth came to power in December 1741 after a palace coup which overthrew the Regent Anna Leopoldovna and the infant Ivan VI. Celebrations marking her accession to the throne lasted almost two months.

A copy of her Coronation Album sold at Christie's for nearly $100,000 USD in June 2009. The album was first issued in 1744 with a circulation of only 600 copies. A further 950 copies were later issued. The album includes 49 prints and is considered one of the finest books of the 18th century published in Russia.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:22 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 10 March 2012 12:12 PM EST
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Romanov Photo Exhibit Opens in Belgorod
Topic: Exhibitions


A unique exhibition of photographs dedicated to the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and his wife, th Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna opened this week at the Vitaly Sobrovina Gallery in the Russian city of Belgorod.

The exhibition tells the story of their lives through photographs, including their social activities, and work with various organizations and charities which they were both involved.

The Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich served as Governor of Moscow from 1891 to 1905, when he was murdered by an assassin inside the Kremlin. He is often blamed for the Khodynka tragedy, which cast a dark shadow over the Coronation of Emperor Nicholas II in 1896. Today, many Russian historians are re-evaluating his life, claiming that his negative image was the result of many lies which tarnished his reputation.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:54 AM EST
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Large-scale Restoration at Peterhof
Topic: Peterhof


Large-scale restoration has got under way in St. Petersburg’s suburb that’s famous for its 18th century unique architectural monuments, Peterhof.

17 gilded statues decorating the Grand Cascade will be restored for the first time outside the open-air museum at a St. Pete restoration workshop boasting the air condition that will help preserve leaf gold for a long time.

The statues are due back in Peterhof by early summer.

© 10 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:36 AM EST
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Mariinsky Palace Church to be Restored
Topic: Palaces

The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly have announced plans to restore the former church in the city's Mariinsky Palace.

During the Tsarist period it was very common for members of the Russian Imperial family and members of the aristocracy to have a home church, where they could hold services and pray in private.

The Mariinsky Palace was built between 1839-1844 by the Russian architect Andrei Stackenschneider for the Grand Duchess Maria Nicholayevna, daughter of the Emperor Nicholas I. The chapel of St. Nicholas was established in the palace in the middle of the 19th century. After the Revolution, the church was closed and the iconstasis destroyed.

The recreation of the iconostasis will involve master craftsmen in stone and wood carvings, as well as the painting and reproduction of the icons and other paintings. The estimate cost is 28.7 million rubles.

From 1884, the palace returned to Imperial hands. Up until 1917, it housed the State Council of Imperial Russia. Today, the Mariinsky Palace houses the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:36 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 10 March 2012 7:54 AM EST
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Friday, 9 March 2012
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.

© Royal Russia. 09 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:35 AM EST
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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.

© Bloomberg. 09 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:25 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 9 March 2012 7:28 AM EST
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Thursday, 8 March 2012
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.

In 2013 it will celebrate its 110th anniversary.

© St. Petersburg Times. 08 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:29 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2012 2:34 PM EST
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71 Percent of Russians Attend Church - Poll


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.

© Interfax. 08 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:28 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2012 5:34 PM EST
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Wednesday, 7 March 2012
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.

© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve. 07 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:27 AM EST
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Tuesday, 6 March 2012
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.

© FOCUS News Agency. 06 March, 2012



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:01 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 15 September 2014 9:11 AM EDT
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