In the early morning hours of 17th July 1918, Russia’s last Emperor and Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, their four daughters the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia Nikolaevna, their son and heir Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich were murdered by a Bolshevik firing squad in the basement of the Ipatiev House in the Ural city of Ekaterinburg.
Their bodies were taken to an abandoned mine (Ganina’s Pit) were they were thrown into the mine. The following day, their bodies were removed and buried in a shallow grave about 3.8 km away in Porosenkov Log on the Koptyakovskaya Road on the northwestern outskirts of Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg). There they would remain hidden for more than 60 years, before being discovered by local geologists in 1979. It was not until the summer of 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, that the remains were dug up. The remains were were buried on 17th July 1998, in St Catherine’s Chapel of the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The remains of Tsesarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria were discovered in 2007, they are still awaiting burial, and are currently held in the Novospassky Monastery in Moscow.
On the night of 16/17 July 2018, Orthodox Christians, monarchists, and adherents of the Imperial Family from across Russia and around the world, will gather at the Church on the Blood for a Divine Liturgy performed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Following the Liturgy, tens of thousands will take part in a 21-km pilgrimage from the Church on the Blood to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion Bearers in Ganina Yama.
I will be among these pilgrims, paying homage to the Imperial Family. Upon my return, I will prepare a summary of my spiritual journey to Ekaterinburg, complete with my own photos. I will also write a longer article for a future issue of Royal Russia, and update my forthcoming book My Russia. Ekaterinburg with additional information and photos.
Click HERE to review a new page in my Royal Russia site, dedicated to the 2018 Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 17 July 2018