Lack of Funding Will Delay Alexander Palace Restorations Topic: Alexander Palace
The restoration of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo will drag on for years as the Ministry of Culture is unlikely to provide the necessary funding to carry out the restoration work before 2018.
Despite this setback, work is “ongoing though far from complete,” according to Nikita Yavein, of Studio 44, the firm who are carrying out the restoration of the palace. The ground (basement) floor of the building is currently being renovated.
To date, the palace facades and roof have been repaired. In 2010, the three State Halls were restored and opened to the public. Once the restoration is complete, the Alexander Palace will rank among the most important museums to visit in the St. Petersburg region.
For more information on the master plan to restore the Alexander Palace, please refer to the following link;
Peterhof Celebrates SS Peter and Paul Feast Day Topic: Peterhof
On July 12th, a liturgy in honour of the Saints Peter and Paul was held at the church of the Grand Palace at Peterhof. The service was conducted by Bishop Markell of Peterhof.
At the end of the liturgy the Bishop spoke about the importance of the event and thanked Elena Kalnitsky, Director General of the Peterhof Palace Museum Preserve. He thanked her for the opportunity to conduct the service in the church and for her work in the restoration of the historical monument. Kalnitsky replied that she hoped that the service would be held annually.
After years of restoration, the church was reopened as a museum on July 12th, 2011.
The SS Peter and Paul Church was built by the architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli on the orders of the Empress Elizabeth (1709-1762). The church was consecrated in 1751 abd became one of the main venues of celebrations for the Russian Imperial family, including birthdays, name days, baptisms, and marriages.
For more information on the restoration of the SS Peter and Paul Church at Peterhof, please refer to the following page on our web site;
Childrens Fire-Tower Reconstructed at Peterhof Topic: Peterhof
The Children’s Fire-Tower officially opened this week on the grounds of the Farm Palace, located in the Alexandria Park at Peterhof. The reconstruction was based on the original 19th-century drawings of A.I. Semenov.
The miniature building was originally built in 1850 for the children of Emperor Alexander II. It was demolished for firewood by the local Soviets in the 1930s.
The Farm, Cottage and Lower Palaces, all located in the Alexandria Park at Peterhof were popular summer residences of the Russian sovereigns and their families. It was here amongst the natural beauty of the park that areas were set aside where the August children could play, and learn useful and important skills in a relaxed atmosphere. One of these skills was the ability to extinguish fires, which were common in St. Petersburg and the surrounding area at the time.
The Children’s Fire-Tower is made of carved wood, complete with a tower, a mock fire alarm, a wooden cross and a flag bearing the emblem of Alexandria (a white rose). Inside the tiny building are a fire barrel (which would have been filled with water), and the appropriate supplies: children’s helmets, hooks, axes and other tools, buckets, leather and brass sleeves, and a hose attached to a water cannon. The latter is decorated with the emblem of Peterhof, created by the firm of Gustav Liszt.
The fire-tower is one of a series of children’s miniature buildings constructed in the 19th century in the Alexandria Park, which included a farm, mill, playground, castle, tower, among others. Sadly, nothing remains of any of the other children’s buildings.
American Magnates Ordered Murder of Nicholas II - Historian Topic: Conspiracy Theories
Disclaimer: The following article appeared in the Russian press this week, it is the latest "conspiracy theory" on the murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family in July 1918. It is important to note that Royal Russia does not subscribe to this theory, I am merely sharing the story on this blog. Paul Gilbert, Editor
Pyotr Multatuli, a researcher at the Academy of Sciences, with a PhD in History and author of six books about Nicholas II is convinced that assassination of the last Russian emperor's family was ordered in the USA.
"The crime was initiated by the Bolshevik government in Moscow, mainly by the head of the All Russian Central Executive Committee Yakov Sverdlov, and Shaya Goloshchekin, Yakov Yurovsky, Alexander Beloborodov executed it in the Urals. The details were cleared out when the White Army came into Yekaterinburg. There was an investigation and investigator Nikolay Sokolov played an important part in it, he managed to take the materials out to Europe," Multatuli was quoted as saying by the Argumenty i Fakty daily.
In 1922, Sokolov decrypted secret talks between Sverdlov and Yurovsky where it was mentioned that the USA gave an order "to liquidate the whole family." The order was conveyed to Moscow through American mission that then was located in Vologda.
A community of transnational capital was formed in the USA in the early 20th century, representatives of certain financial and industrial circles were its members. Its headquarters was located in New York. The community strove to establish world hegemony and set up unipolar world, the edition writes.
Besides financial and industrial component, the community had mystical and occult character. There were its followers all around the world. These people could not realize their plans without eliminating autocratic Orthodox Russia. Therefore the monarch aroused organization's irreconcilable animosity, the author writes.
Russian Investigator Doesn't Doubt Authenticity of Royal Remains
Vladimir Solovyov of the Russian Investigative Committee
The Russian Investigative Committee is prepared to examine new evidence on the execution of the Russian imperial family available to the Russian Orthodox Church, but does not doubt that the "Yekaterinburg remains" are authentic.
"If new evidence has emerged, we will gladly study it and we are prepared for cooperation," Vladimir Solovyov, the senior forensic investigators of the Investigative Committee's Main Forensic Department, who investigated the execution of the family of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, told Interfax on Thursday,
"We have no doubts that the remains found near Yekaterinburg are those of members of the tsar's family and their domestic servants," he said.
This was vividly proven in tests, conducted in 2007-2008, he added.
"Absolutely unique tests were conducted with samples of Nicholas II's blood. The genotype of the blood on Nichols II's shirt after he was wounded in Japan in 1891 fully coincided with the genotype of skeleton No.4. This genotype can be clearly tracked to heir to the throne Alexey," he said.
"Whichever new objects may be produced, we will gladly study them. I am sure they will prove again, as it happened over the past 20 years, that the remains of the imperial family were buried [near Yekaterinburg]," Solovyov said.
Neither the Russian Orthodox Church, nor the House of Romanov has recognized the authenticity of the remains, citing the absence of sufficient evidence.
It emerged on Thursday that the Moscow Patriarchate could change its position on the "Yekaterinburg remains."
Russian Orthodox Church To Clarify Stance on Tsar Family Remains Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The Russian Orthodox Church is planning to clarify its position regarding the recognition of the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family members who were murdered by the Bolsheviks shortly after the Russian Revolution, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said on Thursday.
Addressing members of the Holy Synod in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, the patriarch said he had received “very important information” from New York about the circumstances of the tsar family’s murder in July 1918.
“I suppose these circumstances will help us define our position, including that related to the so-called ‘Yekaterinburg remains,'” the patriarch said, without specifying what kind of information he had obtained.
He said he intended to share the materials with members of the Holy Synod and work out a unified position on the issue.
The Romanov family – the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, his German-born wife Alexandra, their four daughters and son – and several servants, were shot dead by the Bolsheviks in a basement in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in the early hours of July 17, 1918.
The remains of most of the murdered tsar family members and their servants were discovered outside Yekaterinburg in July 1991 and buried in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg in the summer of 1998.
In 2007, seven years after the murdered Romanovs were canonized in 2000, two bodies that had been missing - the daughter and son of tsar Nicholas II - were discovered near Yekaterinburg.
DNA tests confirmed that the discovered remains were authentic, but the Church has so far refused to recognize their authenticity. It instead favors the version put forward by the original investigator, Nikolai Sokolov, who argued back in 1919 that the Romanov family’s remains had been completely destroyed.
For more information, please refer to the following links;
A new edition of Last Days at Tsarskoe Selo by Count Paul Benckendorff is now available from our online bookshop. The price is $20.00 CAD + shipping.
Count Paul Benckendorff served as the Grand Marshall of the Russian Imperial Court under Tsar Nicholas II. After the collapse of the monarchy, both he and his wife shared the captivity of the Russian Imperial family at Tsarskoe Selo.
His narrative provides a detailed eye-witness account of the last tsars’ abdication, transfer to Tsarskoe Selo, and daily life during his months there under house arrest.
Throughout, Benckendorff characterizes Emperor Nicholas II and his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna as courageous, gracious, and poised despite their obvious concern over the safety of their family.
Originally published in 1927, this new edition of Count Benckendorff’s memoirs is the most comprehensive to date. New features include a preface, an expanded introduction about the author, as well as a collection of more than 40 photographs not found in the original. The text is unabridged and includes all of the appendixes from the original edition.
Romanov Quadricentenary Egg Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 1 minute, 5 seconds Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
In 1913 Tsar Nicholas II presented his wife, the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, the Romanov Tercentenary Egg designed and made by Carl Fabergé. This Easter gift was presented on 14th April 1913.
In 2003 Theo Fabergé, grandson of Carl Fabergé, has designed the Romanov Quadricentenary Egg which was presented to the Tsarskoye Selo Palace-Museum.
The theme of the Egg is the quadricentenary of the House of Romanov, which had been founded by Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov in 1613.
This Egg with 18 miniature decorations, celebrating the 18 Romanov Tsars, is created in solid sterling silver with sapphire blue royal guilloché enamel and 18 carat gold. The finial of the Egg is the double-headed Romanov eagle, but in fact a triple-headed eagle, so that from which ever angled viewed the double-headed eagle is visible. The base, ornamentally turned on Theo Fabergé’s Holtzapfel lathe from 1860, again celebrates the 18 Romanov Tsars with 18 deep cuts and covered with pure 24 carat gold.
The surprise within, the Romanov Griffen in sterling silver and 24 carat gold with a sword set in diamonds. The Griffen can be removed and displayed outside of the Egg.
Historic Kresty Prison to Get New Lease on Life? Topic: St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg officials are exploring the possibilities of breathing new life into the infamous Kresty Prison on the Arsenalnaya Embankment.
Turning the prison into a hotel, a museum, an art gallery, a business center and even a creative cluster complete with studios of local artists are just some of the ideas that have already been voiced.
Although in no way a postcard view, Kresty became one of the city’s iconic images long before St. Petersburg earned the unflattering nickname of Russia’s criminal capital in the turbulent 1990s. It has housed members of the Russian Imperial family, including the Grand Dukes Nicholas and George Mikhailovich, Grand Duke Dimitri Constantinovich as well as some of the country’s most high-profile prisoners, including politicians Lev Trotsky and Alexander Kerensky. The prison has also been the setting for dozens of thrillers and crime series.
Built in 1890 and designed by the architect Antony Tomishko, Kresty is scheduled to relocate to Kolpino in 2015.
The jail got its nickname, Kresty (Crosses) very shortly after it received its first inmates. The two four-story wings of the prison are designed in the form of a cross. According to legend, Tomishko initially designed the jail for 999 cells, but there was a 1000th cell, where the architect himself was locked up and buried after allegedly saying to the tsar, “Look what a beautiful prison I have built for you.” Although no proof has ever been found for the legend, speculation about the mythical 1000th cell still circulates. There are in fact 960 cells in the prison.
The prison has not undergone large-scale renovation since it was built.
Many of the country’s prisons are located in historical buildings, many of which were built back in tsarist times.
The fate of the historic prison will be made in the autumn when City Hall plans to announce a tender for potential investors to redevelop the territory of the prison and its surroundings.