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Monday, 28 December 2015
Russian Orthodox Church Discuss Return of Romanov Remains from China
Topic: Alapaevsk

The subject of finding and returning to Russia the remains of members of the Russian Imperial family murdered at Alapaevsk in July 1918, and presumably buried in Peking during the 1920s was discussed last week by a government commission in Ekaterinburg. The roundtable discussion was organized by the Ural Golgotha Project implemented with the participation of the Ekaterinburg branch of the Russian Nobility Assembly. This important meeting comes two years after the historic visit of Patriarch Kirill's historic visit to China in 2013, in which Chinese officials assured His Holieness of their willingness to assist with the recovery of the remains - see article below.

On 18 July, 1918 Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich, three sons of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (Princes of the Imperial Blood Ioann, Constantine and Igor), and the son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich, Prince Vladimir Paley (along with Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and their faithful retainers) were thrown alive into a mine near Alapaevsk. Their remains were then taken via the Siberian city of Chita to China by the retreating troops of the White Army, and buried in Peking in the 1920s. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia canonized these representatives of the Romanov dynasty in 1981.
The Moscow Patriarchate notes that there are two possible burial sites for the Martyrs of Alapaevsk - the Russian Embassy in Beijing (former Russian spiritual mission) and the former Russian cemetery which is now a city park.

"The Church of Saint Seraphim of Sarov in Peking once stood on the site where people now play a game of golf. The church was demolished during the communist era and became part of the park, where the tombs of the Martyrs of Alapaevsk and servants of the Fatherland - participants of the First World War - are buried underground. The aim of the project is to return our sons from China to Russia "- said the head of the Ural Golgotha Project, Tamara Voronina.

"The prospect of public attention to this issue is very helpful," - said Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin - "This is a topic known, we are discussing it, including the government apparatus, with a government commission, which now explores questions about the identification of the alleged royal remains. There is some progress on the part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia", - said the former representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.
For more information on the Alapaevsk victims buried in China, please refer to the following article in the Royal Russia News section of this web site:
China Committed to Finding Romanov Graves in Beijing 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 29 December, 2015


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 9:37 AM EST
Updated: Monday, 28 December 2015 11:45 AM EST
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Wednesday, 20 March 2013
The Romanov Murders at Alapaevsk
Now Playing: Language: Russian. Duration: 14 minutes, 52 seconds
Topic: Alapaevsk

Note: the video depicts places associated with the final days of Grand Duchess Elizabeth, and other members of the Russian Imperial family at Alapaevsk. Included are the Grammar school where they were imprisoned, and the Monastery to the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Later in the video you will see the Holy Trinity Cathedral at Alapaevsk. 

In 1918 the small Ural town of Alapaevsk hosted very unusual prisoners. Among them were members of the Russian Imperial family and their faithful retainers: Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna with her sister in Christ Varvara, Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich and his secretary Fedor Ramez, Princes Ioann, Constantin and Igor Konstatinovich, and Prince Vladimir Paley.

Here, in a Grammar School on the outskirts of Alapaevsk, the prisoners spent several trying months full of horror and suffering. On the night of 17-18th of July they were taken outside the town towards the Verkhne-Siniachikhinsky Factory, and their bodies were thrown in to the abandoned Staroselimskaia Shaft 12 miles away from Alapaevsk.

The White Army started an investigation of the murders immediately after they took Alapaevsk on September 28, 1918. On October 9-11, 1918 the bodies of the martyrs were taken out of the shaft, and on October 19, 1918 they were buried in a crypt of the Holy Trinity Cathedral with great honor. In July 1919, as the Red troops were advancing to the city Hiegumen Seraphim (Kuznetsov) transferred the coffins with the relics first to Chita, and later to Beijing (China). In January 1921 the relics of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth and nun Varvara were transferred to Jerusalem and buried in the crypt of the Church of Mary Magdalene of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, where they remain now.

Today at Alapaevsk there is a Veneration Cross and a small chapel dedicated to Grand Duchess Elizabeth built near the old shaft. In 1996 a monastery dedicated to the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia was built nearby.

The classroom of the Grammar School, where Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Sister Varvara were held captive is now a memorial museum.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 20 March, 2013

Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:15 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 March 2013 5:42 PM EDT
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