Monument to Nicholas & Alexandra Unveiled at St. Petersburg Topic: Nicholas II
A monument to Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna was unveiled yesterday in the courtyard of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, St. Petersburg. The church is situated along the Obvodny Canal near the Warsaw Railway Station.
This is the first monument dedicated to the Imperial couple and the second monument to the last Russian Empress in Russia, the other can be found at Ganina Yama, near Ekaterinburg.
The unveiling of the monument marks the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty and the 120th anniversary of the wedding of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, who were married in 1894. The construction of the monument was paid for by donations raised by members of the church.
Beautiful Orthodox Churches of Russia No. 11 Topic: Beautiful Orthodox Churches
The Church of St. John the Baptist at Chesme Palace is located in the far south area of St. Petersburg. Considered by some to be St Petersburg's single most impressive church, it was built under Catherine the Great as the house church for the Chesme Palace, a resting post between St. Petersburg and the Summer Palace in Tsarskoye Selo.
The church was designed by the German-Russian court architect Yury Felton. It was consecrated in 1780, on the tenth anniversary of Russia's naval victory over the Turkish fleet at Chesme Bay, which occurred on the birthday of John the Baptist, hence the church's name. At one point, the church was also in the possession of the knights of the Order of St. George when it was given the third name, "St. George’s Church."
In 1916 the body of Grigorii Rasputin rested in the Chesme Church before his burial at Tsarskoye Selo.
A wedding-cake structure with striped crenellated walls and five gothic turrets in place of traditional onion domes, this truly unique church has survived almost fully intact to this day, despite the fact that it was turned, along with the Chesme Palace, into part of a forced labour camp by the Soviet government - the cross on the central turret was replaced with a hammer, tongs and anvil to symbolize the toil of the proletariat.In 1923, the church was closed and used as a storehouse. Just before the Second World War, the complex was given over to the Institute of Aviation Technology, which still occupies the nearby palace to this day.
During 1970–75, the church was fully restored under the supervision of the architects M.I. Tolstov and A.P. Kulikov. In 1977, the church became a museum of the Battle of Chesme, with artifacts from the Central Naval Museum.The building was eventually returned to the Orthodox Church in 1990. The interior, which originally had Italian icons, was destroyed in a fire in 1930. However, it was restored when the church was refurbished. Inside the church, there are many iconic paintings and one particular painting of interest is that of Christ’s arrival in Nazareth. When it was a naval museum, there was a vivid painting, in rich colours, depicting the sea battle and Russian victory over the Turks, in place of the “Christ the Saviour in the iconostasis-less altar apse”. Sadly, nothing remains of the original interiors.
Today, the church is extremely popular with local worshippers. Regular services are held, and numerous visitors come to pay their respects to the war dead. It is interesting to note that the church has been used as a burial site for war heroes almost since its consecration, and the area around the church became a graveyard for soldiers who died during the Siege of Leningrad (1941-43).
Nicholas & Alexandra Monument to be Unveiled in St. Petersburg Topic: 400th Anniversary
Final preparations are being made today for the unveiling of a new monument to Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in St. Petersburg tomorrow. The unveiling ceremony of the monument will take place in the courtyard of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ on Sunday, May 12th at 13:00. The church is situated along the Obvodny Canal near the Warsaw Railway Station.
The statue of Nicholas and Alexandra is carefully lifted into place on top of its pedestal in the courtyard of the church.
The unveiling of the monument marks the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty and the 120th anniversary of the wedding of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, who were married in 1894. It is important to note that this is only the second monument to the last Russian empress, the other being at Ganina Yama. The construction of the monument was paid for by donations raised by members of the church.
Russian National Library Launches Romanov Database Online Topic: 400th Anniversary
In honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, the Russian National Library has launched a comprehensive online database on the House of Romanov. Note: this database is only available in Russian.
The House of Romanov 1613-1917 offers the most up-to-date online database consisting of genealogical information, references, online resources, and links to specific articles and other web site specializing in the study of the Romanov dynasty.
The personal pages of this online handbook include the names and titles of each member of the Imperial family dating from 1613-1917. Genealogical information includes date of birth and death, place of birth, death and burial. Russian monarchs also include dates of accession to the throne and coronation. All dates are noted in the Old (Julian) and New (Gregorian) style calendars. Family information: names of parents, spouses and children. Also included are references to military and civil service, as well as any changes in title. Each member of the Romanov family is highlighted with a photograph or image.
The personal bibliography includes major monographic research and publication sources, and the latest articles published in journals, etc. Such publications which offer electronic versions are supplied with a link.
The electronic resources section provides links to web sites, forums and articles available in the electronic media. I am pleased to note that Royal Russia is included in this section of the database, and one of the few foreign sources cited.
Rare Nicholas II Photo Album Found in Ural Museum Topic: Nicholas II
A photograph album which once belonged to Emperor Nicholas II has been discovered in the vaults of the Municipal Regional Studies Museum (founded in 1825) in the Ural city of Zlatoust, which is situated about 300 kilometres from Ekaterinburg.
The grey calico album was discovered in an old cigar box in the vault of the museum storage rooms. The 210 photographs dated from 1913-1916 show the family of Nicholas II during happier times. Many of the photographs have never been published before and are perfectly preserved.
The album was placed in the museum in the 1930s. Fearing for the safety of the historic images, museum staff carefully hid the rare album in the vaults, only a few people knew of its existence. Russians were forbidden to discuss the former Imperial family during the Soviet years, particularly the Stalinist era when Joseph Stalin ordered the Romanov archives to be sealed.
So how did the photo album end up in this remote town? According to the director of the museum, Nadezhda Pridhodko, there are two theories. One, the album was removed from the Ipatiev House by “Comrade Chevardin,” who served as the Director of the Museum of the Revolution in Ekaterinburg. In 1933 he was transferred to Zlatoust and brought the album with him to save it from destruction. According to the second version, the album was removed from the Ipatiev House by Dmitry Mikhailovich Chudinov (nicknamed Kassian), a revolutionary who escorted the Imperial family from Tobolsk to Ekaterinburg. He lived in Zlatoust, and after the murder of the Imperial family, he is believed to have stolen some of their personal possessions, including this photograph album.
For more information on this discovery, and to review 10 of the more than 200 photos from the album, please refer to the following article in Royal Russia News;
Gala Receptions at the Country Summer Residence: Culture and Traditions of Table Setting Topic: Exhibitions
At Nikolay Durasov’s Palace in Lyublino, one of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve sites, one can attend a new exhibition entitled ‘Gala Receptions at the Country Summer Residence: Culture and Traditions of Table Setting’.
Over 150 rare museum exhibits, many of which are displayed for the first time, include unique objects of dinner ceremonies made of glass and porcelain as well as painting and graphics.
One of these unique objects is a wine fountain of the XVIII century, a special reservoir for various beverages that made part of Count Nikolay Sheremetev’s gala table setting. The main exhibit is a table service known as ‘cream colour’ (called as well ‘royal sets’) that includes 120 pieces. Services of this kind were typical at the times of Catherine the Great’s reign. For the first time visitors will see unique girandoles, big decorated porcelain and cut-glass candelabra that were made by Russian masters in the XVIII century and now make part of the museum stock.
Besides porcelain one can see cut-glass ‘royal’ tableware fromBohemiasuch as splendid wine sets, decanters, glasses, flutes, and other glassware as well as bottles and various gravy boats.
Gala receptions at the end of the XVIII — the beginning of the XIX centuries embraced Russian as well as European traditions. On the one hand, estate owners competed in providing meal abundance, but on the other hand, table setting turned into demonstration of complicated dishes and decorative and applied art objects. Even art masters were hired for table decorating.
The place for the ‘Gala Receptions at the Country Summer Residence: Culture and Traditions of Table Setting’ exhibition was not chosen by chance: Nikolay Durasov was a well-known Moscow rich man and gourmet and his summer residence in Lyublino was used for receptions, various amusements and luxurious dinner parties that never ceased to amaze his guests.
The exhibition is a joint project of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve and the Ostankino Moscow Museum-Estate. It immerses the visitors into the golden century of the Russian nobility and permits to feel the unique character of table setting at gala receptions in the country residence.
The exhibition runs until June 30th in the Durasov Palace at Lyublino, situated near Moscow.
Vintage Photo of Nicholas II No. 14 Topic: Nicholas II
Emperor Nicholas II and Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholayevich (1856-1929), who served as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Imperial Army on the main front in the first year of the war, reviewing the Life-Guards 3rd Rifle Regiment at Tsarskoye Selo in 1914.
Roses for Catherine the Great Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
Continuing with their Romanov 400th Anniversary Commemoration Project, Tsarskoye Selo celebrated the 284th birth anniversary of Empress Catherine II of Russia (1729–1796).
On May 2nd, 2013, a bouquet of roses graced an elegant table near the Empress's portrait in the Chinese Drawing-Room of Alexander I at the Catherine Palace.
'My dear, my lovely Tsarskoye Selo!', that is how Catherine addressed her favourite place among the imperial summer residences of St. Petersburg. Here she fulfilled her dreams and creative ideas, being both inspiring to Tsarskoye Selo and inspired by it.
Being also very fond of roses since her childhood, she honoured the flower by laying out the Rose Field in the Catherine (then Tsarskoye Selo) Park. The several-hectare rose garden bloomed all summer. It was constantly added with new species brought from Denmark, Holland, Germany and France, some of which were moved to the Greenhouses for winter.
After the death of the Empress, the rose garden was neglected and then gone. But Catherine's favourite flowers, artfully carved on the furniture or painted on the ceilings, are still present in her palace today.
Russia Celebrates Easter as Holy Week Draws to an End Now Playing: Language: English. Duration: 2 minutes, 25 seconds Topic: Easter
Over 300,000 people have visited Moscow’s churches and monasteries over the Easter weekend in Russia. Police patrols were on alert to prevent breaches of peace and crime, with over 6,000 officers deployed to guard the city’s monasteries and churches.
Easter is the red letter day in the Orthodox calendar. The holy day is being celebrated by believers worldwide, with large-scale festivities to be held in Russia on Sunday.
Easter services are also organized at all Russian Orthodox churches across the world, the number of which exceeds 30,000.
But the largest service, helmed by Patriarch Kirill, is being held at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The service lasts several hours, well into the early hours of Sunday.
A group of pilgrims have also delivered the Holy Fire from the Old City of Jerusalem to the Russian Cathedral of Christ the Savior. It is lit each year at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem on the day preceding Orthodox Easter. Tens of thousands of pilgrims visited Jerusalem on Saturday to observe the ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony.
The Holy Fire has been perceived by generations of Orthodox believers as a miracle. It’s through divine intervention that the first flame comes to life, the faithful believe. Pilgrims say it doesn’t burn in the first minutes after it has been lit. Parts of the Holy Fire are ‘spread out’ between churches across the country, placed in torches akin to those used to transport the Olympic Flame.
After parishioners lit the candles from the Holy Fire, Kirill started the procession around the cathedral, glorifying the Resurrection. Priests and believers carrying crosses and icons get going around the church. The procession climaxed when the Patriarch announced “Christ is risen!”, meaning the Holy Day has started.
After midnight and for the next 40 days after Easter Sunday, Orthodox Christians will be greeting each other with the words "Christ is risen!" expecting the reply "He is risen indeed!" The end of the short dialogue is celebrated by three traditional kisses.
The festivities at the Christ the Savior Cathedral where attended by President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin.
Christians celebrate Easter to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion. The Resurrection of the Savior symbolizes his victory over sin and death.
Preparations for Easter celebrations begin on the last day of the Holy Week, known in Russia as Passion Week. On Holy Saturday believers come to churches to have their paschal cakes and eggs blessed by priests.
Easter is preceded by a long period of fasting. Believers abstain from meat, fish, eggs and dairy products for 48 days, spending time in prayer.
The real challenge is to help people refine their souls and learn to restrain desire.
Russians celebrate the end of Lent by painting colorful eggs – as a rule red, as a symbol of the blood of Christ - they exchange with each other, and preparing rich Easter cakes with raisins and nuts.
Easter is a moveable feast. Eastern and Western Christianity base their calculations on different calendars. The former uses Julian calendar, the latter Gregorian, so their Easter days differ.
Last year it was marked by the Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Anglican churches on the same day, which happens quite rarely.
In 2012 nearly half a million Muscovites flocked to the country's churches to take part in evening and night services across the Russian capital. The largest service drew 6,000 people and was held at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Patriarch Kirill, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church, led the Easter service in Moscow's landmark Cathedral.
More than 6,000 people attended the Easter service at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow
Beautiful Orthodox Churches of Russia No. 10 Topic: Beautiful Orthodox Churches
Developed and embellished over four centuries, Ostankino now consists of a magnificent 18th-century palace and theatre, a sprawling park with groves and ponds, and the 17th-century Church of the Holy Trinity. The estate was the property of Count Nikolai Petrovich Sheremetiev (1751-1809), a prominent figure belonging to one of Russia's wealthiest and influential noble families.
Built between 1677-1692, the ornamental church differs in appearance and spirit from the elegance of the palace at Ostankino. Its builder, Prince Mikhail Cherkassky incorporated the Moscow Baroque style in its exterior with a Western-influenced interior. The building's festive appearance includes ceramic tile inlays, white stone carvings, spade-shapped gables, and archvaults displayed against red brick walls.
The carved iconostasis matches the opulent decorative statement of the rest of the church, although its icons demonstrate the decline of Russian iconography as it begins to borrow from the West.
The church was closed by the Soviets in 1933, however, a year later the church was turned over to the Ostankino Estate Museum which was originally created in 1918. From 1980, the church hosted concerts of sacred music.
In 1990, the church resumed regular religious services, and was consecrated by Patriarch Alexei II (1929-2008) on March 23rd, 1991. A restoration of the church followed, sadly however, the lower section of the Royal Doors was all that survived of the original iconostasis.
A view of the beautifully restored iconostasis of the church