Orthodox Christmas Celebrated in St. Nicholas Church, Shanghai

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St. Nicholas Church in Shanghai, China

The solemn liturgy on the occasion of the Nativity of Christ was held on Monday in St. Nicholas Church in Shanghai, China. The liturgy was performed by the priest of the local Orthodox community, Father Ioann Shchelokov.

The Christmas liturgy was attended by members of Shanghai’s Chinese and Russian Orthodox communities, as well as many foreigners in the local Orthodox community: Belarus, Bulgaria, Greece, Moldova, Romania, the USA, Serbia, Ukraine and Ethiopia.

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Father Ioann Shchelokov performs solemn liturgy on the occasion of the Nativity of Christ

St. Nicholas Church was built in 1932 by Cossack general Thaddeus Lvovich Glebov (1887-1945), in the former French Concession of Shanghai at 16 rue Corneille, now known as Gāolán Lù. It was designed by the architect Alexander Ivanovich Yaron (1875-1935), and funded by White Russians who settled in China in the 1920s-1930s after the Russian Civil War.

The church was consecrated in 1934 in honour of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, patron saint of Nicholas II. St. Nicholas church was the first church monument to Russia’s last tsar in the history of Russian emigration.

In 1936, Yaron wrote: “… how much this holy building is a monument to the Russian heart, a monument to the sufferings endured by the Russian people during the revolution, the symbol of which is the torment and death of Tsar Martyr and His August Family”

Local authorities only permit worship in the church on Orthodox holidays. The rest of the time, the church which is listed as a state-protected historical building is not used as a place of worship.

The last time that a liturgy was held in the church was on 19th December 2018, on the occasion of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker’s Day. From 2015, no services were held until April 2018, when the Easter service was held, attended by more than 300 faithful.

In 1949, most of the Russian émigrés left Shanghai. The church was closed in 1955. It was first converted into a warehouse and then a laundry. It was spared desecration during the Cultural Revolution by a portrait of Mao Zedong, hung strategically from the dome. From May to October during EXPO 2010, its loft was reconsecrated to allow Russian Orthodox services to be held there. The church later hosted a French restaurant, Ashanti Dome, on the upper floor, and a Spanish tapas bar on the ground floor called Boca. The building was declared a protected monument in 1994.

Initially, the central dome of the mosaic work at the church was turquoise in colour, the four domes on the sides were dark blue with gold stars, and the dome under the bell tower was of the three colors of the Romanov house (white, orange and black). There are currently no crosses on the church, which were once gilded. Inside the church was notable for its rich decoration and carved iconostasis, the top row of icons of which were painted by icon painter Andrei Stepanovich Berezin. The original frescoes are believed to be preserved under layers of plaster.

During a recent interview, the Russian Consul General in Shanghai Alexey Evsikov,  noted that local authorities have plans for the restoration of the church interiors in the near future. He noted that the building could be used as a platform for Russian-Chinese cultural exchanges.

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Icon of the Holy Royal Passion Bearers, St. Nicholas Church in Shanghai, China

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 7 January 2019

 

Nicholas II Conference Proceedings Now Available

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112 pages with 41 Black and White Photos & Illustrations. ISBN 978-1-927604-34-2

Given that the conference was held in England, it seemed only fitting that the cover photo of this special issue should feature Tsar Nicholas II, who served as Colonel in Chief of The Royal Scots Greys from 1894-1918. 

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I am pleased to offer a SPECIAL issue of SOVEREIGN, which contains the proceedings of the Nicholas II Conference, held  at St. John of Shanghai Orthodox Church in Colchester, England on 27th October 2018.

The No. 9 issue of our popular journal dedicated to the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II, features all 7 papers + 2 additional articles: 

(1) A Century of Treason, Cowardice and Lies by Paul Gilbert

(2) Why Was Nicholas II Canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church by Archpriest Andrew Phillips

(3) Nicholas II and the Sacredness of Monarchy: Truth and Myth Behind the Relations Between Power and Christianity by Igor Krasnov

(4) The Romanovs Under House Arrest, From the 1917 Diary of a Palace Priest by Marilyn Pfeiffer Swezey

(5) An Imperial Movement: A Society of Tsar Nicholas II by Archpriest Andrew Phillips

(6) Imperial Tea Party: Family, Politics and Betrayal. The Ill-Fated British and Russian Royal Alliance by Frances Welch

(7) Nicholas II in Post-Soviet Russia by Paul Gilbert

(8) Why Does a Brit Fight for the Truth About Nicholas II by Alexandra Guzeva

(9) Memorial Service for Tsar Nicholas II. Sermon Given in 1934 by His Eminence John, Bishop of Shanghai

Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II is published bi-annually, offering Spring and Autumn issues respectively.

Current and back issues of Sovereign can be purchased at the Royal Russia Bookshop (Canada), Amazon.com (United States), Booksellers van Hoogstraten (Den Haag, Netherlands), and Librairie Galignani (Paris, France).

© Royal Russia. 24 December 2018

Sovereign No. 8 Autumn 2018 Issue – NOW AVAILABLE!

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146 pages with 4 Full-length articles – ALL first-English translations. 89 Black and White Photos & Illustrations. The cover features a photograph of Emperor Nicholas II on the balcony of the Alexander Palace in 1907. ISBN 978-1-927604-33-5

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The No. 8 Autumn 2018 issue of Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II. is now available for sale from the Royal Russia Bookshop.

This issue features the depositions – a total of 68 pages – of two men who played an integral part in the final days of Nicholas II and his family: Eugene Stepanovich Kobylinsky (1875-1927) and Vasily Semonovich Pankratov (1864-1925).

Kobylinsky was a Russian military officer who served as the commander of the special detachment at Tsarskoe Selo and Tobolsk in 1917-18, where he oversaw the imprisonment of the tsar. He was executed by the Bolsheviks in December 1927.

Pankratov served as Commissioner of the Provisional Government under the Special Purpose Detachment, guarding Nicholas II and his family in Tobolsk, from September 1, 1917 to January 26, 1918.

The reader will find both accounts utterly fascinating to read, and also to compare their impressions of Nicholas II and his family during their house arrest in Tobolsk.

The following is a list of the articles and their respective authors: 

Nicholas II is Becoming Our Anti-Stalin
by Yegor Kholmogorov. *1st English Translation

Transcript of the Interrogation E.S. Kobylinsky. Protocol of 6-10 April, 1919. (30 pages)
*1st English Translation

A Question Mark in the Imperial Matter. How Was the Murder of the Imperial Family Orchestrated, and Did Vladimir Lenin Sanction the Execution?
by Yuri Alexandrovich Zhuk. *1st English Translation

With the Tsar in Tobolsk (38 pages)
by V.S. Pankratov. *1st English Translation

Sovereign News
Compiled, Translated and Edited by Paul Gilbert

– news supplement offers readers with the top news stories and photographs from Russian media sources on the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II, translated from Russian and presented in English for the first time.

Sovereign: The Life and Reign of Emperor Nicholas II is published bi-annually, offering Spring and Autumn issues respectively.

Current and back issues of Sovereign can be purchased at the Royal Russia Bookshop (Canada), Amazon.com (United States), Booksellers van Hoogstraten (Den Haag, Netherlands), and Librairie Galignani (Paris, France).

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 24 December, 2018

The Jewel Album of Tsar Nicholas II

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Between 1889 and 1913 Nicholas II, Grand Duke, Tsesarevich and Emperor of Russia, painted his jewellery in a small album as a private record of his collection. His watercolours of more than 300 items – some of which were created by jewellers such as Fabergé and Cartier – give a realistic picture of what the tsar was wearing as jewellery. His handwritten notes also comprise dates and names of those who presented him with each item, a record of the small circle of those who were near to him.

The drawings of his personal jewellery were made by him not to record valuables such as precious stones or gold but as a personal record of family souvenirs with memorable dates. The album is an encyclopedia of men’s fashion ornaments of the turn of the century full of crowned monograms and symbols as well as surprisingly modern jewellery designs.

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The jewel album of Tsar Nicholas II was re-discovered in the 1990s in the archives of the Moscow Kremlin Museum. It consisted of 82 pages and a total of 305 watercolour drawings of his personal collection of men’s jewellery. The date of receipt of gifts from loved ones connected with holidays and memorable events were noted by Nicholas II in his own handwriting: his birthday, name day, days of engagement and wedding, the day of the coronation, birth, christening, and on major Christian holidays, such as Easter and Christmas.

In 1997, the publishing firm Ermitage issued a facsimile of the album, entitled The Jewel Album of Nicholas II and a Collection Private Photographs of the Russian Imperial Family. It was published in a high quality cloth-bound edition with 216 pages, enclosed in a handsome green-board slipcase. The accompanying text on the jewellery was written by Alexander von Solodkoff, an authority on Russian and Fabergé art. It is supplemented with an article on the history of the album by Irina A. Bogatskaya, curator of the Moscow Kremlin Museum Archives.

In addition to the more than 300 watercolours of Nicholas II’s jewellery, the book also includes 95 illustrations from the original, unpublished private photographs of the Russian Imperial Family. This rare collection offers an authentic glimpse of their private life with evocative scenes of private visits, fashion and interiors of the time. The material was discovered by von Solodkoff in the archive of Hemmelmark, formerly the home of Princess Irene of Prussia, sister of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

Alexander von Solodkoff has studied the history and art of Russia specializing in goldsmith work and jewellery. Among his publications are books such as Russian Gold and Silver (1981), Fabergé (1988) and numerous articles in exhibition catalogues and art historical publications. He served as director of Ermitage Ltd. London. 

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The facsimile edition (pictured above) was distributed through Christie’s of London in the late 1990s, and sold out very quickly. This beautiful book is now long out of print, however, second-hand copies which sell for hundreds of dollars, continue to be highly sought after by Romanov enthusiasts and lovers of Imperial Russian history.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 21 December 2018

Exhibition: ‘Victory of the Entente – Victory of Russia 1918-2018’ Opens in Ganina Yama

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On 9th December 2018, the exhibition Victory of the Entente – Victory of Russia 1918-2018, dedicated to the centenary of the end of the First World War, opened in the Museum and Exhibition Center of the Monastery of the Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama.

The exhibition marks the Day of the Heroes of the Fatherland, a Russian holiday which has been celebrated since the 18th century; the date was timed to coincide with the outstanding event of the reign of Empress Catherine II – in 1769 she established the Order of St. George. During the First World War, this order was awarded to soldiers who displayed valor, bravery and courage in battle.

The exhibition begins with the presentation of the book The Role of Russia and the Romanovs in the Great War of 1914–1918, by Alexey Vladimirovich Oleynikov, Associate Professor of Astrakhan State Technical University, Doctor of Historical Sciences. 

A.V. Oleinikov researched the contribution to the victory of Imperial Russia’s supreme commanders: Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich (1856-1929) and Emperor Nikolai II (1868-1918)

The historian writes: “The sovereign emperor Nicholas II who served as Commander in Chief, proved a calm, seasoned, thoughtful leader with perseverance in achieving the goal of winning the war, competently organizing the work of the military machine and coordinating activities its units, capable of selecting qualified officers to perform their duty.”

The book has a section dedicated to military companies, where an analysis is given in figures of the number of weapons. There is a comparative analysis of the contribution of Russia with the other members of the Entente.

The illustrations for the book were photographs exhibited in the monastery from the photo album of the Sovereign. They can be seen in the multimedia hall of the museum, through the pages of a virtual photo album, the original of which is stored in the funds of the Museum of Local History in Zlatoust.

Visitors to the exhibition can acquaint themselves with Russia’s role during the First World War. The exhibit features original items of the First World War from the Cultural Center, which include uniforms, ammunition, equipment, weapons, awards, etc.

Through documents and photographs, visitors will learn the true contribution of Russia and, for example, the United States, which entered at the last stage of the war. The exhibition further explores the contribution of Britain and France with the contribution of Russia, although Russia’s former allies tell a completely different story today.

– This injustice needs to be corrected, it is necessary to restore the historical truth, including the role of the sovereign, who, even while being in exile in Tobolsk, continued to be true to his duty towards England and France, who had betrayed him, – says Vladimir Anatolyevich Kuznetsov, head of the monastery center – The exhibition covers the period from 1914 to 1918. Despite the fact that the Brest Peace Treaty was signed on 3rd March 1918, Russia continued to fight. The expeditionary corps of the Russian army continued to operate in the West. The Russian Legion of Honour reached Berlin, including the future Marshal of the Soviet Union R.Ya. Malinowski. The Bolsheviks gave away vast territories of the former Russian Empire to the mercy of the enemy. But at the same time, our Fatherland actually continued to fulfill its obligations to the countries of the Entente. She held in her occupied territories the huge forces of the Kaiser military bloc, which later were not used by the Central Powers to defend her Western Front. Greed destroyed them. Thus, by 11th November 1918, the war ended with the victory of the Entente, and for Russia in a certain sense, it also ended with a victory over the enemy who declared war on us in the summer of 1914.”

The end of the exhibition will be timed to coincide with the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles – 28th June 2019.

The exhibition Victory of the Entente – Victory of Russia 1918-2018, runs until 28th June 2019, in the Museum and Exhibition Center of the Monastery of the Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama. Free admission.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 11 December 2018

Triumphal Arch in Honour of Nicholas II to be Restored in Khabarovsk

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Artist rendering of the front view of the restored Triumphal Arch in Khabarovsk

The Triumphal Arch, which was erected in Khabarovsk in 1891 in honour of the visit to the city by Tsesarevich Nikolai Alexandrovich (future Nicholas II) and then demolished by the Bolsheviks, will be restored.

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Artist rendering of the rear view of the restored Triumphal Arch in Khabarovsk

The competition for the restored arch project was announced by the City Hall this fall, and now its results have been summarized. The arch is expected to be rebuilt on its’ original historic site – near the Cathedral Square (formerly Komsomolskaya Square). 

In addition, the option was proposed to place the arch at the “Platinum Arena”, so that it became the entrance to the pedestrian street, leading from the sports facility to the NK City Shopping Center.

Click HERE to read Future Tsar Nicholas II 1891 Triumphal Arch to be Rebuilt in Khabarovsk?, published in Royal Russia News on 22 December 2017. This article also has photos of two other Triumphal Arches, beautifully restored in Vladivostock and Blagoveschensk. 

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 December 2018

Exhibition: ‘Nicholas II. Family and Throne’

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The State Historical Museum is currently the venue for an exhibition on the reign and family life of Nicholas Alexandrovich Romanov – the history of the Imperial family in photographs, paintings, diaries, personal items and other rare artifacts. 

A significant part of the 750 photographs in the exhibit are from the funds of various archives and museums in Russia – including the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF), which contains a vast and unique collection of photo albums of members of the Imperial family.

Timed to the 150th anniversary of the birth and the 100th anniversary of the death of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II, the exhibition allows all visitors interested in history to create their own impression of one of Russia’s most controversial and misunderstood historical figures, which includes a look at the life of the Russian monarch and his family.

Photography, which is the basis of the exhibition, is of great historical importance, often fragile, requiring careful handling and protection. The photos submitted for the exhibit are 100 – 150 years old, and a considerable part of the photos were restored by professionals for presentation to the public in this exhibition.

As is known, the emperor and his family members took a great interest in photography: they all had cameras and enthusiastically photographed each other and and those close to them. Nicholas II was usually accompanied by a professional photographers who recorded his 23-year reign almost daily (the main merit belonged to the court photographer AK K. Yagelsky to the owner of the KE von Gan and Kº studio). Many photos come from Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof palaces, and reflect the day to day lives in their private apartments of the Alexander Palace and the Lower Dacha.

 

The exhibition is divided into sections: family, official and memorial. The first sections testify to the two “functions” of Nicholas II: the head of the family and the ruler of a vast empire. It shows about 300 photographs taken in the 1870s – mid 1910s by leading Russian and foreign photo masters (K. K. Bulla, S. L. Levitsky, A. I. Saveliev, F. P. Orlov, M. I. Gribov, A. A. Otsup, K. A. Fisher, Atelier “Boissonna and Eggler”, “K. E. von Gan and Co.”, “J. Russell & Sons”, “W. & D. Downey “). Autographs and letters of Nicholas II are also on display, documents include a manifesto on the birth of Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich, a lunch menu on the occasion of the coming of age of Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich, and an announcement of the coronation of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.

The family section of the exhibition is divided into the following topics: “Grand Duke. Tsesarevich. Emperor”, “Niki and Alix”, “Tsar’s Children. OTMA”, “Tsar’s Children. Alexei”, “In the Family Circle. Tsarskoye Selo. Livadia. Finland. Poland “. Particular emphasis is placed on the figure of Tsearevich Alexei Nikolaevich, the only son of Nicholas II, and heir to the throne, whose tragic fate left an imprint on the life of the entire imperial family.

The official section of the exhibition shows photographs of Nicholas II during meetings with the heads of foreign countries (British King Edward VII, German Emperor Wilhelm II, Siamese King Rama V, French Presidents Armand Falier and Felix Faure) during the celebrations marking the 200th anniversary St. Petersburg and the 100th anniversary of the Patriotic War of 1812, during the opening of grand monuments and the consecration of churches, the holding of regimental holidays and parades, as well as during the First World War. 

Two of the most important dynastic events in which Nicholas II was most directly involved – the coronation (1896) and the 300th anniversary of the Romanovs’ house (1913), are also featured.

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Ceremonial portrait of Nicholas II, by Léon Bakst, 1895

A large ceremonial portrait of Nicholas II, by the famous artist Léon Bakst (1895) in Paris is on display for the first time. The painting has never before been exhibited, and was specially restored for the exhibition. The exhibition also features pictorial portraits of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna by G.M. Manizer and A.V. Makovsky, and a series of watercolors by N.N. Karazin, N.S. Matveeva and A.I. Charlemagne.

In addition to photos, the exhibition is filled with numerous items, both personal and memorial, associated with Nicholas II and his family – portraits, diaries, letters and more. For example, the uniforms of Nicholas II and Tsesarevich Alexei, the Imperial Constellation Easter Egg, made by Faberge for Alexandra Feodorovna Easter 1917, but not presented to the Empress, are shown a bronze frame with a watercolor portrait of Tsesarevich Alexei, a drawing, a watercolor portrait of Tsesarevich Alexei, and a drawing of Alexandra Feodorovna with their children.

One of the most unique artifacts on display is a curl of hair belonging to Tsesarevich Alexei, embedded in a watercolor portrait (see below), which was transferred during the post-war period to the Belgrade Museum in Serbia. In order to confirm its’ authenticity, the staff of the Historical Museum turned to the scientists of the N.I. Vavilova Institute of General Genetics, who confirmed a direct connection to the female line of Queen Victoria. 

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Curl of hair belonging to Tsesarevich Alexei, embedded in a watercolor portrait

The exhibition is located in the renovated premises of the State Historical Museum, where there is also a small memorial hall with photographic portraits of members of the Romanov family and their personal belongings.

The end of the exhibition is a small hall, resembling a basement, where seven portraits are displayed of members of the Imperial family who were murdered in the basement of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg on the night of July 16-17. 

The exhibition Nicholas II. Family and Throne runs from 10 November 2018 to 15 April 2019 in the State Historical Museum in Moscow.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 6 December 2018

Murmansk Airport to be renamed in honour of Nicholas II

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Murmansk Airport will be renamed in honour of Tsar Nicholas II

Back in October, Great Names of Russia was announced, a national competition in which the Russian people could cast votes to rename 42 of the country’s major airports, by choosing from a shortlist of famous Russians for each airport.

On 28th November, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on assigning the names of prominent Russian figures to airports, seaports and railway stations, with a view to perpetuating the person’s memory.

The Chairman of the Double-Headed Eagle Society Konstantin Malofeev appealed to Russians to cast their vote on the Great Names of Russia web site, “for those historical figures who made a significant contribution to the development of our country in its imperial period. I call on all Orthodox patriots and monarchists to support the names of those who glorified our Fatherland through the ages,” he said.

More than 5.5 million people took part in the vote, the results of which were formally announced on 4th December, on the state-owned Russian television channel Russia-1 «Россия 1». The final vote yielded some interesting results.

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The airport in the Russian arctic city of Murmansk will be renamed in honour of Nicholas II, who received 68,260 votes (48%), followed by Ivan Dmitrievich Papanin, who received 58,927 votes (42%). But, not every one was happy with the results.

Opponents of the vote immediately screamed “voter fraud”, their argument that the city has no connection with Russia’s last tsar. This, however, is incorrect. Murmansk, Russia’s first ice free port was in fact founded in 1916 by Nicholas II and named Romanov-on-Murman. It was from here that many believed the Imperial family would have been sent abroad to England after the tsar’s abdication, however, it was not to be. 

Ivan Dmitrievich Papanin (1894 – 1986) was a Soviet polar explorer, scientist, Counter Admiral, twice awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and recipient of nine Orders of Lenin. He took part in the Russian Civil War on the Bolshevik side, fighting in Ukraine. In 1920 he was sent to the Crimea to organize a guerrilla movement against the forces of the White Movement leader General Baron Pyotr Wrangel.

Russian historian Peter Multatuli said that he appreciated the support of the residents of Murmansk to change the name of the airport in honour of the last Emperor. “If airports are named after a person, then the state recognizes his service to the state,” he said in an interview after the results were announced on Tuesday.

“The name of Sovereign Nicholas II won by a large margin, and this is of great importance not only in the sense of justice with regard to the Emperor. The state has finally lifted the taboo in the name of Nicholas II, in which it was vilified during all the years of Soviet power,” Multatuli  stressed.

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It is Interesting to note that Nicholas II failed to make the short-list of two cities which are more closely connected to his name, and much more deserving than that of Murmansk. 

Novosibirsk – Russia’s 3rd largest city – founded in 1893 as Novo-Nikolaevsk in honour both of Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II. It is the only city of the Russian Empire, Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union, which for almost 30 years bore the name of the last Russian emperor and was renamed Novosibirsk in 1926.

Ekaterinburg – Russia’s 4th largest city – founded in 1723 and named in honour of the Empress Catherine I (1684-1727), second wife of Peter the Great and Empress of Russia from 1725 until her death. It was in Ekaterinburg that Nicholas II and his family lived out their final days, before their murders in the Ipatiev House on the night of 16/17 July 1918. They are memorialized in the Ural city with the Church on the Blood, the Museum of the Holy Royal Family, the Romanov Memorial Hall, the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion Bearers at Ganina Yama, monuments and more.

In 2017, Murmansk Airport was the 33rd busiest airport in Russia and served 845,928 passengers, an increase of 10.8% from 2016.

In 2017, Novosibirsk’s Tolmachevo Airport was the 8th busiest airport in Russia. serving 4.8 million passengers, an increase of 22.3% from 2016.

In 2017, Ekaterinburg’s Koltsovo International Airport was the 6th busiest airport in Russia, serving 5.4 million passengers, an increase of 25.7% from 2016.

Other Russian airports will be renamed in honour of three other Romanov rulers, including Vorenezh (International Airport) in honour of Peter the Great; Kaliningrad (Khrabovo Airport) in honour of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna; and Krasnodar (International Airport) in honour of Empress Catherine II.

A final vote for St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport has yet to be announced, however, it would seem more relevant to rename the city’s airport after it’s founder Peter the Great, than that of Vorenezh.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 5 December 2018

 

Exhibition: ‘From the Imperial Wardrobe’

 

Military uniforms from the collection of the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve are currently on display at a new exhibition From the Іmperial Wardrobe, in the Mir Castle Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated 100 km from Minsk, Belarus.

The exhibition, which opened on 29th November is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. It is a joint international project of the Mir Castle Complex Museum, the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve, the State Archives of the Russian Federation, the Grodno State Historical and Archaeological Museum, the Local Charitable Foundation “Brest Fortification” and the Lukskaya Secondary School. 

The First World War changed the face of the Russian Empire, the way of life of people and families, including the imperial one. For a long time that war was in the shadow of the October Revolution, the Civil War and later the Great Patriotic War. The main purpose of the exhibition is to restore the historical memory of the war, drawing attention to the personality of Emperor Nicholas II and to military events related to Mir township and the surrounding villages.

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The exhibition features a total of 39 military uniforms, including those belonging to Emperor Nicholas II and his son, Tsesarevich Alexei. After the tsar’s abdication, his uniforms survived the 1917 Revolution, and were preserved in the Alexander Palace. During the Great Patriotic War (1941-45), the uniforms were evacuated to Novosibirsk.

An interactive excursion has been prepared for the visitors, during which they will be able to learn about the features of uniforms and learn about the history of individual Life Guard regiments.

A separate unit presents weapons and military equipment from the First World War from the funds of  Grodno State Historical and Archeological Museum, which are complemented by the items from the State Institution “Lukskaya secondary school” located on the territory of Korelichi district and on the basis of which the military-patriotic club “Vityaz” since 2001 has been operating.

An illustrative series of the exhibition is represented by photographs from the Tsarskoye Selo State Museum-Preserve, the collection of Major General Svity EI.V. Vladimir Fedorovich Dzhunkovsky State Archives of the Russian Federation, as well as photographs from the archive of local historian Leonid Kudin.

The thematic section on medical services during the First World War will be of particular interest. A military field hospital tent and medical instruments are on display at the exhibition thanks to the Local Charitable Foundation “Brest Fortification”.

The exhibition will be open until February 28, 2019. 

© Mir Castle / Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve. 30 November 2018

Siberian Gastronomic Festival Honours Nicholas II and Family

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An Imperial family cake and macaroons offered at the Tyumen Gastronomic Festival

Events marking the centenary of the deaths of the Russian Imperial family have been held across Russia this year, and have included exhibitions, documentaries, concerts, forums, and more.

On 18th November, the Great Dessert Ball (Большой десертный бал), one of the most unusual events was held in the Siberian city of Tyumen, as part of the city’s annual gastronomic festival, at which the best pastry chefs presented their sweet creations. This year, the centenary marking the deaths of Emperor Nicholas II and his family was the central theme of the culinary event. 

The chefs created rich and royally decorated desserts honouring the members of the Imperial family. Special attention was given to each dessert. One chef recreated the Imperial train in the form of a chocolate cake. Another created coconut macaroons (see photo) marked with portraits of the last emperor Nicholas II and members of his family. Another cake was made in the form of a book (see photo) titled  The Imperial Route (императорский маршрут).

It should come as no surprise that some visitors to the festival viewed the depiction of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers on cakes as blasphemous. The office of the Tobolsk Diocese issued a statement criticizing the cakes as “inappropriate”.

© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 19 November 2018