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Sunday, 21 February 2016
Commemorative Service in the Great Church of the Winter Palace
Topic: Anna Pavlovna, GD

On 18 February 2016, a festive service was held in the Great Church of the Winter Palace to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the wedding of Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna to William (Willem) of Orange, Crown Prince of the Netherlands.

The service was conducted by Archpriest Vladimir Sorokin, Dean of the Prince Vladimir Cathedral in St Petersburg, and Father Nikon, Dean of the Russian Orthodox Church of St Mary Magdalene, the Court Chapel of Queen Anna Pavlovna in The Hague.

This notable event is also being marked by the Hermitage–Amsterdam Exhibition Centre. In the period from 12 to 28 February 2018, the Centre’s permanent display devoted to links between Russia and the Netherlands features two exhibits from the collection of the Royal Household Archives – a salt-cellar bearing the monograms of Emperor Paul I and Empress Maria Feodorovna that was part of Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna's dowry and a drawing depicting the newly-weds’ entry into Amsterdam.

In 2013 the State Hermitage held an exhibition “Willem II and Anna Pavlovna. Royal Splendour at the Dutch Court” that was then presented with success in the Netherlands.

Two hundred years ago, on 9 February 1816, the Church of the Saviour of the Vernicle in the Winter Palace was the setting for the nuptials of William of Orange and Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna (who later became King William II and Queen Anna Pavlovna of the Netherlands). Corresponding entries appear in the church’s record book.  The marriage was performed by the dean of the church, the Imperial Confessor, Protopresbyter Pavel Vasilyevich Krinitsky.  For the wedding day, the young Alexander Pushkin wrote a well-known poem "To the Prince of Orange".

Anna Pavlovna (18 January 1795, St Petersburg – 1 March 1865, The Hague) was the daughter of Paul I and Maria Feodorovna, sister of Alexander I and Nicholas I. From 1840 to 1849 she was Queen of the Netherlands and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.

After her marriage, Anna Pavlovna set about learning Dutch and studying the literature and history of the Netherlands. She devoted much effort to the establishment of educational institutions for the children of poor families. Some 50 such charity schools were founded under her patronage.

On Anna Pavlovna’s orders, a palace was constructed in Brussels in 1823–28 as a new residence for the Orange dynasty. It is now known as the Academy Palace (Palais des Académies) and houses the Belgian Academies for Science and the Arts and other institutions.  Anna Pavlovna and her husband lived there for only two years, leaving because of the Belgian Revolution of 1830.

During the war with secessionist Belgium, she founded a military hospital and invalids’ home at her personal expense. After being widowed in 1849, Anna Pavlovna spent the rest of her life in The Hague. She is buried in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft.

Following Anna Pavlovna’s death, the Orthodox chapels that she had had constructed in all the palaces in the Netherlands were removed. The beautiful objects that were part of the Grand Duchess’s dowry and once adorned those chapels – iconostases, church plate, a book of Scripture and more – have been preserved. They were removed to the Russian Orthodox Church of St Mary Magdalene in The Hague, where they are still used during services. For the 200th anniversary of her wedding the church has been fully restored at the expense of the state. Archimandrite Nikon (Yakimov) has been dean of the Church of St Mary Magdalene for 33 years now.

Many places and events in the Netherlands are associated with Anna Pavlovna. There are streets called after her in a number of towns and cities. The square named Anna Paulownaplein and the adjoining streets in The Hague were constructed by about 1870. In 1999 a monument to Anna Pavlovna was set up in The Hague, at the intersection of the square and the street named in her honour.

In 1846, during the reign of Anna Pavlovna’s husband, William II, a polder was drained and called after her. Later, the name Anna Pavlovna was given to both the town and the municipality formed there. On 2 March 20015, to mark the 160th anniversary of the creation of the Anna Paulownapolder, Queen Beatrix unveiled a monument of Anna on Horseback created by the Russian sculptor Alexander Taratynov.

Every spring a Bloemendagen (Flower Days) festival is held on the Anna Paulownapolder, attracting thousands of visitors.

© State Hermitage Museum. 21 February, 2016


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 4:15 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 21 February 2016 4:33 PM EST
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Sunday, 21 July 2013
Ekaterinburg Museum Solves Romanov Portrait Mystery
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 2 minutes, 36 seconds
Topic: Anna Pavlovna, GD
For the past 70 years, a portrait simply known as The Unknown Woman lay in storage at the Museum of Fine Arts in Ekaterinburg. The portrait was presented to the museum in 1936, however, up until recently little was known about the painting, but new research has now identified that the mystery woman shown in the portrait is the Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna (1795-1865).

The artist, Timothy Andreyevich Neff (1805-1876), was a court painter during the reigns of Emperors Nicholas I and Alexander II. The portrait of Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna is dated 1856.

It was Olga Hornung, Head of the Department of Foreign Art at the museum who took an interest in the portrait. "My attention was drawn to the rich decorations and Order of St. Catherine, which was considered the second-highest in the heirarchy of Russian awards since 1714," said Hornung. Another detail that caught the attention of museum staff was the ermine mantle draped over the shoulders of the woman, which was part of the royal regalia and thus indicating her affiliation with the Imperial house. After comparing it with other portraits of the daughters of Paul I, it became clear that the woman in the portrait was Anna Pavlovna.

Hornung further consulted with a colleague at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, who confirmed the identity of the Ekaterinburg portrait. They also confirmed that the artist painted the portrait during Anna Pavlovna's visit to Russia in 1855-56, based on historical documents from the museum's archives.  

Anna Pavlovna was the eighth child and sixth daughter of Emperor Paul I and Empress Maria Feodorovna. In February 1816, she married Prince Willem Frederik George Lodewijkvan of Orange-Nassau, who would later become King of the Netherlands. In October 1840, on the abdication of her father-in-law, William I, she became Queen Consort of the Netherlands. Anna and William II had 5 children.
Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna will be featured in the article Crowned in a Foreign Country: The Daughters of Emperor Paul I, in the Royal Russia Annual No. 4, to be published in late August 2013.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 July, 2013


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:42 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 21 July 2013 12:53 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 11 December 2012
2013: Netherlands-Russia Year
Topic: Anna Pavlovna, GD


Queen of the Netherlands, Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia (1795-1865) 

The year 2013 will reflect the special relationship between Russia and the Netherlands and Amsterdam. Russia and the Netherlands have been important trading partners since the Golden Age. Connections between the two countries strengthened over subsequent centuries. When Napoleon fell from power in 1813 and the Netherlands ceased to be a vassal state of France, the forces which advanced to the gates of Amsterdam to liberate the city were Russian Cossacks. A number of members of the House of Orange also married members of the imperial Romanov family or their descendants. The bonds between the Netherlands and Russia were crowned in 2009 by the opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam, the new satellite of St Petersburg´s famous museum in Western Europe.

© Hermitage Amsterdam. 11 December, 2012

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:40 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 19 December 2012 6:49 AM EST
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