Tsarskoye Selo Station to Regain Historic Name Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
The administration of the Pushkin District have voted to restore the historic name of the main train station at Puskhin. The station will be renamed Tsarskoye Selo-Pushkin.
According to Tatiana Bogulyubova, Deputy Head of the Administration, "the return of the historic name will assist visitor's with orientation". During the Soviet years the train station was known as Detskoe Selo (Children's Village), the name of which has no association to Tsarskoye Selo or Pushkin whatsoever.
After the Russian Revolution, Tsarskoye Selo was renamed Detskoe Selo, and in 1937 was renamed Pushkin.
The renaming of one of Russia's oldest train station's also has the support of Russian Railways.
Tsarskoye Selo can be reached from the Vitebsky Railway Station in St. Petersburg. Upon arrival, there are local buses or taxis that will take visitors to the Catherine and Alexander Palaces, or it is a 45-minute walk.
The Alexander Palace: A Walk Through the State Rooms Now Playing: Language: NA - Music. Duration: 16 minutes, 50 seconds Topic: Alexander Palace
The following 16-minute video (with musical accompaniment) takes us through the State Rooms of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.
The restoration of the Portrait, Semi-Circular and Marble Halls were completed in 2010, marking the 300th anniversary of Tsarskoye Selo.
It was from the Semi-Circular Hall that Tsar Nicholas II, his family and retinue departed the Alexander Palace for the last time on August 1, 1917. From here they were taken to the Alexandrovsky Station, and taken by train into exile to Siberia.
Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR Issues Statement on Royal Remains Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
During its regular session on June 14, 2012, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia deliberated on the matter of the discovery of the remains and other possessions relating to the martyrdom of the Royal Family which had been hidden in the walls of the stavropighial Memorial Church in Brussels.
During renovations on St Job the Much-Suffering Church, which is also dedicated to the memory of Holy Royal Martyr Nicholas II, the Royal Family and all those martyred during that time of troubles, a sealed lead cylinder was discovered along with a glass tube with a handwritten document containing an inventory of the contents of the cylinder.
The fact that the Memorial Church was in possession of these remains and other objects connected with the brutal murder of the Royal Family in Ekaterinburg had been known to the Synod of Bishops. It was also known that they were handed over by the investigator of the murder of the Royal Family, Nikolai A. Sokolov, before his death (November 23, 1924), to Prince Alexei Alexandrovich Shirinsky-Shikhmatov, and in 1940 were given to Metropolitan Seraphim (Lukianov), who at the time headed the Western European Diocese, and that further, on October 1, 1950, when the Memorial Church was consecrated by Metropolitan Anastassy, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, they were inserted into a sealed lead cylinder and built into the walls of the church.
The Synod of Bishops did not deem it proper to organize a search for the sealed capsule following the death of all the living witnesses, though naturally, over the recent two decades, many people exhibited an active interest in its existence.
Now, after its discovery, in light of the fact that the important question of the remains of the Royal Family is coming to a final conclusion based on new evidence and serious scientific research, and since controversy yet remains, the Synod of Bishops expresses its willingness to cooperate in the further study of this matter on the basis of the discovery together with the Church in Russia. An absolute condition of such research will be a pious attitude towards everything relating to the martyric end of the Royal Family and its faithful servants.
The Synod of Bishops believes and hopes that this will help achieve the final answer to this matter, which is so important to the Russian Orthodox Church.
New Political Party Seeks Restoration of Monarchy Topic: Russian Monarchy
Russian pro-Orthodox Church activists have set up a party called Samoderzavnaya Rossiya (Autocratic Russia) with the stated objective of restoring the monarchy via parliamentary procedures and, according to one of its leaders, brings together several thousand people.
Without monarchy, Russia would be unable to carry out tasks put before it in the 15th century, "when God put Russia in the place of Byzantium," Valentin Lebedev, head of the Union of Orthodox Citizens and one of Autocratic Russia's leaders, told the Interfax-Religion portal.
"Building the Third Rome is the task of the Russian people. By their work to carry out this task, our ancestors built the greatest state in the world, the Russian Empire," he said.
"We set ourselves the task of bringing the lofty spiritual ideals that the Orthodox Church enshrines into all spheres of society, primarily into government, in other words into political life," Lebedev said.
The leader of Autocratic Russia is Dmitry Merkulov, a journalist and public figure.
Lebedev said the creation of the party started last year, before Russia simplified its legislation on setting up parties.
"At the moment, the registration process is underway," he said. "After its registration the party will launch a practical struggle for power, first locally and then in the State Duma."
Lebedev said Autocratic Russia has several thousand members living in various parts of the country.
Watercolor Paintings by Emperor Alexander II to be Unveiled Topic: Alexander II
The yet unknown drawings by Emperor Alexander II will be unveiled at the Alexander Solzhenitsyn Center for Russian Emigres in Moscow on August 31, Voice of Russia reports. The exhibition is dedicated to the 200th anniversary since Russia`s victory over Napoleon in 1812.
The collection comprises the items contributed courtesy of the descendants of those who took part in the 1812 war. Apart from albums with lithographs, illustrations, rare books and magazines, visitors will see watercolor paintings made by Alexander II, featuring officers and men of 1812-1814.
Time Running Out for Grebnevo Estate Topic: Country Estates
Citizens of the Moscow Region are appealing to local authorities to rescue Grebnevo Estate, the security zone of which, though a monument of architecture, culture and history, is being sold out piece by piece.
They have forwarded a request to draw attention to the situation and to undertake appropriate measures for prevention of destruction of the estate to the regional culture minister A. Gubankov.
In order to avoid repetition of the situations in Borodino, Arkhangelskoye Estate, and now in Veshki, we request to stop urgently the sale and surveying of sites in the security zone of the Grebnevo Estate and seize all transactions with these lands”- the letter reads.
Local authorities have transferred a part of lands of Grebnevo from the status of a security zone to the status of summer cottage sites.
The historical and cultural monument Grebnevo Estate is located 30 km to the northeast from MKAD (Moscow Circle Road) in the vicinity of Fryazino town. The estate was built in 1780-1790 and its main building with two churches has survived to this day.
Massive Reconstruction of St. Petersburg Outlined Topic: St. Petersburg
Russia’s tourist Mecca, St. Petersburg, is bracing for a large-scale renovation of its historical center worth trillions of rubles, according to Georgy Poltavchenko, the city’s governor.
The seven neighborhoods of those making up the UNESCO world heritage site are getting ready for a thorough “inventory taking” and for two others – Kolomna and Konyushennaya Ploshchad – restoration projects are to be prepared, Poltavchenko said in an interview to Gorod 812.
“When we started working, we realized that we can’t do everything at the same time, and therefore we divided the [restoration] program into stages,” the city boss told the publication. The estimated cost of the entire project is 4 trillion rubles “according to the most modest calculations,” he added.
‘St. Petersburg is not Pompeii’
The large-scale project will not preserve every historical building in the area, and the city boss doesn’t conceal this fact.
The demolition ban eating away the city center is to be lifted, Poltavchenko said. “If we don’t change the legislation, we can just give up the preservation program of the historical center,” he was quoted as saying.
“St. Petersburg is not Pompeii, thank God, it’s a living city,” he said. Historical buildings considered as having no special value and providing poor living condition for their residents are to be knocked down, he added.
Preservation activists have prepared a 200-page book listing all the threatened historical monuments in the city on the Neva for the June’s UNESCO session in the city, according to heritage watchdog Arkhnadzor.
Poltavchenko’s deputy, Sergei Vyazalov, set the price for restoration works as 75 percent less in an earlier interview with Interfax. He also said that the city’s administration was going to endorse the program in the upcoming autumn.
The city governor, however, seems to have already approved the financial schemes for the project. The restoration of the first two neighborhoods carried out between 2013 and 2015 will require 69 billion from the budget.
Five other city areas will need more 360 billion, he said, from which 160 billion are expected to come from private investors.
Editor's Note: During a recent visit to St. Petersburg I was walking across the Troitsky Bridge which spans the Neva River while taking in the beautiful views of the city. It was from this vantage point that I noticed a number of new modern glass and steel buildings nestled between historic buildings, as well as building cranes in various locations on the horizon. Sadly, the historic skyline of St. Petersburg has already been ruined, thanks to greedy developers and crooked politicians. Paul Gilbert
Tsaritsyno Displays World's Largest Collection of Samovars Topic: Tsaritsino
Samovar presented to the Japanese emperor from Tsesarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich during his trip to the Far East in 1890-91
The samovar is one of the most iconic symbols of Russia, along with onion-domed churches, matryoshkas and fur hats. A temporary exhibition at the Tsaritsyno Estate provides a rare glimpse at the broad variety of these fancy “self-boilers.”
Some 200 samovars from the 18th to early 20th centuries are on display, all from the private collection of three generations of the Lobanov family from St. Petersburg. According to the curators, it’s the world’s best collection of samovars from those times, including items by renowned craftspeople and producers from various regions of Russia. In compiling the collection, the Lobanovs sought to bring together objects reflecting the history, origins and development of the samovar as an integral part of Russian domestic culture, while at the same time showing the wealth, variety and talent of local craftspeople.
Curator Yelena Dremova told RIA Novosti that the most interesting exhibits include a samovar decorated with laurel and maple leaves, made especially as a gift to the Japanese emperor from Tsesarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich (the future Tsar Nicholas II) during his trip to the Far East in 1890-91. Others belonged to such notables as writer Mikhail Bulgakov and Provisional Government Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky.
To further immerse visitors in the atmosphere of the Russian tea ceremony, the exhibition includes related objects such as tea pots and cups, sugar bowls and serving trays.
“Birds of Gzhel” is included as an extra exhibition, consisting of Archpriest Alexei Potokin’s private collection of the distinctive blue and white ceramics. The 140 items include vases, jugs, tea pots, sugar bowls, plates, trays, beer mugs, clocks, and figurines.
New Romanov Evidence Can be Studied Without Reopening Investigation Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs
The Russian Investigations Committee currently does not see any reason to resume the investigation into the murders of Nicholas II and his family based on the materials collected by White Guard investigator Nikolay Sokolov which were recently discovered in a Brussels church.
"There will probably be no initiatives from us to resume the criminal case. If the church files a request, we will decide what to do," Vladimir Solovyov, senior investigator with the Main Criminalistics Department of the Investigations Committee who investigated the case involving the killing of the tsar's family, told Interfax on Monday.
"We don't know for sure yet what has been found in Brussels," Solovyov said.
"We have no position that a criminal case will not be opened. Everything depends on what has been found. However, it's no longer 1992, when we did not have any evidence. Since then a lot of tests have been performed, so any new evidence which will prove that the remains are those of the tsar's family are unlikely to provide us with anything new," Solovyov said.
"We have no doubt that the remains are those of the tsar's family. As to the materials found in Brussels, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia have not asked the Investigations Committee to perform additional studies. Such studies can be performed without opening a criminal case," Solovyov said.
According to earlier reports, materials by investigator Sokolov, who investigated the killing of Russia's last Tsar Nicholas II and his family on the orders of Admiral Kolchak in 1919, were found during the reconstruction of the Church of Job the Long-Suffering in Brussels.
Representatives of the Romanov family said a study of the Brussels materials is likely to yield evidence on the issue of the authenticity of the tsar's family remains.
In January 2011, the Investigations Committee completed the investigation into the criminal case involving the killing of Nicholas II's family, recognizing the remains found near Yekaterinburg as those of the tsar's family.
The Russian Orthodox Church and the Romanov family have not recognized the remains as those of the tsar's family.
In late July 2012, it became known that the Moscow patriarchate may reconsider its stance on the "Yekaterinburg remains." Patriarch Krill told the Holy Synod in Kyiv that important information on the circumstances of the death of the tsar's family had been received from New York, where the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is located.
The Romanov family said it will accept the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the issue of the remains of Russia's last emperor.
Search Continues for Remains of Red Terror Victims at Peter and Paul Fortress Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 53 seconds Topic: Bolsheviks
The search for the victims of the “red terror”, begun in the Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg, during the summer of 2010 will now continue, reports Vodye Zhivoi (To the Living Waters), an organization under the auspices of Vice Governor Vasily Kichedzi of Leningrad Province.
Money for the work will be provided by the State Historical Museum of St. Petersburg.
DNA testing will also be financed in order to identify the discovered remains. The goal is to find and identify all the victims of the mass repression that took place in the former Russian capital during the years just after the Bolshevik revolution. The victims’ remains will then be given over to the earth with a solemn burial service.
In 2009, during construction work on Zayachy Island, the buried remains of prisoners executed by the Cheka from 1917–1921 were discovered. Among those who were innocently put to death in 1919 were Grand Dukes Pavel Alexandrovich, Dimitry Constantinovich, Nicholas and George Mikhailovich (three of whom were canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in 1981). The excavation continued through the summer of 2010, and the remains of over 100 people were exhumed. Tsarist Army officer’s caps were found, along with boots, sailor’s ribbons, baptismal crosses, medals, miniature icons, and fragments of soldier’s blouses and jackets.
Now that financing has again been found, another 1700 square meters have yet to be excavated in addition to the 1000 completed in 2010.