Grand Ducal Chapel
Crowned With New Cross

The Grand Ducal Chapel, St. Petersburg
NOTE: The above photo shows the former cross which was not a replica of the original.

Photo: Paul Gilbert (December 2009)

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After 90 years, the installation of a gold-plated cross on the dome of the Grand Ducal Vault took place last week at the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The new cross replaces the existing cross which was not a replica of the original.

The original cross was dismantled in 1920, and like most symbols of faith during the Soviet era disappeared, its fate to this day is still unknown. Only recently was an exact copy created. The original cross was made from a drawing by Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

The installation of the cross is part of an exhaustive restoration of the burial chapel where uncrowned members of the Russian Imperial family are buried.

Thirteen grand dukes and grand duchesses were interred at the Grand Ducal Burial Chapel between 1908 and 1915, including eight burials transferred from the cathedral. No further burials were made until 1992, when Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich was buried here. In 1995, the remains of his parents, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna, were transferred here from Coburg, Germany.

After the installation of the cross was completed, a solemn moment was enjoyed by all when the Peter and Paul Cathedral carillon played God Save the Tsar. The historic event was overseen by St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matrenko.

by Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia
Sources: Fontanka.ru News
26 April, 2010