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Thursday, 15 March 2012
Royal Gate Restored at Church on the Spilled Blood
Topic: St. Petersburg


The consecration ceremony of the Royal Gate in the Church on the Spilled Blood took place on Wednesday.

The recreation of the Royal Gate was done almost from scratch, thanks to vintage black and white photographs dating back to 1907, and colour lithographs. The work which lasted 8 years, consisted of 600 kilograms of gold, silver and enamel.

Construction on the church began in 1883, and was completed during the reign of Emperor Nicholas II in 1907. The church has never functioned as a place of worship (even during Tsarist times), having been built exclusively as a memorial to Emperor Alexander II who was murdered on the spot that the church was built in 1881. 

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted. In 1929 the Royal Gates were stripped bare, and the following year, the church was closed by Soviet authorities. Restoration of the church began in 1970 and took 27 years to complete. The recreation of the Royal Gate is the last major restoration project of the famous church located on the Griboedov Canal in the former Russian capital.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:34 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2012 3:00 PM EDT
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Romanov Descendants Ask Putin to Rule on Romanov Burial
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


On Tuesday, representatives of the Romanov Family Association asked President-Elect Vladimir Putin to rule on the burial of the Tsesarevich Alexis Nicholayevich and his sister, the Grand Duchess Maria Nicholayevna, whose remains were found in 2007.

Ivan Artsyshevsky, who represents the Romanov Family Association claims that the main obstacle to the burial remains is the position of the Church.

Both the Russian Orthodox Church and the head of the Russian Imperial House, the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, continue to doubt the authenticity of the remains found in 1991 and 2007.

In late 2011 a Russian Court ordered that a copy of the 700-page investigation into the murder of the 1918 murders of the last tsar and his family be handed over the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 15 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Fresco Depicting Nicholas II Discovered in Serbian Monastery
Topic: Nicholas II

A unique fresco depicting the Emperor Nicholas II has been discovered at the Zica Monastery in Serbia.

Although the image of the Russian tsar was found in the monastery church of Saint Sava a few years back, information regarding the discovery has only just recently come to light.

The paintings of the church, including the image of the Tsar-Martyr, were created by Nicholas Meyendorff in 1937. The image was hidden from view for fear of the fresco being destroyed by Communist authorities.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:58 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2012 9:11 AM EDT
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Russian National Portrait Gallery Opens in Moscow
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 3 minutes, 3 seconds
Topic: Museums

Marble bust of Emperor Alexander III by Enrico Braga 

A National Portrait Gallery has opened to the public at the State Historical Museum in Moscow. The idea for a National Portrait Gallery was conceived two years ago and is now a reality, thanks to the joint efforts of the State Historical Museum, the Tretyakov Gallery.

The exhibit includes more than 100 portraits and busts of outstanding state, public and cultural figures from Russian history are celebrated in portrait, beginning with members of the Romanov dynasty from the first Romanovs up to the last tsar, Nicholas II.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 March 2012 9:12 AM EDT
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Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society Exhibition
Topic: Exhibitions


The Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich

The history and activities of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in Russia and Palestine are the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of State Religion in St. Petersburg.

The exhibition, which opened today feature 200  items, including works of decorative and fine arts, photographs, rare books, pilgrims relics and more. The society marks its 130th anniversary in June 2012.

The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society was founded by the Emperor Alexander III in 1882. His brother, the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was a founding member of the IOPS, and served as its first president from April 1905 up to February 1905, when he was murdered by assassins in Moscow. 

The society aided Russian pilgrims to visit the Holy Land, and to assist the Russian Orthodox Church in its spiritual ministry abroad, as well as cultural and educational activities among the Middle Eastern peoples, as well as the research of Christianity in the Holy Land. The society's activities were discontinued after the Russian Revolution in the 1917, but were renewed in 1992.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 March, 2012




Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:06 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 15 March 2012 3:03 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Monument to Alexander III Planned for Novosibirsk
Topic: Alexander III


The new monument to Alexander III in Novosibirsk will be similar to the one in Irkutsk (shown above) 

A monument to the Emperor Alexander III is to be erected in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk this summer.

The monument will honour the Russian tsar's committment to the construction of the Trans Siberian Railway, and will be erected in a square facing the railway bridge that spans the Ob River.

Organizers note that the monument will be very similar to the one in Irkutsk, with some minor modifications. The unveiling is expected to take place at the end of June when the Siberian city will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Trans Siberian Railway.

*Note: There are currently at least 5 monuments to Emperor Alexander III on display across Russia. For more information, please refer to Royal Russia Annual No. 1, pages 31 and 32.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 13 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:09 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 8:38 AM EDT
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Monday, 12 March 2012
Precious Antiques at Moscow Auction
Now Playing: Language: English. Duration: 3 minutes, 37 seconds
Topic: Antiques

Moscow has opened its doors to fine art lovers at the bi-annual Russian Antiques Salon. Some rarities on display may cost a six-figure salary, but it is still a popular place to hunt for a bargain or simply to browse.

­For a few days only the Russian Antique Salon, located in Moscow’s Central House of Artists, displays unique examples of paintings and graphics, luxury jewelry and furniture. The organizers promise up to 20,000 items on display for real connoisseurs of antiques. There are 200 participants, mainly from Russian cities, as well as three foreign galleries – from London, Paris and Tallinn.

Some masterpieces are said to have been inaccessible to the public for a century, making the Russian Antique Salon a must-attend event for those who just want to explore antique art.

The Russian Antique Salon is held by the Expo-Park Exhibition Projects Company twice a year in spring and in autumn. It is the biggest and the longest-running event of its kind. The event is on till March 10.

© Russia Today. 12 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:40 AM EDT
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1812 War Museum Restored in Moscow
Topic: Museums

President Vladimir Putin visits the newly restored Battle of Borodino Panorama Museum 

In 2012, Russia celebrates 200 years since its victory in the war against Napoleon in 1812.

A museum devoted to the battle of Borodino, one of the most decisive battles of that war, has been restored in Moscow.

The ceremony of its opening for the public took place last Tuesday.

The museum is a round building which presents a panorama of the battle, with models of soldiers, horsemen and cannons and a painted background.

This background is a canvas 115 meters long and 15 meters high, painted by Franz Roubaud.

Initially, the museum opened in 1912, when Russia was celebrating 100 years since the victory. The last Russian emperor, Nicholas II, held the opening ceremony.

Now, it has taken artists less than half a year to restore Roubaud’s masterpiece.

Besides the panorama which is really impressive, visitors will also see personal things which once belonged to Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov and other heroes of the war.

© TASS. 12 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:32 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 8:39 AM EDT
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Paul Minet (1937-2012)


Paul Minet with author and royal historian Charlotte Zeepvat 

Paul Minet, whose love and involvement with books which spanned 60 years, has died at the age of 74.

Minet was forced to close his bookshop in Ticehurst, England, last May after 15 years due to ill health. He died on February 6th, after succumbing to an eight year battle with cancer.

He was known throughout the literay world as an expert on rare and antiquarian books. As a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association he was awarded an honorary membership by the group.

He will be particularly remembered by royalty fans for his popular Royalty Digest Magazine which he published between 1991-2005. He also published an exhaustive list of hard cover reprints during this time which included out-of-print royalty books (including numerous titles on the Romanovs), many of which I offered through my online bookshop in Canada.

I met Paul Minet in the 1990s when I travelled from London to visit him at his bookshop in Ticehurst. He made me very welcome and it was after this visit that I launched my own publishing venture on this side of the Atlantic.

We did not always see eye to eye on a number of issues, and had a number of disagreements over the years, however, that does not take away from the fact that I have always held Mr. Minet in the highest regard. He was loved and respected by many and his passing is indeed a great loss to friends, family, and people such as myself whom he inspired.

© Paul Gilbert. 12 March, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:50 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 12 March 2012 9:57 AM EDT
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Gatchina Remembers Alexander III
Topic: Alexander III

The Russian Imperial family at Gatchina: Emperor Alexander III (with his favourite dog, Kamchatka), Tsarevich Nicholas (the future Emperor Nicholas II), Empress Maria Feodorovna with Grand Duke Michael), Grand Duke George and Grand Duchess Xenia 

This years marks the 167th anniversary of the birth of the Emperor Alexander III. Some years back the palace at Gatchina began an annual tradition marking the Russian monarch's birthday with a series of special events.

This year was no exception. On Saturday, visitors were invited to take part in a special program entitled Alexander III, A View from the 21st Century. A special tour was offered which included a visit to the former apartments of Alexander III and his family at Gatchina. This was followed by a short documentary film about his life. At the end of the program a concert was enjoyed, with music by some of the Emperor's favourite composers, including Liszt, Bizet, Tchaikovsky, Taneyev and Rachmaninoff.

Gatchina served as the official residence of the Emperor Alexander III from 1881 to 1894.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 March, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:10 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2012 8:40 AM EDT
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