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Thursday, 2 February 2012
Private Apartments of Alexander III at Gatchina
Topic: Alexander III


On March 27, 1881 Gatchina became the principal imperial residence of the reigning Russian emperor. Alexander III and his family settled down in the Gatchina Palace occupying the mezzanine floor of the Arsenal Wing. In contrast to the lavishly decorated state apartments, these small, low-ceilinged rooms caused surprise among contemporaries. However, the family found those rooms most comfortable to live in, all furnishings closely reflecting their tastes.


The apartments included Alexander III’s study, in which he dealt with state affairs and received members of the ruling houses of Europe, renowned politicians, scholars and cultural figures.


In 2007 most of the historical lay-out in the rooms was restored and a permanent exhibition installed.

© Gatchina State Museum. 2 February, 2012




Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:20 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 October 2013 8:51 AM EDT
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Thursday, 12 January 2012
Memorial Chapel at Borki
Topic: Alexander III

On 29 October [Old Style 17 October] 1888, the Imperial train carrying Emperor Alexander III and his family derailed at high speed near the town of Borki. The train was travelling from the Crimea to St. Petersburg when the accident occurred, killing and injuring dozens of people.

Alexander held the collapsed roof of the rail car on his shoulder while his family escaped to safety. The story of the miraculous escape resulted in a cathedral being built near the site, but was later destroyed by the Soviets.

In 1992, local residents embarked on an ambitious fundraising plan to rebuild the chapel. With the help of the Southern Railway, reconstruction on the chapel was completed in the summer of 2003.

Local residents and Orthodox faithful are optimistic that the Christ the Saviour Cathedral will be rebuilt on the site of the demolished church.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 January, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 3:36 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2012 3:41 PM EST
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Thursday, 15 December 2011
Monument to Emperor Alexander III in Irkutsk
Topic: Alexander III


A monument to Emperor Alexander III was erected in the Siberian city of Irkutsk marking the end of construction on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. This monument was originally unveiled on 30 August, 1908. The sides of the monument were decorated with bronze sculptural portraits of historic figures who left their mark on the history of Siberia, as well as the tsar's edict on the construction of the Trans-Siberian, the coat of arms of Siberia and Irkutsk. In 1920, the statue was removed from its pedestal by the Bolsheviks. In 2003, the statue was reinstated marking the centenary of the historic rail line that connected the vast Russian empire.

© Royal Russia. 15 December, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 16 December 2011 10:05 AM EST
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Thursday, 9 June 2011
Icon Belonging to Alexander III Returned to Gatchina
Topic: Alexander III


A unique icon that once belonged to Emperor Alexander III has been returned to the palace at Gatchina.

The Introduction to the Virgin in the Temple icon was presented to the emperor in honour of the 10th anniversary of his coronation which took place in Moscow in 1883.

The icon which was carved from cypress wood, by Cosmas Agriotom, a monk from the Russian Skete of the Holy Prophet Elijah on Mount Athos.

The icon was stolen by the Nazis while fleeing from Gatchina during the Second World War, but was recently acquired by collector Vladimir Logvinenko when it came up for auction at Christie's.

Logvinenko discovered who the original owner of the icon was after making the purchase. On the back of the icon was a piece of oilcloth, which he carefully removed, only to discover the identity of its August owner. The icon has been returned to Gatchina during an official handing over ceremony where it is expected to go on display in the palace-museum.

© Royal Russia. 9 June, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:55 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 9 June 2011 6:59 AM EDT
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Monday, 23 May 2011
Monument to Alexander III in Irkutsk
Topic: Alexander III



The monument to Alexander III was put up in honour of termination of the Trans-Siberian Railway building. This monument was first unveiled in Irkutsk on the 30th of August 1908. The sides of the monument were decorated with bronze sculptural portraits of historic figures that had left their mark in the history of Siberia such as conqueror of the region Ermak and governor-generals of Eastern Siberia Mikhail Speransky and Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky, as well as with the tsar’s edict of the Trans-Siberian Railway building, the arms of Siberia and of Irkutsk. In 1920, the statue was removed from the pedestal. The steeple “Monument to earliest explorers of Siberia” was installed on its place 43 years later. The monument to Alexander III was re-established in 2003 in for centenary of the Trans-Siberian Railway on the initiative of the East Siberian Railway.


© Royal Russia. 23 May, 2011 

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:59 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 23 May 2011 9:00 AM EDT
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