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Thursday, 23 October 2014
Historian Doubts Nicholas II Abdicated the Throne
Topic: Nicholas II

The original document of Emperor Nicholas II’s abdication has not survived, so there may not have been any abdication at all, principal research officer of the Russian History Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Lavrov, Ph.D. believes. 

"First, they said that the document kept in the State Archive of the Russian Federation is the original. But it is absolutely clear that it is not the original," Lavrov said during an interview on the program Vechnost i Vremya (The Time and Eternity - IF) on the Russian network Spas TV channel.

According to Lavrov, there are many questions regarding this document: "it is written without a letterhead, signed with a pencil, it is addressed to the chief of the headquarters, and minister of the Emperor's court, Count Vladimir Frederiks, who certified the tsar's signature, said during his interrogation that the signature was forged."

"I believe the abdication possible, but the Provisional Government concealed it as the Provisional Government wasn't happy about the text of the abdication and it was a substitution. There is no original," the historian said. 

He is convinced that both the Provisional Government and Bolsheviks were interested in preserving the original as "the Provisional Government didn't have any other legitimacy, any connection with the previous authority."

"There is another option: there wasn't any abdication at all," Lavrov said.
In April 2012, Royal Russia News published an article from a Russian media source which discussed this issue. A conference on the subject was held at the State Historical Museum in Moscow, on March 15, 2012, attended by many prominent Russian historians and scientists. Click on the link below to read the article: 

Did Nicholas II Really Abdicate?

© Interfax and Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 October, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:21 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 23 October 2014 5:49 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014
Monument to Emperor Nicholas II Installed in Serbian Capital
Topic: Nicholas II

Monument to Emperor Nicholas II has been installed in the center of Belgrade, capital of Serbia
A new monument to Russian emperor Nicholas II has been installed in the center of Belgrade, in recognition of his support of Serbia and the Serbian people in 1914.

The monument arrived in the Serbian capital on Friday evening. Together with the pedestal, it stands at 7.5 meters in height and weighs over 40 tons. It took 6 hours to unload from the truck and nearly 13 hours to install with the help of a crane yesterday.

The installation of the pedestal and sculpture was organized by two teams of specialists and workers from Russia, with the support of two local Serbian companies.

The monument’s creators, sculptor Andrei Kovalchuk and academician Gennady Pravotorov were on hand and directly involved with the monument’s installation. 

Andrei Kovalchuk said that the work on the monument lasted six months. The sculpture is made from bronze, and the base - of granite. According to the sculptor, he found inspiration in the story of the Russian emperor coming to the aid of his country a century ago. "Russia and Serbia have always been fraternal powers" - said Kovalchuk. 

Co-creator of the monument academician Gennady Pravotorov noted that the monument is dedicated to the Emperor, who at one time was admired and appreciated more in Serbia than in Russia. "Nicholas II lives in the hearts of Serbs long and fervently" - said Pravotorov. He went on to say that they did their best to achieve harmony with the sculpture and they spot were it would stand.
The monument is made in the classical tradition which is quite rare in contemporary Europe, Kovolchuk said and added that the pedestal contains details linking our era to the historical period honoured by the monument. 

The monument to the Tsar Martyr is set in Devojacki Park on King Milan Street - near the place where the Embassy of the Russian Empire once stood - and in the immediate vicinity of the Russian House and the Assembly of the City of Belgrade. It was a gift of the Russian Federation to Serbia in honour of the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War. The installation takes place one week before Russian President Vladimir Putin's forthcoming visit to the Serbian capital on October 20th.

The grand opening of the reconstructed park and monument to Emperor Nicholas II is scheduled for November 11th. The event will be attended by senior officials from Russia and Serbia, while the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk expressed the hope that the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill will consecrate this monument during his visit to Serbia in mid-November. 

It is interesting to note that at the beginning of the 20th century a monument to Emperor Nicholas II stood in front of the Embassy of the Russian Empire in Belgrade.

Up until now, there were only two places of memory of the last Russian Tsar in Belgrade. At the Belgrade New Cemetery in 1935, was erected a memorial to "Russian Glory", on which is written: "Eternal Memory Emperor Nicholas II and two million Russian soldiers of the Great War." In 2013, a bust of Nicholas II was unveiled in the Russian House.

For more information on this monument, please refer to the following article:
Serbia to Erect Monument to Tsar Nicholas II - originally published 2nd April, 2014 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 October, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:30 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 October 2014 6:04 AM EDT
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Sunday, 12 October 2014
Coronation of Nicholas II Scenes Shot in St. Petersburg for New Film
Topic: Nicholas II

A scene from the film 'Mathilde' shows the interior of the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin which has been recreated in a St. Petersburg film studio to shoot scenes from the 1896 coronation of Nicholas II. Watch the short video below to view more scenes from this historical recreation.
Russian director, Alexei Uchitel is currently in St. Petersburg where he is shooting scenes for his large-scale historical drama, Mathilde, based on the life of the legendary ballerina and mistress of Nicholas II - Mathilde Kschessinskaya.

Powerful special effects include construction of the full-size interior decoration of the Assumption (Uspensky) Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The recreation of the cathedral was constructed in a film studio in St. Petersburg in order to film the scenes from the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II in May 1896. 

The coronation scenes involved more than 500 actors and extras. Each wore a gown or uniform costume recreated from historical designs by costume designer Nadezhda Vasilieva. Exact copies of the decorative jewels were also reproduced. Rabbit fur was used instead of ermine for the coronation robes worn by Emperor Nicholas II (played by German actor Lars Edinger) and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna (played by Louise Wolfram). Estonian actress Ingeborga DapkÅ«naite, who plays the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, literally had to relearn how to walk in a heavy crown and fur mantle. 

Nearly 17 tons of fabrics were used to produce the more than 5000 items for the 300 historical costumes required for the elaborate coronation scenes. The unique interior set for the cathedral took more than two months to create by V. Zelinsky. Alexei Uchitel has no plans to dismantle the set once the filming has ended, instead he is considering creating a museum. 


Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 October, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:25 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 12 October 2014 5:37 AM EDT
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Saturday, 11 October 2014
Bust of Nicholas II Unveiled in Moscow
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 14 seconds
Topic: Nicholas II

The unveiling and consecration of a new bust of Saint Martyr Tsar Nicholas II was held on Sunday, October 5th at the Church of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the former Lazarev Cemetery in Moscow.

The bronze bust was created by sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov, and presented to the church as a gift of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCOR), Metropolitan Hilarion in memory of the 400th anniversary of the House of Romanov and the centennial of the First World War.

"Let this gift serve to strengthen the unity of our Church and our congregation. Let it be a good example of love and veneration of the Holy Royal Martyr Tsar Nicholas and the Holy Royal Martyr Family," - stated in a letter by Metropolitan Hilarion that was read out during the ceremony.

The event was attended by an honour guard in the dress uniform of the Izmailovo Life Guards Regiment. The miraculous myrrh-streaming icon of St. Nicholas II was brought to the celebration, which is under the special care of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 11 October, 2014



Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:46 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 11 October 2014 6:46 AM EDT
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Thursday, 4 September 2014
Hunting Lodge of Tsar Nicholas II to be Opened for Tourism
Topic: Nicholas II

The former hunting lodge of Tsar Nicholas II at Sarikamis (now part of Turkey)
The hunting lodge of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, built during the forty-year Russian reign over Sarikamis, will be restored and serve as an expanded hotel with 124 rooms that will attract tourists throughout the year

Located in Sarikamis district of the Kars province, the hunting lodge of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia will be opened for tourists soon. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Sarikamis Mayor Göksal Toksoy said that they want to introduce the region to tourism by making use of its natural and historical potential. Although Sarikamis has its peak season for five months in a year, Toksoy said their aim is to draw tourists to the region for the whole year. He noted that the region will be an attraction for Russian tourists in particular once the lodge is restored. 

According to the mayor's statement, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will build a hundred bed capacity hotel matching the mansion's architecture following the restoration of the Tsar's hunting lodge. He further stated that they planned to contribute to the local economy and the local population's standard of living. "We are working on the project non-stop with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Governorate of Kars, the District Governorate of Sarikamis and the Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate. Within the scope of the project, we immediately began the restoration of the historical mansion,"

Toksoy said. The mansion has 24 rooms, and after the construction of the hotel with hundred additional rooms, the region will be able offer its services to the visitors with 124 rooms that combine history and nature. Also known as Katarina Mansion, the 116-year-old hunting lodge was built with Baltic-style architecture without using nails between 1877 and 1878 (during the reign of Tsar Alexander II), during the 40-year-long Russian occupation in Sarikamis.

Back in July 2010, Royal Russia reported on the proposed restoration of this hunting lodge, click the link below to read the article in Royal Russia News:

Tsar Nicholas II's Hunting Lodge in Sarikamis to be Restored 

© Daily Sabah. 04 September, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:12 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 4 September 2014 8:22 AM EDT
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Saturday, 26 July 2014
How Nicky and Willy Could Have Prevented World War I
Topic: Nicholas II

Emperors Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the July 25th, 2014 edition of the Washington Post. The author Graham Allison , owns the copyright presented below.

One hundred years ago this week, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany exchanged a series of telegrams to try to stop the rush to a war that neither of them wanted. They signed their notes “Nicky” and “Willy.”

Cousins who vacationed together, hunted together and enjoyed dressing up in the uniforms of each other’s military officers when sailing on their yachts, these two great-great-grandsons of Paul I of Russia wrote to each other in English, affirming their mutual interests and outlining an agreement that would have resolved the crisis on terms acceptable to both rulers.

Yet only three days after the tsar and kaiser’s initial exchange, Germany declared war on Russia, and World War I was underway. Tragically, these leaders were caught in what Henry Kissinger has called a “doomsday machine”: a network of interlocking alliances and military mobilization timetables that allowed the march of events to overcome their best efforts.

The telegrams between them were discovered by an American journalist in the Russian government archives in 1919 and caused a sensation when they were first published in 1920. A century after they were written, they are vivid reminders of the perils of crisis management — and the wisdom of preventive diplomacy to resolve challenges like today’s territorial dispute in eastern Ukraine before they become crises that suck great powers into confrontations.

The exchange began in the very early morning of July 29, just hours after Austria-Hungary (an ally of Germany) declared war on Serbia (an ally of Russia) in retaliation for the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Time was short to find a diplomatic solution that would prevent a regional war from becoming a world war.

Tsar Nicholas wrote: “In this serious moment, I appeal to you to help me. An ignoble war has been declared to a weak country. The indignation in Russia shared fully by me is enormous. I foresee that very soon I shall be overwhelmed by the pressure forced upon me and be forced to take extreme measures which will lead to war. To try and avoid such a calamity as a European war I beg you in the name of our old friendship to do what you can to stop your allies from going too far. Nicky.”

Even before this telegram arrived in Berlin, Kaiser Wilhelm sent his own message to the tsar, reading in part: “The persons morally responsible for the dastardly murder should receive their deserved punishment. In this case politics plays no part at all. On the other hand, I fully understand how difficult it is for you and your Government to face the drift of your public opinion. Therefore, with regard to the hearty and tender friendship which binds us both from long ago with firm ties, I am exerting my utmost influence to induce the Austrians to deal straightly to arrive to a satisfactory understanding with you. I confidently hope that you will help me in my efforts to smooth over difficulties that may still arise. Your very sincere and devoted friend and cousin. Willy.”

So from the outset, both leaders expressed hope for a diplomatic solution. And Wilhelm had a particular compromise in mind: Austrian troops would be allowed to advance as far as Belgrade and remain there until Serbia dismantled the Black Hand terrorist group, responsible for the murder of the archduke.

The kaiser told the German chancellor to communicate this proposal to Vienna. But the chancellor privately opposed the “halt in Belgrade” policy and did not deliver the message clearly. Instead, he instructed his ambassador in St. Petersburg to tell the Russian foreign minister that if Russia continued preparing troops for battle against Austria, Germany would also mobilize and “a European war could scarcely be prevented.”

In the next volley of telegrams, sent on the evening of July 29, Wilhelm explained to his cousin why Russia should remain on the sidelines of a limited Austro-Serbian war. Nicholas responded: “Thanks for your telegram conciliatory and friendly. Whereas official message presented today by your ambassador to my minister was conveyed in a very different tone. Beg you to explain this divergency! It would be right to give over the Austro-Serbian problem to the Hague conference. Trust in your wisdom and friendship. Your loving Nicky.”

In this telegram, the tsar made clear that he was still eager to find a diplomatic solution. He endorsed the kaiser’s proposal of negotiations at the Hague, where Germany, Russia, France and England would mediate an agreement between Austria and Serbia. And later that night, because of the messages he was receiving from the kaiser, he resisted the counsel of his war ministers that an immediate mobilization of the entire Russian army was the only plausible response to Austria’s declaration of war. Instead, he issued an order permitting partial mobilization, hoping that this would be viewed less provocatively in Berlin.

Unfortunately, by the next day, both Nicholas and Wilhelm had been overwhelmed by competing views and the momentum of their governments. The tsar accepted his generals’ argument that full mobilization was necessary, because anything less would put his forces at a disadvantage in the event they had to be deployed against Germany. And the kaiser sent a telegram with strong language drafted by the German chancellor: “If, as it is now the case, according to the communication by you & your Government, Russia mobilises against Austria, my rôle as mediator . . . will be endangered if not ruined. The whole weight of the decision lies solely on you[r] shoulders now, who have to bear the responsibility for Peace or War. Willy.”

In the round of telegrams sent on July 31 (which crossed in transmission), neither side proved willing to make concessions or take actions that could have made room for a deal to prevent or delay the outbreak of war.

Kaiser Wilhelm: “I now receive authentic news of serious preparations for war on my Eastern frontier. Responsibility for the safety of my empire forces preventive measures of defence upon me. In my endeavours to maintain the peace of the world I have gone to the utmost limit possible. . . . My friendship for you and your empire, transmitted to me by my grandfather on his deathbed has always been sacred to me and I have honestly often backed up Russia when she was in serious trouble especially in her last war. The peace of Europe may still be maintained by you, if Russia will agree to stop the milit[ary] measures which must threaten Germany and Austro-Hungary. Willy.”

Tsar Nicholas: “We are far from wishing war. As long as the negociations with Austria on Serbia’s account are taking place my troops shall not make any provocative action. I give you my solemn word for this. I put all my trust in Gods mercy and hope in your successful mediation in Vienna for the welfare of our countries and for the peace of Europe. Your affectionate Nicky.”

Shortly after that telegram arrived in Berlin, the German chancellor sent an ultimatum to St. Petersburg, giving Russia 12 hours to “suspend every war measure against Austria-Hungary and ourselves.”

The tsar responded to the kaiser: “Understand you are obliged to mobilise but wish to have the same guarantee from you as I gave you, that these measures do not mean war and that we shall continue negociating for the benefit of our countries and universal peace dear to all our hearts. Our long proved friendship must succeed, with God’s help, in avoiding bloodshed. Anxiously, full of confidence await your answer. Nicky.”

Russia never received that guarantee. Germany saw its ultimatum rejected. The exchange between Nicky and Willy ended on Aug. 1, with the kaiser writing: “I must request you to immediatly order your troops on no account to commit the slightest act of trespassing over our frontiers.”

That evening, Germany’s ambassador to St. Petersburg handed the Russian foreign minister a declaration of war and then burst into tears. The last-inning efforts of the cousins clearly failed, and today the legacy of their correspondence is one of missed opportunities. Had the kaiser and the tsar started sooner and been better statesmen, they might have prevented a world war that in the end both of them would lose.

Graham Allison is director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School. 
© Graham Allison / Washington Post. 26 July, 2014 


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 6:37 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 26 July 2014 6:47 AM EDT
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Friday, 25 July 2014
New Monument to Nicholas II Unveiled Near Moscow
Topic: Nicholas II

The monument to Emperor Nicholas II at the Saint Nicholas Berlyukovsky Monastery. Photo © IOPS
A new monument to Emperor Nicholas II has been unveiled at the Saint Nicholas Berlyukovsky Monastery, situated on the outskirts of Avdotyino, a village on the Vorya River, 42 kilometres northeast of Moscow.

The unveiling and consecration of the monument took place on July 24th with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Juvenal of Krutitsy and Kolomna. The monument to the Holy Passion Bearer Emperor Nicholas II, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of the Russian Empire from 1915 to 1917 was made by the Russian sculptor Mikhail Leonidovich Serdyukov.

The "Romanov Walk of Fame" at the Saint Nicholas Berlyukovsky Monastery. Photo© IOPS
The monument is situated on the "Romanov Walk of Fame" - a path within the grounds of the historic monastery that also contains similar monuments to members of the Russian Imperial family who were closely associated with the history of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS): Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich (2011), Emperors Alexander I and Alexander III (2012), Emperor Alexander II (2013).

The monument is a joint project of the Saint Nicholas Berlyukovsky Monastery and the Revival of Cultural Heritage Charity Fund, with the support of the Moscow Regional Branch of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. 

This project is aimed primarily at the patriotic education of our compatriots, the popularization of the great history of Russia, its heroes, generals, priests and rulers, who gave all their strength for the prosperity of the country.

The event is dedicated to the blessed memory of the Holy Emperor Nicholas II, the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Holy Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 25 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:34 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 25 July 2014 12:41 PM EDT
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Monday, 7 July 2014
The Great Eastern Journey of Tsar Nicholas II
Topic: Nicholas II

Tsesarevich Nicholas (standing to the right of the sphinx) in Egypt
Copyright Notice: The following article was originally published in the July 5th, 2014 edition of Russia Beyond the Headlines. The author Joe Crescente, owns the copyright of the version presented below.

Nicholas II, the future Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias was the first and only Tsar to visit Siberia and the Far East. Taking the journey several years before ascending the throne, Nicholas II covered approximately 51,000 km, including about 15,000 km of railway and 22,000 km by sea over about 290 days. After Peter the Great’s incognito fact-finding Grand Embassy tour of Europe in 1697-1698, a long educational trip became an important part of training Tsars-to-be for the challenges that lay ahead.

One major impetus for this trip was Alexander III’s (Nicholas’s father) decision to establish the Trans-Siberian Railway. He wanted a member of the royal family to be present for the opening ceremony in Vladivostok. This, of course, conflicts with some sources that suggest that Nicholas was considering traveling East to China and then through America and other claims that Nicholas’s father wanted to separate him from his lover, a ballerina at the Mariinsky Theater. What is indisputable is that the Romanovs wanted to use this trip as a spiritual mission to spread the Orthodox faith among new peoples and territories around the world.

The trip was planned by the general staff and the Holy Synod, the supreme governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church. The heir apparent embarked with an entourage on October 23, 1890 (old calendar) from Gatchina. His main companion was Prince Esper Ukhtomsky, a friend of the heir to the throne and official historian of the journey, but was also joined by his sickly younger brother, Grand Duke George. It was hoped that George’s health would benefit from the sun and sea air.

The delegation went first by train to Vienna and then Trieste where they boarded the warship, The Memory of Azov. The next stop was the Greek port city of Piraeus where Nicholas met his uncle, King George I of Greece. The King’s son, Prince George of Greece and Denmark, joined the delegation here. They went next to Egypt, with Nicholas and much of the crew touring the Nile and the pyramids, while the ship passed through the Suez Canal.

From there they sailed to India arriving in Bombay on December 11. It was here that Nicholas’s younger brother turned back as he had become ill. While in India Nicholas visited many of India’s main sites including the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple. He met with rajas, went hunting, but was largely unsuccessful (whereas two princes that accompanied him bagged a tiger each), and bought numerous artworks, many of which can be found today in Russian museums. It was said that the future Tsar did not enjoy India as the heat was intense and he couldn’t stand the sight of British redcoats, reminders of Russia’s strained relations with Britain. The Indian portion of the journey culminated with a visit to the island of Ceylon, where one of the highlights was a show featuring 30 to 40 elephants and “devil dancers”.

Tsesarevich Nicholas (standing lower right) hunting in India
From there, the journey continued on to Singapore, where according to local accounts Nicholas’s visit created quite a stir. Then it was on to today’s Indonesia and Thailand, where Nicholas spent a week as a guest of King Rama V. Afterwards he made a port of call in China.

It was in Japan that perhaps the most notable event of the journey took place. Nicholas greatly enjoyed his first days on the island, buying handicrafts and even getting a large tattoo of a dragon on his right arm.

He was warmly received, as the Japanese were interested in bettering relations with Russia. However, on April 29, in Otsu, he was attacked by Tsuda Sanzo, a policeman assigned to protect him. Sanzo took a stab at Nicholas’s face, leaving him with a 9 cm scar on the right side of his forehead. The second thrust was blocked by his cousin’s cane. His life was never in danger.

Prince George of Greece and Tsesarevich Nicholas in Japan
Theories vary although xenophobia is largely considered Sanzo’s motivation. The Emperor rushed to meet the future Tsar. Japan was no match militarily for Russia at the time and feared provoking the government into war. Three Japanese princes accompanied Nicholas as escorts as he left.

The entourage arrived at Vladivostok on May 11 and after commencing with the official ceremony, they left the Memory of Azov behind and traveled overland and by riverboat through all of Russia. They first went north stopping at Khabarovsk and then on to Blagoveshchensk, where an enormous arc dedicated to the visit still remains (commemoration arcs still stand in many of these cities). Next on the itinerary were the Eastern Siberian cities of Nerchinsk, Chita and Irkutsk.

Tsesarevich Nicholas visiting the Trans-Baikal region of the Russian Empire on his return home to St. Petersburg
He next arrived in Tomsk. This visit is clouded in secrecy, as even Ukhtomsky, the chronicler, is uncharacteristically silent on what Nicholas did in the evening. Rumor has it that he secretly visited the cell of Theodore the Elder, a mystic that mysteriously arrived in Tomsk in 1837. Some believe that Tsar Aleksandr I faked his own death in 1825 to escape his fate, before reappearing years later as Theodore.

From Tomsk, the journey continued to Surgut, Tobolsk, Tara, Omsk and Orenburg, before returning to St. Petersburg by train.

In many ways this trip was more important for what it brought the Russian interior. For example, the future Tsar spent one night in Tomsk and yet it received funds for Tomsk Polytechnic University and the opening of a spiritual academy in the coming years. A monastic workshop there received orders from the Imperial Court for the next 20 years. It seemed that whatever the Tsar touched was gold, at least on this trip. 
© Joe Crescente / Russia Beyond the Headlines. 07 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 5:08 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 10 July 2014 8:22 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 2 July 2014
National History Museum of Romania Hosts Exhibit Dedicated to 1914 Visit of Nicholas II to Constanta
Now Playing: Language: Romanian. Duration: 1 minute, 51 seconds
Topic: Nicholas II
Archival film footage of the arrival of Emperor Nicholas II and his family at Constanta, Romania on June 14th [O.S. June 1st] 1914
On June 5th, a unique exhibition opened at the National History Museum of Romania in Bucharest. The exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of Emperor Nicholas II’s historic visit to Romania in June 1914, two months before the outbreak of the First World War. This was the only official visit by a Russian sovereign to Romania. The commemoration of this event is the subject of the exhibition Russian-Romanian Historical Consonances: Centenary Visit by Emperor Nicholas II to Constanta (1 / June 14, 1914).

The exhibition is the first cultural event conducted by the National History Museum of Romania in partnership with Russian institutions. It brings together a unique set of photographs and documents from the collections of several Russian partner institutions: State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), State Central Archives in St. Petersburg, Russian State Archive documentaries and Photo (RGAKFD), and the National Museum of History, the NAR and Diplomatic Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Nearly 100 photographs, documents and other items on display at the National Museum of Romania in Bucharest

Nearly 100 photos, historic documents and other valuable items were put on display for the first time marking the historic event between the two monarchs. In addition to photographs that mark Nicholas II’s visit to Constanta in 1914, were photographs of the visit by King Carol (Charles) I and Prince Ferdinand to Russia in July 1898, and that of Prince Ferdinand (future King Ferdinand I) and Princess Maria (future Queen Marie), and their son, Carol (future King Carol II) in March 1914 to St. Petersburg. The National Museum of History also put on display the Order of St. Andrew, awarded to King Carol I and medals issued to commemorate the visit of Tsar Nicholas II in 1914.

Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and their children arrived at Constanta, situated on the Black Sea coast onboard the Imperial yacht Standart. The short video above documents their arrival at the Black Sea port on 14th June [O.S. 1st June] 1914.

Nicholas II had a close relationship with King Carol I (1839-1914) of Romania, especially after Crown Prince Ferdinand’s marriage to Maria who was a granddaughter of Tsar Alexander II. The meeting between the two sovereigns included political discussions which were aimed at maintaining peace in the Balkans and respect to the Treaty of Bucharest signed in 1913. 

Members of the Russian Imperial and Romanian royal families pose for a photograph at Constanta, June 1914
It was also during this visit that Ferdinand and Maria tried to make a match for their son, Prince Carol, with the Grand Duchess Olga Nicholayevna, eldest daughter of Nicholas II. This proposed match was strongly supported by the Russian Foreign Minister Sazonov, but nothing came of it. Olga struggled to make small talk with the Romanian crown prince. Carol's mother, was unimpressed with Olga as well, finding her manners too brusque and her broad, high cheek-boned face "not pretty." Olga later told Pierre Gilliard that she wanted to marry a Russian and remain in her own country. She said her parents would not force her to marry anyone she could not like. 

The exhibition ran from June 5th - 29th, 2014 at the National History Museum of Romania in Bucharest. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue in three languages: Romanian, Russian and English, richly illustrated with photographs and other documents from the exhibit. 
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 02 July, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:11 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 2 July 2014 2:52 PM EDT
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Thursday, 26 June 2014
Monument to Nicholas II Unveiled in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Topic: Nicholas II
A new monument to the Holy Russian Tsar and Passion-Bearer Nicolas II has been unveiled in Bosnia and Herzegovina, reports, citing the SRBIN INFO agency. 

Photo © Russian Academy of Arts
The monument was unveiled on June 21, 2014, in Banja Luka on the initiative of the Serbian Republic’s (Bosnia and Herzegovina) president, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation, and the Russian Military Historical Society. The Serbian Republic’s president Milorad Dodik and assistant to the Russian president Igor Shchegolev were to be present at the opening ceremony.

The artist of the monument is the sculptor from Russia Zurab Tsereteli. 

The monument was unveiled after a joint liturgy of Serbian and Russian clergy in the local cathedral. After the consecration ceremony performances of the “Kazachsky Krug” Cossacks’ group, the choir of the Ipatiev Monastery at Kostroma (the Ipatiev Monastery is historically connected with the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty) as well as a round table of Serbian and Russian historians took place. 

Photo © Russian Academy of Arts
The opening of the monument is timed to coincide with the centenary since the beginning of the World War I. When in July 1914 Austria-Hungary with the support of Germany started a war against Serbia, the Serbian successor to the Throne Prince Alexander Karadordevic appealed to the Russian Emperor Nicolas II, who assured him that “Russia will not remain indifferent to the destiny of Serbia”. Soon after that Russia launched a war against Germany in order to defend their brothers, the Serbian people. 

In the words of Holy Hierarch Nikolaj (Velimirovic): “Our debt to Russia is great. A person could owe a debt to another person, a nation – to another nation. But the debt the Serbian people owe to Russia for its actions in 1914 is so great that it won’t be repaid in generations and centuries. This is a debt of love, when one dies saving one’s neighbor. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends, said Christ. The Russian Tsar and Russian people, who went to war in order to defend Serbia, entered it unprepared, knowing full well that they are facing death. But the love the Russians have for their brothers did not retreat in the face of danger and was not afraid of death”. 
© & Royal Russia. 26 June, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:55 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 26 June 2014 7:59 AM EDT
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