White Flower Day Celebrated at Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: Topic: Russian Church
The White Flower Day, an event originally initiated by members of the last Russian Imperial family was held today at the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow.
Russia's first White Flower Day was originally held in 1911. The Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, aided by her four daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and her son, the Tsesarevich Alexis, all took an active role in the making of crafts which were then sold to the public. The funds raised from the sale of these items, including bunches of white flowers were then distributed to local charities, who helped alleviate the suffering of those in need.
The grand duchesses and the tsesarevich during the White Flower Day festivities at Livadia
Visitors to the Martha and Mary Convent were invited to attend a liturgy in the church, followed by the charity fair on the grounds of the Convent. A string quartet from the Bolshoi Theatre performed in the garden. Other musical events included a concert from children by the parish choir.
Guests could also view the private rooms of the founder of the monastery, Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. The monastery also hosted a unique photo exhibition entitled The Unknown Romanovs, which focused on the many deeds of charity work that Tsar Nicholas II and his family were involved in up until 1917.
The charitable event was also held in other cities across Russia and the Ukraine, including Livadia in the Crimea, where it has become and annual event since 2005.
Romanov Portraits in the Catherine Palace Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich & Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna
Housed in a row of six rooms adjoining the suite of formal halls at the Catherine Palace, the Romanov Dynasty exhibition chronologically presents many personal items of the former crowned residents at Tsarskoye Selo: from Empress Elizabeth Petrovna to the last of the Romanovs, Emperor Nicholas II. Their personal characters, tastes and interests, are reflected in formal portraits, furniture, bronzeware, porcelain and other items from the museum collections, tell the story of their over-150-year life in the residence. Here is a selection of some of the portraits that grace these rooms.
Medallion With Portrait of Peter the Great Returned to Ostankino Topic: Ostankino
Ostankino is the former summer residence of the Sheremetev family
In a ceremony presided by the Austrian Ambassador, a stolen art work has been returned to its home museum of Ostankino just outside Moscow.
The item is a large 18th-century porcelain relief portrait featuring the profile of Emperor Peter the Great. It disappeared from the museum in 1996 and turned up in 2011 at a Vienna auction. The Austrian authorities wasted no time in seizing it.
Russian Orthodox Church Opens Facebook Account on Patriarch Topic: Russian Church
The information department of the Russian Orthodox Church has opened a Facebook account called Patriarch Kirill to inform internet users about his life and work, a deputy chief spokesman for the patriarch said on Tuesday.
“It is not a personal page of Patriarch Kirill. It is an official information resource of the Moscow patriarchate maintained by the Synod information department,” said Deacon Alexander Volkov, adding that the account would not make it possible to contact the church leader personally.
The Romanovs and the Russian Red Cross Topic: Russian History
Today marks the 145th anniversary of the Russian Red Cross, one of the world’s oldest humanitarian organizations, established by the Russian Imperial family. It was on 15th May, 1867 that Emperor Alexander II approved the first Charter of the Russian Society of the Red Cross (RSRR), thus initiating its development in Russia. The Red Cross was under the patronage of the Empress up until 1917.
At the outbreak of World War I members of the Russian Imperial family became actively involved with the Russian Red Cross. Empress Alexandra and her two eldest daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana enrolled as trainee nurses. Hospitals under the patronage of the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna among others including the more senior grand duchesses played a key role in the care of wounded soldiers from the Front.
Pictured above are medical personnel and wounded Russian soldiers at a hospital established in one of the tsar's palaces. Seated in the second row are the Grand Duchesses Anastasia, Maria, Olga, their mother, Empress Alexandra, and Grand Duchess Tatiana. The photograph was taken in 1915.
The Red Cross with Imperial Portraits Egg is a jewelled and enamel Easter egg made by Henrik Wigstrom, under the supervision of Karl Faberge in 1915. It was made for Emperor Nicholas II, who presented the egg to his mother, the Dowager Empress Marie, in the same year.
The surprise inside was a hinged, folding screen of five oval miniatures of women from the Russian Imperial family, each wearing the uniform of the Red Cross. The portraits depict Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna (Nicholas II's sister), Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana (Nicholas II's eldest daughters), Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, and Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna (Nicholas II's first cousin).
The Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna served with the Russian Red Cross during the 1877 Russo-Turkish War, and was later President of the Red Cross from 1894 until her death in 1928. When the Tsar presented her with the Red Cross With Imperial Portraits Egg in 1915, she was still serving as Head of the Russian Branch of the International Red Cross.
Prince Michael of Kent: Britain's Royal Link to Russia Topic: Romanov Descendants
Interview with Richard Fitzwilliams, royal commentator.
Prince Michael is the Queens’s first cousin and his grandfather King George V was the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas.
And I believe even his name has a Russian connection, is that correct?
It is, indeed. He is named after the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich who was the younger brother of Tsar Nicholas.
And I think for most people in Britain, if they’ve ever seen these old photographs of the Russian Tsar Nicholas, Prince Michael has a beard like the Tsar did and there is a remarkable physical resemblance, isn’t there?
There is an extraordinary physical resemblance. If you were casting a film and wanted a character to play the Tsar, he seems almost a double. I think one of the reasons that he has taken such an enormous amount of trouble – firstly to learn Russian which he did in the 1960’es, he became an army interpreter in 1968, he spent 20 years in the army, retiring in 1981…
So, his Russian is actually quite good.
His Russian is extremely good. And after the fall of the Soviet Union, since 1992 he has been to Russia around 50 times. He is the patron of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce and also he has devoted a great time it seems to becoming popular with Russia by narrating. For example at the documentary about the tragic fate of the Tsar and his family, and of course one bears in mind that there is a certain guilt in Britain on the subject because of course they did not receive asylum in Britain of the royal doubts, over the reception this would receive publically.
And whose decision was that in the end not to allow the Russian royal family to claim asylum here?
Ultimately it was the decision of George V. It was something I suspect he felt extremely guilty about. And there is no doubt, I think that has been perhaps one of the reasons that Prince Michael is doing what he is doing. It is important to remember that as the second son of the fourth son of George V he does not undertake official royal duties, his brother does, he doesn’t. But he has taken on an unpaid royal role whilst being a business consultant and he represented the Queen when abroad, he and his wife Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz, whom he married in 1978, she was the Roman Catholic and on that basis he was departed from the line of succession, they have represented the Queen abroad at certain occasions and in certain countries. But he does not actually undertake official royal engagements, he is a business consultant. He is also very well known as a free Mason, he is the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge and he is attached to about a hundred charitable organizations in one sort or another.
People outside England or Britain may not understand that just being the Queen’s cousin is not necessarily a route to riches, is it? I mean he doesn’t actually get paid by the state.
Only the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh receive money from the civil list which is funded by the state. Certain other members of the royal family receive what is called a parliamentary annuity and then the Parliament is refunded by the Monarch from the revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster. It is important that listeners realize that being a member of the British royal family does not mean you receive state funding. He has to make his way on his own. And that has obviously involved him in various business ventures but has posed enormous emphasis because of his background on charitable activities.
Do we actually know very much about, I mean it seems there is almost a genetic legacy that he should have a connection to Russia. Do we know exactly what he’s done in Russia or what he likes doing in Russia?
We know that he goes to Russia and has a charitable foundation there. We know also, according to British press anyway, that he is popular in Russia. We know most importantly that in 1998 when the Tsar and his family were buried with the ceremony in St. Petersburg that Prince Michael attended. I guess it was a somewhat controversial ceremony in Russia under the President Yeltsin. And there is little doubt, he sees this as an integral part of the function that he has taken on.
Russian Historical Society Revive Their Traditions Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute, 48 seconds Topic: Russian History
Grand Duke Nicholas Mikhailovich served as President of the Imperial Russian Historical Society
After 95 years, the Russian Historical Society have revived their traditions. Today, the Chairman of the State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin has laid the groundwork for its successor.
"The goals of the Society will be respect for history, historical education, and the study and preservation of archival documents," said Naryshkin. "Consistent with the traditions of the Imperial Russian Historical Society, which published more than 150 volumes of documentary publications before the Revolution, we will continue this work in collaboration with Rosarkhiv, RAS, and the All-Russia Society of Historians, and archivists," he went on to say.
Founded in 1866, the Imperial Russian Historical Society was banned in 1917. The fate of many of its members was a sad one: dismissal, exile, and even death. Despite this, however, the Society carried on with its activities in exile. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, there has been a growing interest among Russians in the history of pre-Revolutionary Russia. New books on the Romanov dynasty and Imperial Russia quickly fill the shelves of book stores. But the revision of the past goes hand in hand with the falsification of facts. In this regard, the new Russian Historical Society plans more control of educational and methodological literature on Russian history, encouraging only the finest teachers, and a revival of interest in the study of Russia's past.
"The rebirth of the famous Imperial Russian Historical Society is very important. The Society lasted more than half a century, and attracted numerous intellectuals, historians, poets, and composers," said the MGIMO rector Anatoly Torkunov.
Court Blocks Efforts to Build at Arkhangelskoye Topic: Yusupov
The Moscow Region Arbitration Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Oblstroiuniversal against the Cadastral Chamber of the Moscow Region, a division of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography.
The company leases 20 hectares of forestland in the park attached to Arkhangelskoye Museum and wanted to deprive the land of its conservation status, which prohibits any construction on it.
The site dates to the 18th century and surrounds the well-known Gonzago Theater.
The park, which has a total area of 46 hectares, was leased to three private companies for "health and fitness purposes" in 2004. In 2008, the agreements were rewritten for "recreational purposes" with the right to build. Tenants planned construction, in spite of restrictions stemming from the site's historical status in cadastral records.
"To overcome that obstacle the tenants filed suit," said Yevgeny Sosedov, deputy head of the Moscow region branch of the All-Russia Society for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments.
"Removal of restrictions from the state cadastre … would really free their hands," added Alexei Konevsky, head of land law, real estate and construction practice at the Pepeliaev Group law firm.
In addition to Oblstroiuniversal, the other two tenants at Arkhangelskoye had filed similar suits. On March 1, the Moscow Region Arbitration Court ruled in favor of Erlik Group, which rents 20 hectares. But on March 11, the same court dismissed the suit brought by the Park Arkhangelskoye company, which rents the 6 hectares of forestland around Gonzago Theater. Park Arkhangelskoye has not appealed that decision.
Construction in protected historical and cultural areas is a frequent subject of dispute in Russian arbitration courts, Konevsky said.
"However, tenants rarely win in such disputes, only if there is something wrong with the documents establishing the land's conservation status," he said.
The owners as well as the tenants of Arkhangelskoye are fighting for the land. The Defense Ministry, which previously owned 20.67 hectares of land since 2005, sold it at auction to Gradostroi, owned by businessman Viktor Kiselyov, for 754.5 million rubles ($25 million).
A day later, Culture Minister Alexander Avdeyev asked Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to halt the sale, since a 1996 government decree transferred Arkhangelskoye and the territory surrounding it to the museum in perpetuity.
In March, the Moscow Region Arbitration Court found the auction of the land in the protected area illegal. The Defense Ministry has filed an appeal.
The Lost Bells of Solovetsky Monastery Topic: Russian Church
Solovetsky Monastery in 1915 (Photo: Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky)
Historians and archeologists have got a real chance to find the place of sinking of bells of Solovetsky Monastery lost in 1923 under obscure circumstances.
Many of these bells are 500 years old. In July the next expedition will start off from Petersburg.
The site of 50 sunken bells of the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Solovetsky Monastery remains a secret for nearly 90 years. Tens of documents have been collected and a few exploratory expeditions have taken place. In 2006 the bell of the Anzersky hermitage of the Solovetsky Monastery was found in the White Sea; however it turned impossible to salvage it.
A few months later one more expedition, the most large-scale is starting from Petersburg. Researchers say that this time the chances to find the bells are extraordinarily great.