Russian Imperial House Favours Restoration
of Romanov Tercentenary Chapel-Monument

The Romanov Tercentenary chapel-monument at Kostroma (left) was never completed, the pedestal
was used to erect another statue to glorify Lenin (right), which stands to this day, while the chapel was used as an art school

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The head of the Russian Imperial House, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, has endorsed the idea of restoring the memorial chapel in Kostroma, a monument in honor of 300 years of the Romanov dynasty.

"I believe that the reconstruction of the memorial chapel would be an act of historical justice and put an end to violations of Christians’ religious feelings," – the Grand Duchess said in response to a letter from Evgeny Efremov, a member of the Union of Architects of Russia.

In his letter, which he also sent to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Kirill, Efremov also noted that the chapel was built in 1913, but was never completed. A monument to Lenin was later erected in its place.

According to the architect, the approaching anniversary of the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty would be marked with the "reconstruction of the chapel-monument to its original religious function." To this end, his team is ready to perform "all work related to design and estimate documentation, supervision of production and distribution operations."

"By 2013, under certain conditions, approval, subsidy and funding of the statue of Lenin can be moved to another location, and the chapel restored and opened in its original form. The funds will be sought through public initiative, by referring to the patrons and collecting donations from people," – he stated in his letter. According to the grand duchess, it is necessary to move the statue of Lenin, which she believes is now “intruding on Orthodox holy sites.” The revival of the chapel-monument would “fit perfectly into the architectural and natural landscape of Kostroma,” she stated.

"I believe that the project of restoration of the chapel, the monument in honor of calling to the throne of the Romanov dynasty and transfer to a new pedestal of the monument to Vladimir I. Ulyanov (Lenin) must be the same. In this case, it would be a particularly symbolic and important contribution to national unity, so how it can work together to send donations to fellow citizens of different political persuasions," Efremov said in response to Maria Vladimirovna.

Thus, the head of the Romanov dynasty, among all the participants of the project "to strengthen the consciousness that we have a common continuous great history that Russia for all its citizens - beyond any group or private interests, that goodness always triumphs evil and that differences should not lead us to mutual malice, blasphemy, and fratricide."

The chapel was originally designed by Alexander Adamson. The stone-laying ceremony of the monument and its dedication was attended by members of the imperial family, led by Nicholas II. The project came to an end with the outbreak of World War One in 1914.

After the revolution, a statue of Lenin was installed on the pedestal, while the chapel was used as an art school.

According to Adamson’s original plans, the composition of the chapel is a stepped cylindrical tower, where the cylinders are stacked on top of each other. The ring-shaped base is used for setting carved portraits of figures from the rulers of the Romanov dynasty.

The height of the monument - 36 meters, the number of figures on a pedestal -18, the total number of figures - 28. Some of them are equipped with attributes. For instance, Peter I is depicted in the background of the ship, and Alexander II - holding a copy of manifesto abolishing serfdom .

According to Efremov, the upcoming 400th anniversary of Romanov dynasty may be celebrated by "restoring the initial religious purpose of the chapel".

Sources: Интерфакс-Религия
29 March, 2011