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400th Anniversary
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Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Faceted Chamber Reopens to Visitors in Moscow Kremlin
Topic: Kremlin


The Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin has reopened for visiting after restoration. For many centuries, the palace played a significant role in the country’s life: sessions of the Zemsky Sobor, which was the 16th and 17th century Russian parliament, were convened there and Russian noblemen met there to take crucial decisions. At present, the Faceted Chamber is one of the Russian president’s reception rooms. The building has survived numerous fires and reconstructions. The architects’ goal was to restore the 17th century interiors when the frescoes were painted by icon painter Simon Ushakov.

The Faceted Chamber was laid down by Italian architect Marco Fryazin as a throne room for ceremonial receptions in the new palace of Grand Prince Ivan III. The construction was completed by Lombardy architect Pietro Antonio Solari in 1491. The palace is built of bricks and the reception room is located on a high basement level. The Holy Vestibule adjoins the reception room from the west and the Red Porch is on the southern side of the Holy Vestibule.

The name of the palace comes from the design of the main eastern façade facing Cathedral Square in the Kremlin. The facade is covered with white stone blocks each of which has four facets. This stone dressing was typical of Italian architecture of the Renaissance period.

Restoration lasted for a year. The previous restoration was carried out in the 1960s, representative of the Federal Security Service Sergey Deviatov said.

“It was necessary to examine the foundation on which the palace rests and to prevent possible deformation and destruction. Certainly, it was important to preserve the unique appearance of the palace,” Sergey Deviatov said

All the vaults, ceilings, interiors and the inner volume of the palace have been restored according to the 15th century descriptions. The building has suffered from fire and has been reconstructed many times. Now it has assumed its original appearance, we can see it as the Italian architects built it.

In the 16th century the walls and arches of the palace were covered with frescoes which were painted over later on. Before painting his icons over the old patterns, painter Simon Ushakov made a detailed description of these patterns which was used by today’s restorers. As for the restoration of unique carpets and parquet floors, it required the effort of a large team of researchers. The parquet was made of over 10 kinds of wood according to samples which experts found in pictures and photographs. Experts from the UK were employed for the restoration of furniture fabrics.

The restorers have also reconstructed the secret room from which members of the royal family watched solemn events held in the Faceted Palace, Sergey Deviatov said.

“A window was cut in the wall for the children to be able to watch all ceremonies and acquire experience,” Sergey Deviatov said.

While the restorers painstakingly refurbished the interior décor, construction workers fortified the supporting frames and installed climate-control equipment.

During the restoration, architects discovered over 3,000 unique artifacts which are now at the disposal of Kremlin researchers.

© The Voice of Russia. 31 July, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:22 PM EDT
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Monday, 30 July 2012
The Romanovs and the Olympic Games
Topic: Dmitri Pavlovich, GD


One of the first members of world royalty to participate in the modern Olympic Games was the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich—the grandson of Emperor Alexander II and cousin of Emperor Nicholas II.

As a child, Dmitri was weak and sickly; however, this did not prevent him from enlisting in the army as a guardsman. It was at the 1912 Olympic Games held at Stockholm, Sweden that he became a participant. He entered in the equestrian events: first in the individual show jumping competition, and then in the team competition. In the individual competition he finished in fifth place, and in the team competition in ninth place.

Grand Duke Dmitri returned to Russia without laurels, but to his credit as an organizer of sporting events, he showed himself to be bright and enthusiastic. Not only was he the president and driving force behind many other sports clubs, he became the pioneer of the Olympic Movement in Tsarist Russia.

The first Russian Olympic Games were held at Kiev from 20-25 August, 1913. Prizes were awarded to the winners from the grand duke’s own personal fortune. The outbreak of World War One in 1914 brought an end to the Russian Olympic Movement.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 30 July, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:46 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2012 6:49 PM EDT
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Sunday, 29 July 2012
Lack of Funding Will Delay Alexander Palace Restorations
Topic: Alexander Palace


The restoration of the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo will drag on for years as the Ministry of Culture is unlikely to provide the necessary funding to carry out the restoration work before 2018.

Despite this setback, work is “ongoing though far from complete,” according to Nikita Yavein, of Studio 44, the firm who are carrying out the restoration of the palace. The ground (basement) floor of the building is currently being renovated.

To date, the palace facades and roof have been repaired. In 2010, the three State Halls were restored and opened to the public. Once the restoration is complete, the Alexander Palace will rank among the most important museums to visit in the St. Petersburg region.

For more information on the master plan to restore the Alexander Palace, please refer to the following link;


||| The Revival of the Alexander Palace |||

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 July, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:58 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2012 6:06 PM EDT
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Saturday, 28 July 2012
Peterhof Celebrates SS Peter and Paul Feast Day
Topic: Peterhof


On July 12th, a liturgy in honour of the Saints Peter and Paul was held at the church of the Grand Palace at Peterhof. The service was conducted by Bishop Markell of Peterhof.

At the end of the liturgy the Bishop spoke about the importance of the event and thanked Elena Kalnitsky, Director General of the Peterhof Palace Museum Preserve. He thanked her for the opportunity to conduct the service in the church and for her work in the restoration of the historical monument. Kalnitsky replied that she hoped that the service would be held annually.

After years of restoration, the church was reopened as a museum on July 12th, 2011.

The SS Peter and Paul Church was built by the architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli on the orders of the Empress Elizabeth (1709-1762). The church was consecrated in 1751 abd became one of the main venues of celebrations for the Russian Imperial family, including birthdays, name days, baptisms, and marriages.

For more information on the restoration of the SS Peter and Paul Church at Peterhof, please refer to the following page on our web site;

||| Palace Church at Peterhof Reopens After Restoration + VIDEO |||

||| Peterhof: Restoration of Palace Church Nears Completion + 2 VIDEOS |||

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 28 July, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:09 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 28 July 2012 4:41 PM EDT
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Fort Ross Receives Russian Icons as Gifts


Russia has presented Fort Ross State Historic Park in the United States with a collection of 12 Orthodox icons.

Fort Ross, a former Russian establishment on the west coast of North America, is celebrating its 200th anniversary.

The icons were presented during a ceremony which took place at the Russian Center in San Francisco, California.

Fort Ross founded at the beginning of the 19th century was the hub of the southernmost Russian settlements in North America and was built to supply Alaska with food.

It is a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1837, Fort Ross became the first systematic weather monitoring site.

© TASS. 28 July, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EDT
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Friday, 27 July 2012
Childrens Fire-Tower Reconstructed at Peterhof
Topic: Peterhof



The Children’s Fire-Tower officially opened this week on the grounds of the Farm Palace, located in the Alexandria Park at Peterhof. The reconstruction was based on the original 19th-century drawings of A.I. Semenov.


The miniature building was originally built in 1850 for the children of Emperor Alexander II. It was demolished for firewood by the local Soviets in the 1930s.


The Farm, Cottage and Lower Palaces, all located in the Alexandria Park at Peterhof were popular summer residences of the Russian sovereigns and their families. It was here amongst the natural beauty of the park that areas were set aside where the August children could play, and learn useful and important skills in a relaxed atmosphere. One of these skills was the ability to extinguish fires, which were common in St. Petersburg and the surrounding area at the time.


The Children’s Fire-Tower is made of carved wood, complete with a tower, a mock fire alarm, a wooden cross and a flag bearing the emblem of Alexandria (a white rose). Inside the tiny building are a fire barrel (which would have been filled with water), and the appropriate supplies: children’s helmets, hooks, axes and other tools, buckets, leather and brass sleeves, and a hose attached to a water cannon. The latter is decorated with the emblem of Peterhof, created by the firm of Gustav Liszt.


The fire-tower is one of a series of children’s miniature buildings constructed in the 19th century in the Alexandria Park, which included a farm, mill, playground, castle, tower, among others. Sadly, nothing remains of any of the other children’s buildings.


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 27 July, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:11 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 27 July 2012 8:39 AM EDT
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American Magnates Ordered Murder of Nicholas II - Historian
Topic: Conspiracy Theories


Disclaimer: The following article appeared in the Russian press this week, it is the latest "conspiracy theory" on the murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family in July 1918. It is important to note that Royal Russia does not subscribe to this theory, I am merely sharing the story on this blog. Paul Gilbert, Editor

Pyotr Multatuli, a researcher at the Academy of Sciences, with a PhD in History and author of six books about Nicholas II is convinced that assassination of the last Russian emperor's family was ordered in the USA.

"The crime was initiated by the Bolshevik government in Moscow, mainly by the head of the All Russian Central Executive Committee Yakov Sverdlov, and Shaya Goloshchekin, Yakov Yurovsky, Alexander Beloborodov executed it in the Urals. The details were cleared out when the White Army came into Yekaterinburg. There was an investigation and investigator Nikolay Sokolov played an important part in it, he managed to take the materials out to Europe," Multatuli was quoted as saying by the Argumenty i Fakty daily.

In 1922, Sokolov decrypted secret talks between Sverdlov and Yurovsky where it was mentioned that the USA gave an order "to liquidate the whole family." The order was conveyed to Moscow through American mission that then was located in Vologda.

A community of transnational capital was formed in the USA in the early 20th century, representatives of certain financial and industrial circles were its members. Its headquarters was located in New York. The community strove to establish world hegemony and set up unipolar world, the edition writes.

Besides financial and industrial component, the community had mystical and occult character. There were its followers all around the world. These people could not realize their plans without eliminating autocratic Orthodox Russia. Therefore the monarch aroused organization's irreconcilable animosity, the author writes.

© Interfax and Moscow Times. 27 July, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:52 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 31 July 2012 7:07 AM EDT
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Thursday, 26 July 2012
Russian Investigator Doesn't Doubt Authenticity of Royal Remains


Vladimir Solovyov of the Russian Investigative Committee 

The Russian Investigative Committee is prepared to examine new evidence on the execution of the Russian imperial family available to the Russian Orthodox Church, but does not doubt that the "Yekaterinburg remains" are authentic.

"If new evidence has emerged, we will gladly study it and we are prepared for cooperation," Vladimir Solovyov, the senior forensic investigators of the Investigative Committee's Main Forensic Department, who investigated the execution of the family of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, told Interfax on Thursday,

"We have no doubts that the remains found near Yekaterinburg are those of members of the tsar's family and their domestic servants," he said.

This was vividly proven in tests, conducted in 2007-2008, he added.

"Absolutely unique tests were conducted with samples of Nicholas II's blood. The genotype of the blood on Nichols II's shirt after he was wounded in Japan in 1891 fully coincided with the genotype of skeleton No.4. This genotype can be clearly tracked to heir to the throne Alexey," he said.

"Whichever new objects may be produced, we will gladly study them. I am sure they will prove again, as it happened over the past 20 years, that the remains of the imperial family were buried [near Yekaterinburg]," Solovyov said.

Neither the Russian Orthodox Church, nor the House of Romanov has recognized the authenticity of the remains, citing the absence of sufficient evidence.

It emerged on Thursday that the Moscow Patriarchate could change its position on the "Yekaterinburg remains."

© Interfax. 26 July, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:34 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2012 12:06 PM EDT
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Russian Orthodox Church To Clarify Stance on Tsar Family Remains
Topic: Holy Royal Martyrs


The Russian Orthodox Church is planning to clarify its position regarding the recognition of the remains of Tsar Nicholas II and his family members who were murdered by the Bolsheviks shortly after the Russian Revolution, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said on Thursday.

Addressing members of the Holy Synod in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, the patriarch said he had received “very important information” from New York about the circumstances of the tsar family’s murder in July 1918.

“I suppose these circumstances will help us define our position, including that related to the so-called ‘Yekaterinburg remains,'” the patriarch said, without specifying what kind of information he had obtained.

He said he intended to share the materials with members of the Holy Synod and work out a unified position on the issue.

The Romanov family – the last Russian tsar Nicholas II, his German-born wife Alexandra, their four daughters and son – and several servants, were shot dead by the Bolsheviks in a basement in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg in the early hours of July 17, 1918.

The remains of most of the murdered tsar family members and their servants were discovered outside Yekaterinburg in July 1991 and buried in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg in the summer of 1998.

In 2007, seven years after the murdered Romanovs were canonized in 2000, two bodies that had been missing - the daughter and son of tsar Nicholas II - were discovered near Yekaterinburg.

DNA tests confirmed that the discovered remains were authentic, but the Church has so far refused to recognize their authenticity. It instead favors the version put forward by the original investigator, Nikolai Sokolov, who argued back in 1919 that the Romanov family’s remains had been completely destroyed.

For more information, please refer to the following links;


||| New Proof Will Hopefully End Dispute Over Royal Remains + VIDEO |||

||| Moscow Patriarchate to Reconsider its Position on Royal Remains? |||

© RIA Novosti. 26 July, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 10:31 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 26 July 2012 11:28 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Last Days at Tsarskoe Selo
Topic: Books


A new edition of Last Days at Tsarskoe Selo by Count Paul Benckendorff is now available from our online bookshop. The price is $20.00 CAD + shipping. 

Count Paul Benckendorff served as the Grand Marshall of the Russian Imperial Court under Tsar Nicholas II. After the collapse of the monarchy, both he and his wife shared the captivity of the Russian Imperial family at Tsarskoe Selo.


His narrative provides a detailed eye-witness account of the last tsars’ abdication, transfer to Tsarskoe Selo, and daily life during his months there under house arrest.

Throughout, Benckendorff characterizes Emperor Nicholas II and his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna as courageous, gracious, and poised despite their obvious concern over the safety of their family.

Originally published in 1927, this new edition of Count Benckendorff’s memoirs is the most comprehensive to date. New features include a preface, an expanded introduction about the author, as well as a collection of more than 40 photographs not found in the original. The text is unabridged and includes all of the appendixes from the original edition.

||| Click Here to Order Your Copy |||

 © Gilbert's Books. 25 July, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:32 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 28 July 2012 4:28 PM EDT
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