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400th Anniversary
A Russian Moment
Alexander I
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Alexander Mikhailovich, GD
Alexander Palace
Alexandra Feodorovna
Alexandra Nicholayevna, GD
Alexandra Pavlovna GD
Amber Room
Andrei Vladimirovich, GD
Anna Feodorovna, GD
Anna Ioannovna, Empress
Anna Leopoldovna
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Beautiful Orthodox Churches
Benckendorff, Count Paul
Catherine II
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Country Estates
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Dmitri Romanovich
Dowager Empress Maria
Eagar, Margaretta
Ekaterinburg Remains
Elena Vladimirovna, GD
Elizabeth Feodorovna GD
Elizabeth Petrovna, Empress
Frederiks, Count Vladimir
Ganima Yama
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Gibbes, Charles Sidney
Grand Duchess Xenia Alexa
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Kazan Cathedral
Kerensky, Alexander
Kolchak, Admiral
Konstantin Nikolayevich, GD
Maria Alexandrovna
Maria Feodorovna, Empress
Maria Pavlovna, Senior
Maria Vladimirovna GD
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Mikhail Alexandrovich GD
Mikhail Nikolayevich, GD
Nevsky, Alexander
Nicholas Alexandrovich GD
Nicholas I
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Nicholas Mikhailovich, GD
Nicholas Nicholayevich, GD
Nicholas Romanovich
Oleg Konstantinovich, Prince
Olga Alexandrovna GD
Olga Konstantinovna GD
Olga Nicholayevna GD
Paley, Princess Natalia
Paul Alexandrovich, GD
Paul Gilbert
Paul I, Emperor
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Tauride Palace
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Tsesarevich Alexei
Vera Konstantinovna, Princess
Vladimir Alexandrovich, GD
Vyrubova, Anna
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Monday, 30 September 2013
New Bell Tower Completed at New Jerusalem Monastery in Moscow
Topic: Russian Church

The bell tower that was demolished by Nazi forces in December 1941 has been rebuilt at the New Jerusalem Monastery 
The unique 75-meter bell tower that was demolished by Nazi forces in December 1941 has been rebuilt at the New Jerusalem Monastery in the Moscow region. Today for the first time the bell tower resembles its original appearance as when it was first erected during the time of Patriarch Nikon, ITAR-TASS reports.
Founded under Patriarch Nikon in the 17th century in Istra on the outskirts of Moscow, the New Jerusalem Monastery was meant to evoke the Holy Land and serve as a pilgrimage site. Two buildings, the Church of the Tomb of the Holy Savior and the Cathedral of the Resurrection, form the nucleus of the monastery. Inside the two churches, the icon, decoration, and inscriptions represent the most important group of polychrome ceramic work ever produced in Russia. Built between 1658 and 1698, New Jerusalem is an extraordinary example of Russian ecclesiastical architecture.
Bombing by Nazi occupying forces in 1941 destroyed the great dome of the Cathedral of the Resurrection; it was partially reconstructed in the 1980s. Sporadic restoration and maintenance followed, but came to a halt in the 1990s. In 1995, the New Jerusalem Monastery was handed over to the Russian Orthodox Church and resumed its service as a male monastery. In 2002, the World Monuments Fund put the New Jerusalem Monastery on the World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
In 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and then Patriarch Alexy II visited the monastery and later that year organized a Charity Fund for the Reconstruction of the New Jerusalem Monastery, with Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov appointed its head. 

New Jerusalem Monastery is an extraordinary example of Russian ecclesiastical architecture
© Russkiy Mir. 30 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:07 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 30 September 2013 2:17 PM EDT
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New Romanov Monument at Novospassky Monastery
Topic: 400th Anniversary

 Photo ©
On Sunday, September 29, 2013, His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, visited Novospassky Monastery in Moscow, which on this day became the center of ecclesiastical and social celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.  

Near the gates of the monastery, His Holiness celebrated the rite of consecration of bells, created in honour of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. At the entrance to the tomb of the Romanov Boyars His Holiness blessed a new monument also marking the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The new monument is a sculpture composition with the image of the first tsar of the Romanov Mikhail Feodorovich and the last - Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II. Then, the Primate of the Russian Church, led the service of the Divine Liturgy at the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral of the monastery. 

Since the end of the 15th century, the monastery has been patronized by the Romanov boyars. Upon the Romanovs' ascension to the Moscovy throne, Tsar Michael Feodorovich completely rebuilt their burial vault in the 1640s. Among the last Romanovs buried in the monastery were Xenia Shestova (the mother of the first Romanov Tsar), Princess Tarakanoff (a pretender who claimed to have been the only daughter of Empress Elisabeth) and Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, son of Emperor Alexander II and husband of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. 

In 2013 Novospassky Monastery became a major center of the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the accession of the Romanov dynasty.

  Photo ©
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 30 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:48 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 30 September 2013 7:56 AM EDT
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Sunday, 29 September 2013
Beautiful Orthodox Churches of Russia No. 20
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 23 minutes, 11 seconds
Topic: Beautiful Orthodox Churches

The Cathedral of the Icon of Our Lady Feodorovskaya was built in St. Petersburg to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty.  

In 1907, a decision was made to build a cathedral in the capital to commemorate the upcoming Romanov tercentenary in 1913. In 1909, a building committee was established, which was adopted under the august patronage of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich. The site was chosen at the intersection of Poltava and Mirgorodskaya streets, near the Nicholas Railway Station (today the Moskovsky Station), with construction carried out between 1909-1913. 

The foundation of the cathedral took place on August 5th 1911, in the presence of the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich. After attending a liturgy service the Grand Duke placed several coins from the reign of Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich into a prepared recess.

On March 14, 1913 the grand raising of the cross on the central section of the cathedral was carried out, followed by a liturgy headed by the Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory IV. Among the many bells in the bell tower of the cathedral, some were dedicated to each member of the family of Nicholas II and coats of arms of famous Russian cities.

On September 7, 1913, the lower church was sanctified. On January 15, 1914, the consecration of the upper church by Metropolitan Vladimir (Epiphany) was performed in the presence of Emperor Nicholas II, who arrived with his daughters Olga, Tatiana and Maria. Also in attendance were the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, her daughter, Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, along with other members of the royal family and government. 

The new bells bearing the names and images of the Holy Royal Martyrs were delivered in the Fall of 2010
The magnificent five-domed cathedral was built in the neo-Russian style of the 17th century, and includes two churches: the upper and lower. The upper church is dedicated in honour of Our Lady Feodorovskaya, the patron saint of the first Romanov tsar, Michael Feodorovich. The side chapels were dedicated to the heavenly patrons of the members of the Russian royal family: Saints Nicholas and  Tsarina Alexandra, Blessed Prince Mikhail of Tver and St. Alexis of Moscow. Today, the north section of the upper church is dedicated to the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, the south - to the Holy Royal Martyrs.

The lower church is dedicated, as before, to Saint Alexander Nevsky and Mary Magdalene - the heavenly patrons of the Emperor Alexander III and his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna.

After the Revolution, the cathedral suffered under the hands of the Bolsheviks and Soviets, who not only desecrated the cathedral, but virtually demolished it. As a result, the cathedral ceased to exist as a place of worship for the next 70 years.

After 1918, the cathedral became a parish church up until 1932. It was at this time that the abbot, Archimandrite Lev (Egorov), now glorified in the face of the Russian New Martyrs Church, along with many members of the clergy and parishioners were arrested for "counter-revolutionary activities and anti-Soviet agitation," the parish was abolished and the church became a dairy.

Over the years the interiors of the cathedral were greatly modified to accommodate the dairy. Additional floors were added, while the cathedral’s dome was demolished. An extension and add-ins for production purposes were also constructed. The bells which contained the names of members of the royal family were completely destroyed. The clergy’s house, built in 1915-16 was also destroyed by the Soviets.

The consecration of the cathedral was performed by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill on September 14, 2013
In 1992, the parish was revived, the Cathedral of the Icon of Our Lady Feodorovskaya was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church the following year. It was not until August 2005, however, that the transfer of the cathedral was completed. It was at that time that the dairy was evicted from the building.

The full restoration of the church began two years later, in 2007. By March 27, 2011 the restoration of the bell tower was completed, which included the installation of the replica bell ensemble of the 19th century. On April 28, 2013, the reconstruction of the mosaic image of the Savior above the main entrance to the cathedral was completed.  

As an object of cultural heritage of national importance, the cathedral was restored at the expense of the state budget. Much of the work, such as new icons, utensils and more, was made by private charitable donations by trustees and members of the parish who raised more than 2 million Rubles.

The consecration of the Cathedral of the Icon of Our Lady Feodorovskaya took place on September 14, 2013 in St. Petersburg. The dedication and Divine Liturgy was performed by Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill. The ceremony was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the construction of the cathedral and the 400th anniversary of the Russian Imperial House of Romanov. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:46 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2017 7:08 AM EST
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Saturday, 28 September 2013
A Russian Moment 17 - Grand Duchess Alexandra Nicholayevna Memorial, Peterhof
Topic: Alexandra Nicholayevna, GD

The beautiful memorial bench and bust of Grand Duchess Alexandra Nicholayevna was created in 1844-47 (restored in 2000) in the Lower Park, Peterhof
One of the most tragic figures among the Romanov grand duchesses has to be the Grand Duchess Alexandra Nicholayevna of Russia. Born on 25 June (O.S. 12 June), 1825, she was the youngest daughter of Emperor Nicholas I and his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (née Princess Charlotte of Prussia).

In the family she was known as "Adini," and she was reportedly her father's favourite child; according to her sister Olga's memoirs, he maintained that she alone among his children had inherited her mother's "Prussian look". It was also said that she resembled her grandmother, Queen Louise of Prussia. Nicholas affectionately spoke of Adini as "... a little moppet, but very sweet".  

Alexandra was famous in Saint Petersburg society for both her beauty and her lively personality. She was also the musician in the family. A serious student of vocal music, she was talented enough to qualify for lessons from the famous soprano Henriette Sontag.

On 28 January 1844, Alexandra married Prince Frederick William of Hesse (1820–1884) in St. Petersburg. Alexandra became acutely ill with tuberculosis shortly before her wedding, and this complicated the pregnancy which soon followed. She was never well enough to travel to Hesse and take up her new position with her husband. They stayed in St. Petersburg, where her health rapidly declined.

She went into labour prematurely, three months before the child was due, and gave birth to a son on 11 August (O.S. 29 July), 1844, Wilhelm. The infant died shortly after he was born, and Alexandra died later the same day, she was only 19 years of age. Her parents were devastated and their grief would last until the end of their lives. She was buried with her baby son in her arms on 14 August (O.S. 1 August), 1844, at the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Her remains were later transferred to the Grand Ducal Burial Chapel between 23-28 September, 1911.

Between 1844-47, a memorial bench with a small sculpture bust of the Grand Duchess Alexandra Feodorovna was created in the gardens of the Lower Park at Peterhof. It was restored in 2000. Her rooms in the Cottage Palace have been preserved just as they were at the time of her death. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:09 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2017 1:25 PM EDT
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Friday, 27 September 2013
The Agate Rooms: Revival of an 18th-Century Masterpiece
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 49 seconds
Topic: Tsarskoye Selo
The Agate Rooms of the Cold Bath pavilion in the Catherine Park has re-opened to visitors after an extensive restoration, offering an exhibition dedicated to their revival and a tour of the interiors created by the Scottish architect Charles Cameron for Empress Catherine II of Russia.

History was kind to Cameron’s creation by preserving the Agate Room’s original design as a unique work of art from the 1700s. They are the only interiors of Tsarskoye Selo to have retained their original finish despite the damages and losses inflicted by the Second World War and the inexorable course of time.

The unique décor of the Agate Rooms survived almost entirely, notwithstanding the devastations of the war. Since no restoration was carried out in these rooms in the 1900s, restoration experts were able to carry out the conservation of the original 18th-century finish nearly undistorted by renovations of later epochs. Preservation of the authentic décor elements was the basis of the restoration concept in accordance with the Venice Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites.

Postponed first due to the more pressing revival of the Catherine Palace and then the recreation of the legendary Amber Room, the long-awaited work on the Agate Rooms was put on the Museum's list of target restoration projects in 2003. 

Between 2005 to 2011 a full range of research work was conducted, with restoration designs and methods developed and approved by the Museum and state authorities for cultural heritage preservation.

Created by Charles Cameron for the Empress Catherine II, the uniquness of the Agate Rooms is unrivalled 
From 2010 the restoration of the Agate Rooms was carried out and completed in 2013. The main designer and contractor was the Tsarskoye Selo Amber Workshop which had established an impeccable reputation for recreating the Amber Room. The Workshop developed research and planning documents and completed conservation and restoration of the Agate Rooms.

The overall project cost, including the adjacent Hanging Garden's renovation, exceeded EUR 9 million. 76 percent of the amount was provided by the Russian Railways and TransSoyuz Charitable Foundation.

A restoration council was established to ensure a scientific monitoring of the work by representatives of Tsarksoye Selo; the Committee on State Control, Use and Protection of Monuments of History and Culture (KGIOP); the SpetsProektRestavratsiya Institute; and the Ilya Repin Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. The expenditure of funds was monitored by a special working group including representatives of Tsarskoye Selo, TransSoyuz and the State Hermitage Museum.

In contrast to traditions of the old school of restoration/recreation of objects lost to WWII, the work at the Agate Rooms showed the possibility of and the need for preservation of authentic objects in accordance with European practices.

The uniqueness of the Agate Rooms is unrivalled. There are no other historic interiors like these, either in Russia or anywhere else in the world. The high aesthetic quality and degree of their preservation assert a continuity of humanistic values, emphasizing St. Petersburg's unofficial status of  the cultural capital of Russia and creating a global image of the city. 
© Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. 27 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:33 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 27 September 2013 6:41 AM EDT
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Coronation Exhibition Opens in Moscow Today
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 54 seconds
Topic: Exhibitions
The highly anticipated Coronation exhibition opens today in the Moscow Kremlin. The Coronations and Anointing of Russian Tsars and Emperors at the Moscow Kremlin will be on display in the Assumption Belfry and the Patriarch's Palace from September 27, 2013 to January 22, 2014.

For the first time the Moscow Kremlin Museums will present a large scale exhibition based on their rich collection of invaluable relics related to the ceremonies of enthronement of the Russian tsars. These exhibits are the bedrock of the Kremlin Museum fund and determine its exclusive historical value.

About four hundred exhibits – from the state regalia to archival documents, engravings and photos – recreate the majestic atmosphere of coronation celebrations in Russia and trace the evolution of enthronement ritual.

Display of these items was preceded with profound and laborious restoration that made it possible to introduce them to public for the first time.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:58 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 27 September 2013 7:55 AM EDT
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Thursday, 26 September 2013
Head of the Russian Imperial House Holds Reception at Livadia Palace
Topic: Maria Vladimirovna GD

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 26 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:28 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 17 April 2014 12:55 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Consecration of Memorial Chapel to Holy Royal Martyrs at Livadia
Topic: Livadia

The Memorial Chapel to the Holy Royal Martyrs is located at the entrance to Livadia Palace
The consecration of the Memorial Chapel to the Holy Royal Martyrs at Livadia took place on September 22nd. The chapel was constructed in honour of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, and to mark the 150th anniversary of the construction of the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross at Livadia Palace. In attendance were the Head of the Russian Imperial House, HIH Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son, Grand Duke George Mikhailovich, who were on an official visit to the Crimea.
The seven-meter chapel is located at the entrance to the palace-museum. Inside the tiny chapel is a beautiful icon made of mosaic tiles depicting Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, their son Tsesarevich Alexis, and their four daughters, the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia standing in front of the Livadia Palace. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:49 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 11:59 AM EDT
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Holland Presents Russia With Replica of Peter the Great House
Topic: Peter the Great

A view of Peter the Great's House in Zaandam, Netherlands 
The Dutch Navy has given Russia a replica of the house where Russian Tsar Peter the Great lived during the years of his "Grand Embassy" in Europe.
The handover ceremony was held near the Dutch patrol boat, the Friesland, at the Sea Terminal in St. Petersburg. The ceremony was attended by Commander of the Dutch Navy Vice Admiral Matthieu Borsboom and Commander of the Leningrad naval base Oleg Zhuravlyov, the press service of the Western Military District told Interfax.
Peter the Great's house was delivered to St. Petersburg disassembled, in five containers. After the containers are cleared through the customs, they will be moved to Moscow's museum estate Kolomenskoye, where the house will be assembled by Russian and Dutch engineers.
The replica was built by Dutch military engineers. It was handed over to Russia as part of Russian and Dutch cooperation in 2013.
The Tsar Peter House is located in Zaandam. It was built in 1632 as a cottage for shipyard workers, using old ship wood. Peter the Great lived in it during his stay in Holland in 1697. The house now serves as a museum. 
© Rossiyskaya Gazaeta. 25 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:35 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 September 2013 6:40 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Robbers Steal Shishkin, Korovin Paintings from Russian Museum
Topic: Russian Art

Masked robbers have stolen several paintings by renowned 19th and 20th century Russian artists from a local museum in central Russia, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

Three masked men broke into the history and arts museum in the city of Vyazniki, about 300 kilometers (180 miles) east of Moscow Sunday evening, tied up a guard and stole several paintings by Ivan Shishkin, Konstantin Korovin and Stanislav Zhukovsky.

The ministry did not say which paintings were snatched, or how many were stolen.

An investigation has been launched.

In early June, Shishkin’s “Twilight” sold at MacDougall's auction house for £2.1 million (over $3.3 million), the highest recorded price for his work.

According to Interpol, Russia beats out France, Italy and Germany in the number of items stolen from its museums. Over the last 15 years, the Russian Interior Ministry estimates that nearly $1 billion worth of cultural works have been stolen from Russia and taken abroad.

For a more indepth look into how serious art theft has become in modern day Russia, please refer to the following article in Royal Russia News; 

Russia Tops European Countries in Art Theft

© Moscow News, Rossiyskaya Gazaeta. 24 September, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:59 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 September 2013 6:55 AM EDT
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