In the Children's Rooms at the Alexander Palace: A Retrospect Topic: Alexander Palace
The exhibit, In the Children's Rooms at the Alexander Palace has officially closed.
The exhibit which originally opened in June 2011 was set out in the former rooms of the children of Tsar Nicholas II on the second floor of the Alexander Palace. It was the first time in more than 80 years that visitors to the palace had access to these rooms.
The exhibit focused on the life of the Imperial children from the 19th to the early 20th century. Most of the exhibit, however, was devoted to the children of Tsar Nicholas II: the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, as well as the Tsarevich Alexei.
The exhibit included more than 200 items: paintings and graphic portraits, photographs, uniforms and dresses, books, toys, porcelain and furniture. Many of the items on display were being exhibited for the first time making this a truly unique exhibit.
For more news, articles, videos and photographs about this exhibit, click on the Alexander Palace in the Directory on the right-hand side of this page.
Just this past week, I received an unexpected gift from a kind supporter of Royal Russia living in Poland. The parcel contained two large hard cover books on the Imperial residences of Spala and Bialowieza.
The first book, Spala: An Imperial Residence contains 144 pages and is divided into two parts, one for the Emperor Alexander III, the other for the Emperor Nicholas II. More than 200 photographs show each sovereign with his respective family in residence at Spala.
The second book (and my personal favourite), Bialowieza: An Imperial Residence contains 124 pages, and offers more than 250 photographs. Of importance is An ablum of photographs by Z. Karasik made for Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, which shows the interiors of this unique Gothic-style hunting palace. Also of interest is The Bialowieza Railroad, a section containing archival photographs of the Imperial train.
Overall, the quality of both books is very impressive. The text of each book is written in three languages: English, Polish and Russian. Many of the photographs are new to me. The selection of photographs of the interiors of both Imperial residences is exceptional to say the very least!
Sadly, neither residence has survived. However, we must be grateful that these outstanding collection of photographs published in these two magnificent volumes have. They allow us to have a more comprehensive appreciation for these two residences that were cherished by the last two Russian sovereigns and their families.
New Restoration Projects at Tsarskoye Selo Announced Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
During a press tour on April 24th Tsarskoye Selo Museum officials unveiled to the journalists what our visitors will see restored in the Catherine and Alexander Parks for the coming summer season.
Cameron Gallery Grottoes
The ground level of the Cameron Gallery, the Grottoes, whose bricked vaults had been losing their supporting capacity over the years, underwent urgent and comprehensive repair in 2010-11. Now the steps and landings of the Gala Staircase have regained waterproofing, while four newly built additional arches have reinforced the supporting structure to fully bear the weight of the Oval Staircase placed right above the vaults. The Grottoes will house a collection of antiquity style sculptures, as they originally did, and are expected to open for visiting by the end of May 2012.
The end of May is expected to also see a restored Mirror Pond in the Old Garden of the Catherine Park. Its previous restoration in the 1960/70s lacked several important reinforcements; the sidewalls began to deteriorate soon, the water was often covered with duckweed and the bottom with slime which was very difficult to clean out. The current restoration work adds reinforcement tothe sidewalls on underwater level and then will even the bottom which is to be lined with special paving slabs.
By the end of August the Alexander Park, where the Shaking Bridge over the Krestovy Canal has been restored recently, will get the Children’s Culture & Education Center in the White Tower. Almost completely destroyed during the Second World War and reconstructed in the 1990s, the White Tower is now undergoing a face-lift. One of its floors will house an interactive touching allowed exhibit and the others a medieval town computer and video installation and a creative workshop with drawing and dancing classes.
Monument to Emperor Alexander II Unveiled at Vyatka Topic: Alexander II
A monument to the Emperor Alexander II has been recently restored and unveiled in Vyatka, a town situated in the Yaroslavl region.
Prior to the Revolution, the bronze monument to the Tsar-Liberator was very popular among local townsfolk. After the Bolsheviks seized power, most monuments to the Romanovs were destroyed or removed from squares and public buildings across the country.
The Vyatka monument had been badly damaged, but restored and once again on view for locals and visitors alike to reflect upon the legacy of one of Russia's most popular rulers.
Nicholas II 1896 Coronation Album on the Block Topic: Books
With an ever-increasing selection of fine and decorative art, Gene Shapiro Auctions will hold its next auction of Russian and International Art on April 28 and 29, 2012.
The two-day auction event will feature 305 lots of paintings, books and works on paper on Saturday, April 28; and 333 lots of icons, works of art, bronzes, and porcelain on Sunday, April 29.
As always, Russian art forms the core of the auction, including a two-volume coronation album of Nicholas II, gloriously illustrated with plates from originals by Vasnetsov and Repin, among others, set alongside photographs of the royal family, and coronation memorabilia such as guest lists and menus ($30,000-40,000).
Restoration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 21 seconds Topic: Russian Church
Restoration work has begun on the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in St. Petersburg.
This magnificent red-brick, Russian Revival church stands next to the Warsaw Railway Station among the sadly neglected factories and warehouses along the Obvodny Canal. Built between 1904 and 1908, when the area was the heart of St. Petersburg's heavy industry, surrounded by proletarian slums, the church was the center of the city's Temperance Movement - "The All-Russian Alexander Nevsky Society of Sobriety".
Whether the church was paid for from the coffers of the Society, or from a special Imperial tax on drinking houses of one kopek for every thousand taken, remains uncertain, but its construction was a major undertaking, involving three of St. Petersburg's most prominent architects and designers - Andrei Gun, German Grimm and Gustav Goli. The result was one of the city's finest modern churches, its traditional form comprising a large single cupola with four much smaller domes, all of a deep sea green that contrasts beautifully with the churches red-brick walls, and a splendid, multi-layered belltower.
Inside, the church was unusual for its lack of interior ornament and its use of reinforced-concrete arches to support the central cupola, doing away with the need for columns along the nave, and thus maximizing the space available for worshippers. The aim was to fill the church with workers from the surrounding slums, and the main attraction was an icon of the Resurrection of Christ, presented to the Society of Sobriety by Damian, Patriarch of Jerusalem. Before the Revolution, the Church of the Resurrection attracted up to one million supplicants a year, and the Society could count its work a success.
After the Revolution, the icons and frescoes were stolen or destroyed. During the Soviet period, it was used as a warehouse and a cinema. The building was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church during Perestroika.
The reconstruction of the historical interiors will include the iconostasis, frescoes, gilding, and extensive repairs to the 400-squre meter dome which dominates the church.
Illegal Construction Carried out in Arkhangelskoye Estate Topic: Yusupov
A modern building is planned to be erected at the territory of the Arkhangelskoye memorial estate in Moscow.
Builders have dug a huge ditch just several hundred meters away from the Arkhangelskoye Palace, and drove heavy construction equipment and delivered building materials to the protected zone.
This has been reported by the editor-in-chief of Our Heritage magazine Vladimir Enisherlov. According to him, "This territory represents the neighbourhood of two establishments: the memorial estate itself and a military sanatorium. The military sanatorium appeared there after the revolution, when Lev Trotsky seized Arkhangelskoye. Later, in the 1960s, a sports base hotel of the CSKA football team was built in less than one kilometer away from the palace. This base was demolished at the end of the last year. So, we all thought that now the Ministry of Defense would restore that part of Yusupov’s Park, where the base had been constructed. But just three days ago new construction was started there. They say that the House of Receptions of the Ministry of Defense will be built there”, reports Radio Kultura.
Grand Duchess Maria Meets With St. Petersburg Governor Topic: Grand Duchess Maria
St. Petersburg Governor, George Poltavchenko met with the Head of the Russian Imperial House, the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, at the Smolny today, where they discussed preparations for the 36th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to be held this year in St. Petersburg. The main topic of the session will be devoted to the preservation of the historic center of the former Russian capital.
The Governor met with the Grand Duchess and her son, the Grand Duke Georgi Mikhailovich, also noted that the program is being developed to preserve the historic city center, which will be financed from both federal and municipal budgets, as well as private investors. It will enable a comprehensive approach to addressing the conservation of the historical center of the Northern capital. "The city looks great, it has changed a lot since I visited it for the first time in 1992,"--said the Grand Duchess. She also acknowledged the the amount of restoration work already accomplished of historic sites around the city.
Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and Governor Poltavchenko also discussed preparations marking the 400th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty in 2013. A number of events are scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg, as well as the suburban palace-museum complexes.
"This is a celebration not only of the history of my family. The most important thing we can do is develop events and activities that will benefit everyone,"--said the Grand Duchess.
During her visit to St. Petersburg this week, the Grand Duchess Maria also visited Kronstadt, Oranienbaum, and Tsarskoye Selo. At Kronstadt, she signed a sponsorship agreement between the Russian Imperial House and the Baltic Fleet's escort ship, Yaroslav the Wise.
While in St. Petersburg, the Grand Duchess Maria and Grand Duke Georgi also attended a service marking the 20th anniversary of the death of her father, the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, who served as Head of the Russian Imperial House for more than 50 years, from 1938-1992.