A new monument to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (1857-1905) was unveiled and consecrated on 8th June, at the Saint Nicholas Berlyukovsky Monastery, situated about 42 kilometres northeast of Moscow.
The monument is situated on the "Romanov Walk of Fame" - a path within the grounds of the historic monastery which contains eight similar monuments to members of the Russian Imperial family who contributed to the history of Russia and Saint Nicholas Berlyukovsky Monastery: Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolayevich (2011), Emperors Alexander I and Alexander III (2012), Emperor Alexander II (2013), Emperor Nicholas II (2014), Emperors Paul I and Nicholas I (2015), Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich (2016). There are plans to inaugurate similar memorials to other members of the Russian Imperial family in the future.
The monument to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was made by the Russian sculptor Aleksandr Alekseevich Apollonov (born 11 August 1947 - died 12 June 2017, in a fatal car accident). The installation of 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.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia consecrated a cross in memory of former Moscow governor-general Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich at the site of his tragic death in the Kremlin in 1905. His Holiness also prayed for the repose of the grand duke.
"Restoration of the cross in memory of Sergey Alexandrovich is an act of restoring historical justice, but justice is not a search of those who are right and who are guilty. Perhaps there is no such family in Russia that was not divided by the revolution. Today we should learn from St. Elizabeth Feodorovna, Sergey Alexandrovich's wife, who forgave her husband's assassin," the patriarch said at the ceremony, which was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the patriarch, the grand duke was killed not because he was a bad general governor.
"His attention to the residents of the city was well known. The best traditions of Russian charity are connected with the name of his wife Elizabeth Feodorovna, a German princess who adopted Orthodoxy and later was canonized. This act of terrorism destroyed the value of a human life," the primate said.
He reminded that recently a monument to St. Vladimir was opened not far from Kremlin, his civilizational choice "spiritually transfigured peoples of Russia."
"At the site where Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was killed an opposite choice was made - in favour of contempt to a human life, readiness to bring human lives to a bloody altar of political revolt," the patriarch said and noted that was important in the year of the one-hundredth anniversary of the revolution "a lesson of fraternal dispute gives us moral power to see brothers and sisters in our compatriots."
The Russian president said political murders were unacceptable.
"This crime was a forerunner of dramatic events, discord, civil opposition, which Russia then faced. They turned to become hardest losses, real national catastrophe, threat of losing Russian statehood," he said noting that "violation, murders cannot be justified no matter in what political slogans they are disguised."
The cross commemorating Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was erected on public donations near St. Nicholas Tower in 1908. On May 1, 1918, the monument, designed by Viktor Vasnetsov, was torn down during a spring cleaning event (subbotnik), with the personal participation of Vladimir Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov.
A foundation stone marking the spot where the grand duke was assassinated was laid and consecrated on 1 November 2016
The instruction to consider recreating the cross at its historical site in memory of the tragic death of Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was given by Vladimir Putin in August 2016 after visiting a park that has replaced the dismantled Building N14 on the Kremlin grounds.
Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich Romanov (1857-1905) was the fifth son of Emperor Alexander II, he served as Moscow Governor-General from 1891. He was among the founders of the Historical Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, urban economy, and provided patronage for the creation of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society. It was during his governorship that Moscow had its first streetcar fleet and experienced industrial development and construction boom.
The grand duke was assassinated in a terrorist attack by Socialist Revolutionary Party member Ivan Kalyayev on February 17, 1905, when passing through the gates of St. Nicholas Tower at the Kremlin.
Initially the grand duke was buried at the Kremlin's Chudov Monastery, which was demolished after the 1917 revolution. The crypt with the duke's remains was only discovered in 1986, during restoration work at the Kremlin. In 1995 the remains were moved to Novospassky Monastery where the first copy of the cross was erected.
Putin Attends Unveiling Ceremony of Monument to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD
President Vladimir Putin attends the unveiling ceremony of a monument to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich in the Moscow Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in a ceremony unveiling a monument to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich on the site of his assassination in the park by the Kremlin’s Nikolskaya Tower.
Acting on Putin’s instruction, the Russian Military Historical Society and the Foundation for Revival of Traditions of Compassion and Charity St Elizabeth – St Sergius Educational Society carried out the work to restore the memorial, which was paid for by public donations and raised in 1905 and demolished in 1918.
Speech given by President Vladimir Putin at today's ceremony:
Your Holiness, ladies and gentlemen,
Today, we remember events more than a century distant from us. On February 4, 1905, a terrorist threw a bomb that killed Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich.
This crime was one of the harbingers of the dramatic events, turmoil and civil war that would engulf Russia, bringing tremendous losses, genuine national catastrophe, and threatening the existence of Russia’s very statehood.
There is never any justification for violence and murder, no matter what political slogans they use. The Grand Duke’s death shook Russian society back then and people from all backgrounds saw it as a tragedy. The memorial cross raised at the site of this cruel vengeance was a symbol of sorrow and regret. It was raised at the people’s will and funded solely by public donations.
Outstanding Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov took part in erecting the memorial, and the Grand Duke’s widow, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, gave her blessing to the memorial.
I should say a few words separately about this remarkable woman. She worked tirelessly and was active in charity efforts. The Russian Orthodox Church conferred sainthood on her. She did not leave the country even during the darkest days and to her death remained true to the ideals of Christian forgiveness and love. The cross raised on this site bore, too, the mark of her personality, destiny and inner spiritual strength.
This cross was among the first monuments destroyed after the revolution. The Chudov Monastery in the Kremlin and countless other monuments around the country met the same fate. In the end though, truth and justice always prevail.
Today, we see how churches are rebuilt, monasteries open anew, and holy places that were lost are returned. Russia’s history is regaining its unity. We treasure each page in this history, no matter how difficult. These are our national spiritual roots.
The cross raised in memory of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich’s death has been restored to its historical place. It stands as a symbol of the price we had to pay for hatred, division and hostility, and reminds us that we must do everything we can to preserve our people’s unity and harmony.
Today, we should say again that we only have one Russia, and no matter what our individual views and positions, we must all defend and look after this Russia, make our people’s future, the happiness of our people and our children and grandchildren our priority.
I thank sincerely all who took part in restoring this memorial.
Thank you very much.
For more information about the monument to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich in the Moscow Kremlin, please refer to the following article:
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his approval for the restoration of the memorial cross erected on the site where the former Governor-General of Moscow Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich was assassinated in the Kremlin in February, 1905. The cross was established in 1908, but was later destroyed by the Bolsheviks.
A special committee will now discuss plans for the restoration of the memorial cross, and will include the following organizations: the All-Russian Social and State Organization, the Russian Military-Historical Society, the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Office of Presidential Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. Their recommendations will be presented to President Putin on September 30, 2016.
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (1857-1905) served as governor-general of Moscow from the spring of 1891 until January 1, 1905. He was assassinated on 17th February 1905 just 65 steps from the Nikolskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin - his carriage having been blown up by a bomb thrown by the terrorist Ivan Kaliayev. Historians note that this was the first murder committed in the Kremlin, and was a portent of the coming Revolution and Civil War.
The remains of the Grand Duke were buried with full military honours in a specially constructed tomb located in the Chudov Monastery. A temporary wooden memorial cross was erected at the site of his assassination. Muscovites began to leave money at the foot of the cross, to help fund construction of a monument to the Grand Duke. The city government approved the implementation of the project which included a monument and fence. The monument was created by the famous Russian artist Viktor Vasnetsov (1848-1926) at the personal invitation of the widow of Sergei Alexandrovich Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.
Vasnetsov’s memorial cross was unveiled on April 1, 1908, but was demolished in May 1918 by the personal order of Vladimir Lenin. It would be the first Kremlin monument demolished after the revolutionary events.
The Chudov monastery was demolished in 1928, and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet 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. In 1990, building workers in the Kremlin discovered the blocked up entrance of the burial vault. The coffin was examined 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.
For more information on Grand Duke Sergei’s tomb in the Novospassky Monastery, please refer to the following article:
On This Day: Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was Born Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD
Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich. Portrait by Viktor Karlovich Shtember (1863-1921)
Note: this article has been edited and updated from its original by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was born on 11 May (O.S. 29 April) 1857 in Tsarskoye Selo. He was the fifth son and seventh child of Emperor Alexander II and Empress Maria Alexandrovna. He was an influential statesman and public figure during the reigns of his brother Emperor Alexander III and his nephew Emperor Nicholas II, who was also his brother in law through Sergey's marriage to Elizabeth the sister of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.
Sergey Alexandrovich received an excellent education. The legal scholar, Actual Privy Councilor K. P. Pobedonostsev taught the encyclopaedia of law to him; the lawyer and statesman N. S. Tagantsev introduced to him state law, the economist and author V. P. Bezobrazov lectured him on political economy; history was taught to him by the rector of the Moscow University, historian S. M. Soloviev; and Russian literature by Professor O. F. Miller. Together with history professor K. N. Bestuzhev-Rumin, Sergey Alexandrovich toured the north of Russia to explore the historical monuments and shrines.
In 1877, the Grand Duke joined the army in the Balkans, where at that time there was a Russian-Turkish War (1877-78). Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was awarded the Order of St. Grand Martyr and the Triumphant George of IV degree for courage on the battlefield. In 1882 he was appointed commander of the 1st Battalion of the Preobrazhensky Life Guards Regiment.
Soon after his return to St. Petersburg Sergey Alexandrovich assumed the duties of the chairman of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, which collected, developed and spread information throughout Russia about the holy places in the Orient, and provided assistance to Russian pilgrims. The Grand Duke initiated and funded excavations in Jerusalem, at the site of which there was built a church in the name of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky, in memory of the Tsar-Liberator Alexander II.
Sergey Aleksandrovich was the honorary chairman of numerous Moscow Society charities: education and training of blind children, the Society for patronage of homeless and released from juvenile detention, the Moscow department of the Russian society for protection of public health; a patron of Almshouses of Crown Prince Nicholas, the Moscow Society of the mutual promotion of handicraft, Auxiliary cash printers, the Charitable society for older artists; the patron of all parish schools of the Moscow diocese, shelter of Sergievsky community in St. Petersburg, Pskov real school; president of the Society care about the children of persons exiled by judicial sentence to Siberia and other public organizations. The Grand Duke also was the patron and honorary chairman of many scientific institutions - the Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Fine Arts, the Society of Artists of historical painting, Moscow and St. Petersburg Universities, Moscow Archaeological Society, the Society of Agriculture, the Society of Natural Sciences, the Russian Musical Society, the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul and Historical Museum in Moscow and the Moscow Theological Academy, the Orthodox Missionary Society, Division of distribution of spiritual and moral books.
In 1891, the Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich was appointed Governor-General of Moscow. In December 1894 he became a member of the State Council, and after a year and a half - the commander of the Moscow Military District. During his tenure as governor-general the Grand Duke took an active part in the beautification of the capital. Sergey Aleksandrovich supported pro-government labour organizations and took a firm stand against the rebels and revolutionaries, believing that it was necessary to take tougher action against terrorists. The Government had not supported the Grand Duke and in January 1905 he voluntarily relinquished the post of governor-general.
On 17 February (O.S. 4 February) 1905, at about 3 p. m., Sergey Alexandrovich was assassinated by a bomb, thrown by terrorist Ivan Kalyaev.
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and the Fine Arts Museum in Moscow Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich in the study of fine arts at Moscow University
In order to organize a museum affiliated to Moscow University, a special Committee for the Establishment of the Alexander III Museum of Fine Arts started to function in 1898. From the moment the Committee was inaugurated until his assassination in February 1905, it was chaired by Moscow Governor-General Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (1857-1905). As early as 1854, he came forward as a patron of the University's museum. His report delivered in July 1895 announced the decision taken by Nicholas II to delay the stone-laying ceremony for the building of the Industrial and Technical Training School in Kolmazh Court – planned as a commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of Alexander II's accession, so as to clear the site for the new museum. In 1898 the whole site was set aside for the new construction project.
Castings of ancient Oriental artifacts, preserved in various museums worldwide, from the 1890s were collected for the Alexander III Fine Arts Museum (the original name for the present Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts) in Moscow on the basis of the cabinet of fine arts at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Chairman of the committee for arranging the museum was the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich. Many other honorary members of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society helped arrange the museum as well. The Holy Tsar Nicholas II was the museum’s personal patron and himself assigned 200,000 rubles. The Greek Courtyard (Pantheon Hall) one of the largest and most beautiful galleries in the museum, was built on the funds of Sergei Alexandrovich and his brother, Paul Alexandrovich, and named after the latter’s spouse, Grand Duchess Alexandra Georgievna (formerly Greek Princess: 1870-1891).
Professor Ivan Tsvetayev often appealed to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich for help in collection of castings, and the latter’s intercession in this area was more efficient than that of the chancellor of the university. The Grand Duke approved this idea and furthered the collection of copies of masterpieces of Antiquity, Middle Ages and Modern time from all over the world within the new museum. As an embodiment of this idea, the museum acquired castings of ancient Oriental artifacts. Their quality amazes specialists to this day. Significantly, a casting is a mechanical reproduction of the original, and there is no influence from a copyist. Plaster was made to look like marble, bronze or wood, as the original. The discoveries were made by English and French archaeologists in the mid-19th century. These artifacts were removed in quite a barbaric way: they were simply cut out of the palace walls. They were transported on ships—many of which sank because of overloading. Castings of the artifacts were made of plaster; Tsvetayev himself determined their age to be 50 years. At the present time, many of the castings are restored.
Since 1997, the major part of the castings collection of the ancient Oriental arts has been exhibited at the Ivan Tsvetayev Educational Art Museum at the Russian State University for the Humanities, as well as the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.
Tsarskoye Selo to Host Roundtable Discussion on Romanov Portraits Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD
Two unique portraits of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna will be the subject of a roundtable discussion at Tsarskoye Selo on February 18th. The event will coincide with the 110th anniversary of the assassination of Moscow Governor-General (1891-1904), commander of the Moscow Military District, Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, which took place on February 17, 1905.
The portrait of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich is by Kirill Vikentievich Lemokh (from the collection of Espoo). The portrait of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna by François Flameng is from the collection of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve. The portrait was presented to the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve by Michael Ilyinsky, a descendant of Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich in 2013. Both artists devoted close attention in these intimate portraits, both of which were painted at Ilyinskoe, the grand ducal couples 2,400-acre country estate forty miles west of Moscow on the left bank of the Moskva River, that he inherited from his mother.
Karl Lemokh was a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, and curator of the Russian Museum. He accepted an invitation to give private drawing lessons to the children of future Tsar Alexander III and continued to do so for many years. Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna turned out to be his best student there, and retained an interest in art for the rest of her life. François Flameng, was a very successful French painter during the last quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th. He was one of the founders of salon portraiture, which included two portraits of Princess Zinaida Yusupova at Arkhangelskoye.
These beautiful works of art of the late 19th century, each hold a charming story. Lemokh’s portrait of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (1886) was commissioned as a "little surprise" from the Grand Duke for his wife’s birthday, while Flameng’s portrait of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (1894) was commissioned by the Grand Duke for the 10th anniversary of their wedding.
Two Portraits will bring together Romanov experts and historians from Moscow and St. Petersburg in the Semi-Circular Hall of the Alexander Palace. Among the guests will be members of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), of whom the grand ducal couple both served as president. Guests will table papers devoted to the history of these and other portraits of Sergei Alexandrovich and Elizabeth Feodorovna from domestic and overseas collections. Also on the agenda will be a discussion on the current state of the Ilinskoye estate and its status as an historic site.
A special theme of the Round Table will be the tragic days of 1905 and the commemoration by the Russian Orthodox Church of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich as a distinguished member of the Imperial family. The round table will also honour the merit and works of the grand ducal couple for the benefit of the Motherland.
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich - served as Moscow Governor-General, founder of museums, philanthropist, a staunch defender of the Russian state, the hero of the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878, Commander of the Life Guards Regiment. 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.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna’s memory is recalled not only in Russia, but throughout Europe. As the wife of the governor-general of Moscow, she led more than 60 public and charitable organizations. She made a particularly significant contribution to charity and assistance to soldiers on the fronts of the Russian-Japanese War and the First World War, as well as their families, widows and orphans. After the tragic death of her husband in 1905, Elizabeth Feodorovna went on the path of service to God and helping those in need. She was later canonized as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The event is a joint effort between the Elisabeth Sergius Educational Society (Moscow) and the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve.
For more information on the portrait of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich by Karl Lemokh, please refer to the following article:
Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and His Service to Moscow Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD
The Great Service to Moscow exhibition opened on January 29, 2015, at the V. A. Tropinin Museum in Moscow.
The exhibition marks the 110th anniversary of the assassination of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, and to the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. This exhibition is a continuation of The History of the Romanov Dynasty in Russia theme, launched in 2013 dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty exhibition project, and then, in 2014, with the White Angel of Zamoskvorechye exhibition.
The exhibition consists of several sections. It describes the childhood and adolescent years of Hessen’s Princess Ella and her years with Grand Duke Sergei, the history of their acquaintance, a marriage, and the first years of their family life in Russia, the appointment of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich governor-general of Moscow and commander of the Moscow Military District. Precisely in Moscow the couple became famous as the builders, decorators, educators, philanthropists and benefactors, contributing in many committees and scientific societies. Due to their efforts Moscow will be granted new museums - the Historical and the Museum of Fine Arts named after Emperor Alexander III (currently, a world-famous Museum of Fine Arts named after A. S. Pushkin), Moscow Art Theatre will opens its doors, a new building of the Moscow Conservatory will be erected, and the Cathedral of the Assumption in Kremlin will be restored. Grand-ducal pair will serve Moscow at the vast field of charity. Guests of the exhibition will find out about the tragic death of the Grand Duke and his wife, who founded the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow.
The exhibition presents photographs and posters from the private collection with images of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna.
The exhibition runs until March 16, 2015 at the V. A. Tropinin Museum in Moscow.
Portrait of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich Presented at State Historical Museum Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD
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;
Memorial Plaque to Sergei and Ella in Moscow Topic: Sergei Alexandrovich GD
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;