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Saturday, 2 March 2013
Giving Back to Russia - Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof
Topic: Paul Gilbert

 

Since 1994, I have worked as an independent publisher and bookseller specializing in books and periodicals on the Romanov dynasty and Imperial Russia. In the past few years I have branched out into rare and second-hand books, and currently work through dealers in Moscow and St. Petersburg to offer collectors unique titles published in Russian and English.

Bookselling and publishing are my only means of support; I do not earn any income from Royal Russia at all. Therefore, I am very, very grateful to each and every one of you who support my online bookshop, because without your patronage there would be no Royal Russia.

Earning a living from my book business allows me to devote my free time to my web site and blog, even if that requires working extra hours 7 days a week. I love my work, and I trust that is reflected through my web site, blog and the publications that I produce. I am privileged and honoured to share Royal Russia with other Romanovphiles and Russophiles around the world.

Royal Russia is supported through the generous donations of people who share an interest in the Romanov dynasty and the history of Imperial Russia.

It is also supported by the sale of a calendar, created once a year with a unique theme and richly illustrated with rare and beautiful photographs and illustrations. The proceeds from the sale of this calendar help me to offset the costs of maintaining a growing web site and blog that is expected to receive 2 million visitors in 2013, a huge achievement and a new record!

I have been very blessed all these years to work at a job that I truly enjoy. As a result, I would like to start giving something back to Russia.

I am pleased to announce that on behalf of Gilbert's Books, I have made donations to the following;

$200.00 CAD to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve 

and

$350.00 CAD to  the Peterhof State Museum-Preserve

These donations go towards restoration work and the acquisition of items for the palace-museum collections. I am very proud that I have been given the opportunity to make at least a small contribution to each museum. I am committed to helping to preserve the Romanov legacy when and where I can, and will continue to make ongoing donations in the years ahead.

 

Further, I have also made a personal donation in the amount of $250.00 CAD to the Children's Village at Pushkin. This wonderful organization helps orphaned Russian children, providing them with a safe place to live and grow. Helping children is a cause which is near and dear to my heart.

Once again, thank you to each and every one you who support my publishing efforts and bookshop, as well as those who purchased calendars and/or make donations to Royal Russia. Together, we are helping to keep the memories of old Russia alive!

© Paul Gilbert. 02 March, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 3 March 2013 7:51 AM EST
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Friday, 1 March 2013
Tsar's Cross Concert, St. Petersburg
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 5 minutes, 57 seconds
Topic: Events

On March 10th, 2013 the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg will host the Tsar's Cross Concert, this year in honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The annual concert features a recital by famed Russian spiritual singer, Irina Skorik.

Songs presented at the concert come from all over Russia. They reflect a page in the tragic history of the Russian state, the innermost stirrings of the Russian soul and the harmony, love, and courage of the last Imperial family of Russia.

Irina Skorik 

One critic wrote: "The harmonious combination of the songs and photos increases the aesthetic, emotional perception of the music combined with the lyrics which awakens in the soul a deep sense of love, repentance, faith, and amazing clarity."  

The above video offers a haunting spiritual song and slide presentation dedicated to the Holy Royal Martyrs Nicholas II and his family sung by Ms Skorik.

© Paul Gilbert. 01 March, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:38 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 3 March 2013 7:54 AM EST
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© Royal Russia. 01 March, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:10 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 1 March 2013 8:12 AM EST
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Thursday, 28 February 2013
Kremlin to Celebrate Jubilee of World War I
Topic: World War I

 

The Kremlin has announced that Russia will mark the 100th anniversary of the country's entry into World War I in 2014. Russian authorities intend to refresh the knowledge of its citizens of Russia's participation in the Great War.

The Kremlin will order the burials of soldiers of the Russian army in the territory of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Serbia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Greece and Germany. An online archive of documentary photographs and soldiers’ letters and memories of military operations will be created on the Internet. A monument will be erected in Moscow in memory of the victims onboard a hospital vessel which was sunk by a German submarine in 1916. 

Authorities also plan the founding of a uniform museum and archive of World War I.

The immense contribution which Russia played during the First World War was largely ignored during the Soviet years. A century later, it seems only fitting that Russia now honour those who sacrificed their lives for their country.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 28 February, 2013


 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:17 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2013 6:39 AM EST
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Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Lead Shot Fired at Tsar Nicholas II to be Sold
Topic: Faberge

 

The shot was recovered and mounted on a gold seal and presented to Tsar Nicholas II as a gift. Photo Credit: Wartski 

It may look innocuous, but this tiny lead ball is thought to have triggered a rebellion that saw millions of Russians die and gave rise to the world's first communist state.

When the ball of shot narrowly missed hitting Tsar Nicholas II after it was fired from a cannon in 1905 in St Petersburg, it is believed to have set in motion a chain of events that culminated in the Russian Revolution.

Now its unique place in history is expected to see the grapeshot ball - which has been privately owned for almost a century - fetch up to half a million pounds at auction.

The lead shot missed the Russian Tsar by three feet when it was fired during a ceremonial salute outside the Winter Palace in January 1905.

Although an investigation later found the shot had been fired by accident, Nicholas II is said to have been convinced he had been the target of an assassination attempt.

Three days later, the Russian Imperial Guard opened fire on a crowd of striking workers and their families during a peaceful demonstration, killing almost 100.

This incident earned the Tsar the title 'Nicholas the Bloody'* and led to a decade of civil unrest that culminated in the Russian Revolution of 1917.

*Bloody Sunday is the subject of a new article to appear in Royal Russia Annual No. 4, to be published August 2013. The author, Andrei Mantsov takes a new look at the facts of this historic event based on documents from the Russian archives, ones that are continually overlooked or ignored by Western historians - PG.

The rebellion dismantled the Tsarist autocracy in Russia and paved the way for the creation of the USSR, led by communist revolutionary Lenin.

Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed in 1918.

The shot was recovered from scene of the 1905 'shooting' by a Russian duke who had been standing next to the Tsar at the time.

He took it to famed goldsmiths Faberge where the shot, which measures 1.5ins in diameter, was mounted on a gold seal that was later given to Nicholas II as a present.

A member of the royal court took it with him when he fled Russia at the outbreak of the revolution.

It has been in private ownership ever since but has now gone on general sale for the first time through London antiques dealer Wartski.

The item could sell for up to £500,000 given its 'exceptional' provenance and Faberge seal, experts said.

Wartski's managing director Geoffrey Munn, who has appeared on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow, said: 'This is a truly historic piece and an extraordinary treasure.

'The provenance is quite exceptional and from a time that now seems so remote yet was in an age of the motorcar and electricity.

'The will to revolution was born from this ball and the events that followed it being fired.'

Nicholas II's grandfather had been assassinated by revolutionary terrorists in 1881, and when he became Tsar in 1894, he used severe measures to subdue resistance movements.

But by 1905 he was seen as a weak leader, and on January 19 that year he concluded the grapeshot fired from a cannon was at attempt on his life.

This grapeshot ball is said to have missed him by three feet while another shattered a window, showering the Tsar's mother, the Dowager Empress, with splinters of glass.

© The Daily Mail. 27 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:17 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 6 March 2013 11:09 AM EST
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Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Cinematryoshka: Six Incarnations of Anna Karenina
Topic: Russian Film

There are more than 20 adaptations of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. And the more they appear - they more critical notes they collect from Russian literary square-toes. They are trying desperately to accuse directors of being inattentive towards Anna's descriptions.

According to the text, Anna had full throat and shoulders, rounded arms with tiny slender wrists, firm strong neck and straying curls of dark hair. "All that was noticeable was the little wilful tendrils of her curly hair that would always break free about her neck and temples." She prefered to dress in black and simple gowns, and not in these colorful cake-like dresses with laces and ruches. "Her black dress, with its sumptuous lace, was not noticeable on her; it was only the frame, and all that was seen was she--simple natural, elegant, and at the same time gay and eager."

But who said that a director should relentlessly follow the description? He, as an artist, should be free to treat the text. So we won't judge anyone and let you decide, which Anna Karenina is the most Karenina ever. Is it slim Keira Knightley, or gentle and soft Marceau? Or the most beautiful women of the world of cinematography Greta Garbo and Vivien Leigh represents Anna's virtue the best? Are Russian actresses Tatiana Samoilova or Tatiana Drubich more close to the authentic Karenina? It is up to you to decide.

© Rossiyskaya Gazeta. 26 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:25 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2013 11:31 AM EST
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Monday, 25 February 2013
Peterhof Discusses Future of Lower Palace of Nicholas II
Topic: Peterhof

 

Elena Kalnitskaya, General Director of the Peterhof State Museum-Preserve has announced that the museum is now discussing the future of the Lower Palace (or Lower Dacha) located in the Alexandria Park on the shore of the Gulf of Finland.

The Lower Palace was the home of Tsar Nicholas II and his family while in residence at Peterhof. After the Revolution, the palace became a museum until 1936. It was later used as a holiday home for the more privileged members of the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs). During the Second World War the palace was badly damaged. During the 1960s it became a popular spot with monarchists and a decision was made by the local Soviet to blow the building up. 

Kalnitskaya said that the museum is currently considering a number of options. Among them is the conservation of the ruins, or even a complete reconstruction of the palace. She made the announcement during an interview with topspb.tv in St. Petersburg. 

During the interview she noted that her father, who was born in 1915, told her about the days when it was a museum, "filled with lots of toys" that once belonged to the Tsar's children.

The subject of reconstructing the Lower Palace was raised several years back, however, the project was shelved due to lack of funding. According to museum staff, the storage vaults at Peterhof house a large repository of documents, plans, photographs, and items from the former palace that would allow them to rebuild the structure and open it as a museum dedicated to the private world of the last Tsar and his family.

Kalnitskaya noted that she favours the conservation of the ruins as "a monument to human barbarism of the 20th century." All options will be reviewed by a special committee before a final decision is made. 

The ruins of the Lower Palace are a short walk from the Cottage Palace in the Alexandria Park, however, accessibility is now greatly restricted due to a large fence that was erected in recent years. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 February, 2013


 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:15 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 3 March 2013 8:03 AM EST
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Saturday, 23 February 2013
Power and Time: Images of Russian Monarchs in Modern Painting
Topic: Exhibitions

 

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, the Artillery Museum in St. Petersburg is hosting a unique exhibition, Power and Time: Images of Russian Monarchs in Modern Painting.

The exhibit showcases a total of 72 portraits of the Russian monarchs from the founder of the Rurik dynasty to the last monarch, Emperor Nicholas II of the Romanov dynasty.

The uniqueness of this project lies in the fact that the portraits are done in the Parsuna style which was popular during the 17th century in Russia. Portraits created in this style reflect a strong dependence on iconography.

Along with the gallery of Russian monarchs are iconic paintings of the heavenly patrons of Russia, as well as paintings of various scenes of Russian history. More than 200 portraits are on display, created by established artists and students of art schools including the St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts.

The Artillery Museum is the oldest military museum in Russia and situated directly across from the Peter and Paul Fortress. The exhibition will run through April 2013.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:05 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2013 8:30 AM EST
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Friday, 22 February 2013
A Russian Moment No. 8
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo

 

A breathtaking aerial view of the Feodorovsky Gorodok (left) and the Sovereign Feodorovsky Cathedral (right) at Tsarskoye Selo. The Feodorovsky Gorodok is currently under restoration and once completed will serve as the Patriarch's official residence. The Sovereign Feodorovsky Cathedral has undergone exhaustive restorations that span nearly two decades. Both are a short walk from the Alexander Palace. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:28 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 22 February 2013 3:39 PM EST
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Thursday, 21 February 2013
Romanov Dynasty Turns 400 Years Old
Topic: 400th Anniversary

 

A man takes time to view an outdoor exhibition dedicated to the Romanov dynasty in Yekaterinburg

Today, February 21 (O.S. Julian Calendar)  marks the 400th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty, which ruled the country for a little over three centuries, until 1917. On February 21, 1613, a Zemsky Sobor elected the 16-year-old Mikhail Fyodorovich.

His coronation was held on June 11, 1613, in the Dormition Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin, making him the first tsar of the Romanov Dynasty. The Moscow Kremlin museums have unveiled a facsimile edition of the 17th century manuscript which describes the crowning.

Celebrations were held across Russia today.

In Saint Petersburg, a requiem service was held at the tombs of the Romanov buried at the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

In the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, celebrations began with a divine liturgy and the opening of an outdoor exhibition dedicated to the Romanov dynasty.

The exhibition is centered on the last Russian emperor Nicholas II and his family, who were murdered by the Bolsheviks in the cellar of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918. The Moscow Patriarchate canonized the family in 2000.

The museums of the Moscow Kremlin in 2013 will showcase two exhibitions related to the history of Russia and its rulers. On March 19 the exhibition dedicated to Ivan III opens at the Pillar Chamber – this ruler is often connected with the association of Russian lands around Moscow which became the center of the state, he also adopted the so-called Code of Law.

The Art of Saving Art exhibition which will open on April 9 in the exhibition hall of the Uspenskaya Belfry will reveal the secrets of restoration crafts on the examples of the best art works of Russian and foreign artists - Moscow Kremlin is rich in these works.

In mid-September the Museums of the Kremlin will present a magnificent exhibition Coronation in the Moscow Kremlin (XVI-XIX centuries) dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.

Among other events taking place in Russia in honor of this anniversary, a memorial Romanov bell will be raised at Novospassky Monastery in Moscow, the 2013 Romanov Festival is being held in Kostroma, the Omsk Museum of Fine Arts is hosting a Romanov Exhibition and Nizhniy Novgorod is hosting a photography exhibition depicting royal visits to this city.

The anniversary is also being celebrated elsewhere around the world throughout the year. For example, in the United States at the Hillwood Museum in Washington DC is presenting a special exhibition of the coronation albums created over the course of the family’s reign. In Great Britain new tableware released by Royal Buckingham for purchase by the public will have the Romanov crest and 1613-2013 depicted on it. A collection of historical carpets called “The Romanovs: A Great Dynasty” will tour to world, travelling to Moscow, St. Petersburg, London, Paris, New York and Madrid.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 February, 2013



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:05 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 22 February 2013 3:25 PM EST
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