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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Portrait of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich Presented at State Historical Museum
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich

Portrait of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich by Karl Lemokh
The exhibition The Romanovs: Portrait of a Dynasty, will close on February 10th at the State Historical Museum in Moscow, however, one final interesting touch to compliment the exhibit in its final week is a unique portrait of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (1857-1905). 

The small portrait is slightly larger than the album the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich is reading at his summer residence at Ilyinskoe. The portrait was painted in 1886 and was intended, according to historians, as a gift to his wife, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. The portrait was painted by the Russian painter of German origin Karl Lemokh (1841-1910). A graduate of the Academy of Arts, he was one of the founders of the Wanderers. His works can be seen in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.

Lemokh, received the Orthodox name of Cyril at the Russian Court of. He accepted an invitation to give private lessons in drawing and painting to the children of the Emperor Alexander III, including His Imperial Highness the Heir Tsarevich and Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich, the eldest son of Alexander III, the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II. However, his most talented pupil was the younger sister of Nicholas,  Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna. Olga took a serious interest in painting, one that she enjoyed for the rest of her life. During her lifetime, she painted more than 2,000 paintings, and today are highly sought after by collectors.

Lemokh's portrait of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich will be on display at the State Historical Museum until February 10, along with other paintings and photographic portraits of the imperial family during the final days of the exhibition The Romanovs. Portrait of a Dynasty. During my visit to Moscow in October 2013, I had the opportunity to visit this exhibit. The collection of paintings and photographs was superb! Many were new even to me, and the exhibit ranks among the finest that I have seen to date on the Romanov dynasty.
For more information on this exhibition, please refer to the following link; 
Romanov Dynasty Through the Eyes of Russian Artists + VIDEO

Exhibition: The Romanov's: Portrait of a Dynasty

New Portrait of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna



© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 05 February, 2014


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 1:19 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 5 February 2014 1:47 PM EST
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Thursday, 12 December 2013
Memorial Plaque to Sergei and Ella in Moscow
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich

A plaque in memory of the first chairpersons of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, was installed at the new IOPS museum-center in Moscow on November 1, 2013.
For more information on the IOPS Museum-Center in Moscow, please refer to the following link;

IOPS Opens Museum in Moscow 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 12 December, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:41 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 12 December 2013 9:50 AM EST
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Saturday, 2 November 2013
IOPS Opens Museum in Moscow
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich

The museum is housed in the IOPS Center, Ulitsa Zabalina 3 in Moscow
The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS) opened a new museum in Moscow last week. The opening ceremony was attended by the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin. He toured the exhibition which includes a memorial plaque in honour of the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and his wife, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. The plaque was consecrated by Archbishop Mark Egorievskiy.

Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, was a founding member and served as the first President of IOPS from April 24, 1889-1905, while his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, served as the second President of IOPS from 1905-1917.

The opening of the museum coincided with the birthday of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (born November 1st, 1864 at Darmstadt). Since the end of the 19th century the IOPS have helped Russian pilgrims in the Holy Land. They have also established schools, hospitals and hospices in the Middle East, providing assistance to local residents, churches and clergy.

"Bit by bit, we have put together the story of the IOPS, which has played an important role in the fate of our country, and the development of relations between Russia and the countries of the Holy Land,” - said Sergey Stepashin, Chairman of IOPS.

Visitors to the museum can see the pilgrim relics from the Holy Land, books and brochures, issued by IOPS for many pilgrims, portraits and personal belongings of the chairmen and honorary members of the IOPS and more. There is also a section on modern-day Russian activities in the Holy Land, construction and restoration of pilgrimage centers, Russian spirituality and culture in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Bari, Italy, and Syria, now war-torn. "Russia is returning to the Holy Land," - said Nicholas Lisovoy, deputy chairman of the IOPS for Science.

On the same day at the museum was a large-scale conference, In the Service of Moscow and the Fatherland, where researchers and social activists presented papers on the activities of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, and the history of "Russian Palestine." Next year, they plan to install a monument to the grand ducal couple in Moscow.

The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society was founded in 1882 by decree of Emperor Alexander III. Its members were all prominent members of the aristocracy, including members of the Imperial family. After the Revolution the society was renamed the Russian Palestine Society and attached to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. In 1992 the IOPS was restored, and today operates 18 regional offices in Russia and seven overseas offices in Israel, Palestine, Greece, Cyprus and other countries. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 02 November, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 7:53 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 2 November 2013 9:07 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 9 October 2013
The Final Resting Place of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich

The remains of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, Novospassky Monastery in Moscow 

On February 17, 1905, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was assassinated near the Nikolsky Gate of the Moscow Kremlin. Unlike all the other grand dukes who were buried in the Peter and Paul Cathedral St. Petersburg, his remains were buried in a crypt of the Chudov Monastery within the precincts of the Moscow Kremlin. On April 2, 1908, a memorial cross designed by Viktor Vasnetsov was erected on the spot where he was murdered. The cross was later destroyed by the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin himself on May 1, 1918.

The Chudov Monastery was demolished in 1930, to make way for the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet which was built on the site. The burial crypt of the Grand Duke was located in a courtyard of that building, which had been used as a parking lot. The crypt remained undisturbed for decades, when in 1986, building workers doing repairs in the Kremlin discovered the blocked up entrance of the burial vault. The coffin was opened and found to contain the Grand Duke’s remains, covered with the military greatcoat of the Kiev regiment, decorations, and an icon. He had left written instructions that he was to be buried in the Preobrazhensky Lifeguard regiment uniform, but as his body was so badly mutilated this proved impossible. 

On September 17, 1995, the coffin was officially exhumed.  His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II held a Panikhida in the Cathedral of the Archangel of the Moscow Kremlin. The grand duke’s remains were then transferred and reburied in a vault of the Novospassky Monastery in Moscow. In 1999, a replica of the memorial cross destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1918 was erected on the grounds of the monastery. The new monument was created by D. Grishin, and the sculptor Nikolai Orlov and based on the original sketches by Viktor Vasnetsov. 

A replica of Vasnetsov's memorial cross now stands on the grounds of the monastery marking the spot of the grand duke's crypt
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 09 October, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 2:22 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 9 October 2013 2:33 PM EDT
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Thursday, 14 June 2012
Moscow Streets to be Renamed After the Romanovs?
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich


Russia’s new culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky has proposed the changing the name of two streets in Moscow in honour of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition Russia in the Holy Land, which marks the 130th anniversary of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in Moscow, he said that the names of the Romanov family members “should replace the names of terrorists and murderers.”

Medinsky believes that changing the names of these streets will help educate the citizens of Moscow about two members of the Romanov dynasty, each of whom made a major contribution to the history of the city and its inhabitants.

Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich - the son of Emperor Alexander II, from 1891 was the military governor-general of Moscow. He headed the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, was the honorary chairman of the Russian Historical Museum, and a trustee of the Moscow Theological Academy. He was assassinated by terrorists on February 17, 1905. His remains were exhumed in 1995 and reburied in a vault of the Novospassky Monastery in Moscow.

After his murder, his wife, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (born Princess Elizabeth of Hesse, she was the eldest sister to the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna) then departed the Imperial Court. She was renowned during her lifetime for her missionary, educational and charitable work. The Martha and Mary Convent of Mercy which she created with her own funds continues to this day to assist the needy. In 1918 she was arrested and murdered by the Bolsheviks. In 1981 Elizabeth was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and in 1992 by the Moscow Patriarchate.

Vladimir Medinsky, viewed by his opponents as an “odd monarchist” created headlines earlier this week when he proposed that the body of Vladimir Lenin be removed from the mausoleum on Red Square and given a proper burial.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 14 June, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 8:17 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2012 8:23 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Fire Breaks Out at Palace of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich


A fire broke out at the former St. Petersburg residence of the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and his wife, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.

Situated on the Nevsky Prospect, the palace is today more commonly known as the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace.

The fire broke out about noon and quickly spread to the attic and the roof. The cause of the fire or the extent of the damage to the interiors and the facade is not yet known. Further updates will be posted as information becomes available.


© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 28 February, 2012


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:25 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 29 February 2012 9:04 AM EST
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Monday, 21 March 2011
Seal of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich


The seal of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was made in 1898, by B. Reimer. The seal is made of gold and topaz, and topped with an Imperial crown. The seal was believed to have been stolen in 1922, but returned to the Armory Museum in Moscow in 1926, by the an employee of the Moscow Association of Jewelry.

It will be on display in the Exhibition Hall of the Assumption Belfry, from 6 April to 24 July, 2011, as part of an exhibition dedicated to Faberge and his contemporaries.

© Royal Russia. 21 March, 2011


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2011 4:07 PM EDT
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Israel Hands Over Tsarist-Era Landmark
Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich


Israel is handing back ownership of a czarist-era landmark in the heart of Jerusalem to Russia, defusing a long-simmering dispute between the two countries right before Israel's leader visits Moscow.

The hewn stone building, built in 1890 to accommodate Russian pilgrims to the Holy Land, is a prominent edifice on the Jerusalem landscape with its soaring turret and lush garden.

The site was named for Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, a son of Czar Alexander III, and is part of a complex known as the Russian Compound. Israel bought most of it from the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, paying with oranges because it didn't have hard currency.

Israel seized control of it after the Soviet Union severed ties with the Jewish state following the 1967 Mideast war. The two countries restored ties in 1991 and negotiations to return the courtyard ownership to Russia began in the 1990s.

© Associated Press. 21 March, 2011

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 11:53 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 1 April 2011 4:08 PM EDT
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