Vintage Photo of Nicholas II No. 13 Topic: Nicholas II
Emperor Nicholas II arriving at the Governing Senate in St. Petersburg, 1911. The dome of Saint Isaac's Cathedral can be seen in the background. Photograph by Karl Bulla.
The Governing Senate was a legislative, judicial, and executive body of Russian monarchs. It was instituted by Emperor Peter I to replace the Boyar Duma. The Senate was chaired by the Ober-Procurator, who served as the link between the Sovereign and the Senate and acted in the Emperor's own words, as "the sovereign's eye".
Monument to Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich Planned for Perm Topic: Grand Duke Mikhail Alexan
A proposal to erect a monument to Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich has been submitted to the city of Perm.
The monument by the Russian sculptor Rudolph Vedeneev would be erected in Decembrist Square, located in Perm's city center.
The final design has not yet been submitted, and one of the designs also includes Brian Johnson, who served as the grand duke's private secretary.
In March 1918, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and Brian Johnson were sent to Perm where they were imprisoned. They were both murdered by the Bolsheviks on the night of June 11th, 1918.
Their remains have never been found. In August 2012 the SEARCH Foundation returned to Russia to search for the remains of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and Brian Johnson. They plan to return in the summer of 2013 to continue their search.
There is currently one monument to Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich in Perm, in the hotel where he and Johnson were held captive.
For more on Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich and Brian Johnson, please refer to the following articles;
Alexander III: His Life and Reign - Publisher Update Topic: Books
Now that Royal Russia Annual No. 3 is complete and now in production with the printers, I can now turn my attention to my next publishing project, Alexander III: His Life and Reign by Margarita Nelipa.
I am now working closely with the author as we review each chapter, their sources, etc. and making any corrections deemed necessary as we move ahead with this enormous and exciting publishing endeavour.
This highly anticipated new book will be the first English biography on Alexander III to be published in nearly 120 years.
The author explores Alexander's life as Grand Duke and Tsesarevich, as well as his years as Emperor. Her book includes 15 chapters, numerous appendixes, an extensive bibliography and is richly illustrated throughout with more than 200 photographs and illustrations.
Painstaking research by the author focused on materials in the Russian language; some 350 references in all. These include letters, diaries, memoirs, Russian newspapers of the day and in some cases very rare publications. Her research will offer readers a whole new look at one of Russia's most obscure rulers.
Margarita Nelipa is the author of The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin: A Conspiracy That Brought Down the Russian Empire, published in 2010 by Gilbert's Books.
Alexander III: His Life and Reign is scheduled for publication this summer. Further updates on the progress, production and availability of this book will be posted on this blog in the coming weeks and months ahead.
Pair of Imperial Russian Vases Found in Oklahoma Topic: Antiques
Two vases from Russia’s Imperial Factory of porcelain were recently found in Oklahoma and have been identified by the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The vases are valued at $1.5–2.5 million and will be put on sale on Apr. 17 at the Dallas Auction Gallery in Texas.
These monumental vases, 4.4-feet-tall and dating back to 1832, are surely among the most beautiful pieces of Russian porcelain presented on the market in recent years. The estimated worth is $1.5–2.5 million for each vase.
Ekaterina Khmelnitskaya is the curator of the porcelain department at the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg and the expert charged with the authentication of these pieces. “The discovery of these vases is a real event. They mark the golden age of Russian porcelain production during the reign of Nicholas I, and the quality of their execution is exceptional,” says Khmelnitskaya.
During the 19th century, monumental vases like these were created to decorate the vast Imperial palaces and residences. They were often commissioned by the emperor himself, who presented them to royal families or to foreign diplomats. Made in the classical style, their bellies portray reproductions of paintings by Dutch masters from the Hermitage’s collections. “These remarkable paintings are signed M. Golov and M. Meschcheniakov — undeniably the best copy-makers onto porcelain of that time,” Khmelnitskaya says. “And what a surprise to find these treasures of the czar in the middle of the Far West!”
The vases were bought from a Munich gallery in the mid-1920s by Frank Buttram. At the time, Buttram was an oil magnate, philanthropist and art enthusiast from Oklahoma traveling through Europe. Probably, then, the vases are among the countless Imperial riches scattered by the Communists upon their arrival to power.
After nearly a century in the family collection, the vases are finally to be presented to the public and will be put up for sale on Apr. 17 at the Dallas Auction Gallery. Buttram’s descendants have expressed the wish to see the vases return to their country of origin.
Naryshkin Treasures on View at Pavlovsk Topic: Pavlovsk
An exhibit which showcases many of the Naryshkin treasures found in a St. Petersburg mansion last year will go on display today at Pavlovsk Palace.
In March 2012, workers found an enormous cache during the restoration of the former Naryshkin mansion on Tchaikovsky Street in the city center. Nearly 2,000 items dating from the 19th-early 20th centuries had been hidden under the floors by the owners of the mansion prior to their escape from Russia during the Revolution.
Silverware, porcelain, medals and awards, jewellery, among other items were found wrapped in old newspapers, dated June-September 1917.
After their discovery, the cache was carefully packed into 40 boxes and coffers and sent to the Konstantin Palace at Stelna for examination and cataloguing.
In January, about 400 items were transferred to Pavlovsk Palace to be put on display. The Konstantin Palace at Strelna hosted an exhibit last year displaying a portion of its share of treasures. Organizers from both museums note that only half of the Naryshkin treasure has been put on display.
Over the decades similar caches of Imperial treasures have been found hidden in other palaces, including the Yusupov and Shuvalov in St. Petersburg.
The Naryshkin exhibit at Pavlovsk will run until June 1st, 2013. The ultimate fate of the collection has yet to be decided by the Ministry of Culture.
Historic St. Petersburg Church to Be Rebuilt Topic: Russian Church
Church of the Assumption. Artist: Karl Beggrov (1799-1875)
Architectural excavation work on Sennaya Ploshchad aimed at the possible rebuilding of the Church of the Assumption (also known as the Savior on Sennaya), which was located on the square until it was demolished in the 1960s, will begin next month, Interfax reported.
The square will be surrounded by fencing, and major excavation work will take place, exposing the engineering infrastructure on the site, according to Mikhail Malyushin, described by Interfax as the church’s parish priest.
Archaeological work will continue on the site throughout 2013, during which time the final plans for the new church are also to be worked out, Malyushin said.
Artist's concept of the newly rebuilt Church of the Assumption
The lead designer of the project, Rafael Dayanov, said that construction of the church could begin in 2014.
The foundation of the original church was uncovered during excavation of an entrance for the Spasskaya metro station.
While former St. Petersburg governor Valentina Matviyenko was in office, the idea of rebuilding the church on its historical site was first raised and a small chapel built on the spot. In 2011, work on establishing the original footprint of the church began.
The Church of the Assumption was built on Sennaya Ploshchad in the 18th century and was one of the city’s largest houses of worship. In the early 1960s, the church was demolished to make way for the metro station entrance now standing in the square.
Nicholas II Depicted in Serbian Graffiti Topic: Nicholas II
A rare historical figure is the subject of a graffiti drawing in Belgrade, Serbia. An enormous image of Emperor Nicholas II can now be found on Ulitsa Tsara Nikolaja II, in the Vrachapy district of the capital. I regret that the artist is unknown.
The Serbian people had great respect for the last Russian Tsar, never forgetting his coming to their aid in World War I.
On 24th July, 1914, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia sent Tsar Nicholas II the following telegram;
Yesterday the Austro-Hungarian Government presented to the Serbian Government a note about the murders at Serajevo. Ever since this horrible crime was committed Serbia has condemned it. We are willing to investigate the plot and we will severely punish any Serbians who are found to be involved. But, the demands from Austria-Hungary are unnecessarily humiliating for Serbia . However, they say we must agree to all of them in forty-eight hours or Austria-Hungary is threatening us with war. We are prepared to accept some of the conditions but we need more time and the Austro-Hungarian army is already preparing for war.
We are unable to defend ourselves and we beg your Majesty to help us. The friendship which your Majesty has always shown toward Serbia gives us confidence that our appeal to your noble heart will be answered.
On 27th July, 1914, Tsar Nicholas II sent Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia the following reply;
Your Highness was quite right to contact me and nor were you mistaken about the friendship I have for the Serbian people.
My Government is doing its utmost to smooth away the present difficulties. I have no doubt that neither you nor the Serbian Government will neglect any step which might lead to a settlement, and both prevent the horrors of a war and protect the national dignity of Serbia.
All efforts must be directed at avoiding bloodshed; but if, despite everything, there is war you can rest assured that Russia will never abandon Serbia to her fate.
According to Father Demtrios Serfes, on March 30, 1930, a telegram was published in the Serbian newspapers stating that the Orthodox inhabitants of the city of Leskovats in Serbia had appealed to the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church with a request to raise the question of the canonization of the late Russian Emperor Nicholas II, who was not only a most humane and pure-hearted Ruler of the Russian people, but who also died with the glory of a martyr's death.
Grand Imperial Crown Showcased in St. Petersburg Topic: Jewels
It took two months to make the replica of the Grand Imperial Crown that was showcased at a jewelers’ forum in St. Petersburg. Sixty jewelers from Smolensk made it for the 250th anniversary of the coronation of Catherine the Great and the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. A total of 11 thousand diamonds adorn the white gold crown.
The Imperial Crown of Russia, also known as the Great Imperial Crown, was used by the Emperors of Russia until the monarchy's abolition in 1917. The Great Imperial Crown was first used in a coronation by Catherine II, and was last used at the coronation of Nicholas II. Since December 20, 2000, the Imperial Crown has appeared on the Coat of arms of the Russian Federation.
It is currently on display in the Moscow Kremlin Armoury State Diamond Fund. No one is allowed even to touch that, and therefore that replica is the only one in the world. Jewelers are confident that a second replica will never be made. The replica will be exhibited in several Russian cities later this year.
Destruction of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, 1931 Now Playing: Language: NA. Duration: 1 minute, 13 seconds Topic: Russian Church
The site of the Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow is a very important one for urban developers. After the revolution this, along with ideological principles, became the reason for the decision to destroy the Cathedral. The plan entailed constructing a grandiose Palace of Soviets on the site of the Cathedral. This palace was meant to be the largest building in the world - a monument to victorious socialism and Lenin - the leader of the world proletariat. A new Moscow, with no vestiges of the "cursed past and its' monuments" was to arise around this Palace. A massive wave of propaganda preceded the actual destruction. The newspapers wrote, "the Cathedral is grotesque and totally inartistic", that "the Cathedral is a poisonous mushroom on Moscow's face" and that it was "a source of slothfulness" and so forth.
The first explosions rocked the Cathedral at noon on December 5, 1931, as per the decision of Stalin's politburo. The memorial to military glory and the most important church in Russia was brutally vandalized and destroyed.
It took more than a year to clear the debris from the site. Some of the marble from the walls and marble benches from the cathedral were used in nearby Moscow Metro stations. The original marble high reliefs were preserved and are now on display at the Donskoy Monastery. For a long time, these were the only reminders of the largest Orthodox church ever built.
Russia sank ever deeper into the destructive gloom of atheism…
In February 1990, the Russian Orthodox Church received permission from the Soviet Government to rebuild the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. A temporary cornerstone was laid by the end of the year. The restorer Aleksey Denisov was called upon to design a replica of extraordinary accuracy.
Christ the Saviour Cathedral dominates the Moscow skyline
The lower church was consecrated to the Saviour's Transfiguration in 1996, and the completed Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was consecrated on the Transfiguration Day, 19 August 2000.
In 2000 the cathedral was the venue for the Canonization of the Romanovs when the last Tsar Nicholas II and his family were glorified as saints. On 17 May 2007, the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia was signed there. The full restoration of communion with the Moscow Patriarchate was celebrated by a Divine Liturgy at which the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Alexis II and the First Hierarch of ROCOR, Metropolitan Laurus, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy for the first time in history.
Large hard cover book with 364 pages. Richly illustrated with more than 500 black-and-white photographs. Imported from Russia with ENGLISH text!
The book includes fascinating stories of the life and tragic end of one of the most powerful and wealthy dynasties of the Romanovs (1613-1917) with more than 500 photographs collected from the main archives of Russia and European countries.
The vanished world of the Russian Imperial Family is still attractive in many of its aspects. Magnificent residences of the Romanovs, which were built by the best architects, and the extraordinary collections of fine arts they contained continue to attract authors and readers. For 80 years Russian archives, which could be compared with undiscovered treasure mines, were closed to a wide range of specialists around the world. Foreign archives in turn were not available to Russian researchers. The authors of Russia and Europe worked in archives in Russia, Denmark, Germany, England, and the USA, identified previously unrecognized photographs contained in Russian resources and introduced them to the reader with extensive commentary on their origins.
The “language” of original photographs is sometimes able to tell more than pages of texts about the special world of royalty and the circle of nobility. The authors also used information from Russian and foreign periodicals, memoirs and special literature. Readers will find new and well-structured materials about the main events in the lives of the Romanovs and their relatives in Europe, the masters in all kinds of art who worked on commission of the sovereigns, the state and family visits of members of European dynasties and the prominent companies that started their businesses thanks to the support of rulers.
Two chapters about Germany and Denmark and their princesses who became Russian Empresses during this period. A few chapters are devoted to the descriptions of the two-way influences between Russia and Greece, Wurttemberg, and Mecklenburg-Schwerin, countries where Russian Grand Duchesses lived as spouses of sovereigns.