PHOTO: the first monument to Nicholas II was consecrated 26th May 1996
in the former village of Taininskoye, situated 19 km northeast of Moscow
Like his father, Nicholas II preferred Russia’s old capital to that of Peter the Great’s new modern capital. According to French historian Marc Ferro: “Nicholas II preferred Moscow to St. Petersburg because the old city embodied the past, whereas St. Petersburg represented modernity, the Enlightenment and atheism.”
During his reign, Nicholas expressed the desire to spend Holy Week in the former Russian capital, and it was here, during the coronation festivities in 1896 and the Romanov Tercentennary in 1913, Moscow’s fervent greeting to their Tsar confirmed his feeling for the city.
Today, Moscow is home to at least a dozen monuments and busts to Russia’s last emperor and tsar. Among them are five large-scale monuments, including (1) the monument established in September 2016 at the Moscow State Transport University; (2) the monument established in October 2013 to Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich and Emperor Nicholas II in the Novospassky Monastery; (3) the monument established in 1998 on the grounds of the Church of the Royal Passion-Bearers in the Pleshcheevo estate (in Podolsk); and (4) the magnificent equestrian monument to Nicholas II, established on the grounds of the Ministry of Defense on the Frunze Embankment. In addition, are a number of bust-monuments established at various locations in and around Moscow.
PHOTO: the first monument to Nicholas II nearing completion in 1996
The finest and most impressive full-scale monument to Nicholas II has to be the one erected in the former village of Taininskoye [the village was incorporated in the Mytishchi district of the Moscow region in 1961], situated 19 km northeast of Moscow.
Like the fate of the Sovereign, the monument has a tragic history, having been the target of extremists in 1997. However, the monuments’ sculptor Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Klykov (1938-2006) replaced it in 2000.
According to the sculptor’s son Andrey Klykov, the monument was supposed to be erected on Borovitsky Hill in central Moscow. The project had the support of Yuri Luzhkov, who served as mayor at the time. Members of the city’s Communist party were outraged at the idea, so the project was pulled.
Klykov was offered another site in Mytishchi, near the site of a former royal traveling palace [built in 1749 for Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, it was destroyed by fire in 1823]. The site was situated near the 11th century Church of the Annunciation of the Holy Mother of God [built in 1675-1677]. As it turned out, due to the smaller number of approvals and red tape, the monument was easier to install on the church grounds, and had the support of the diocese.
PHOTO: the sculptor Vyacheslav Klykov stands in front of his monument
to Nicholas II, destroyed on 1st April 1997 by left-wing extremists
The opening of the monument was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the coronation of the last Russian Tsar (held in Moscow on 26 May (O.S. 14 May) 1896.
On the morning of 1st April 1997, at 05:25 am, the monument was blown up by members of the left-wing extremist organization Revvoensovet [named after the Revolutionary Military Council of 1918]. Their reason, was their opposition to a proposal to remove Lenin’s corpse from the mausoleum in Red Square.
On 31st August 2006, The Moscow City Court found Igor Gubkin, a member of the Revvoensovet (RVS) extremist group, guilty of organizing and committing a number of explosions in Moscow, and sentenced to 19 years in prison.
After the explosion, Klykov, a staunch monarchist, donated his personal money from the fee he had been paid for the monument to General Zhukov [erected in Moscow in 1995]. When asked why, Klykov replied sternly: “If at one time the Russian people could not protect their tsar, now, believe me, we will do it!”
The monument that we see today in the village of Tayninskoye, was installed on 20th August 2000 on the site of the first monument. The erection of the second monument was timed to coincide with the canonization of the Tsar [the Moscow Patriarchate canonized Nicholas II on 20 August 2000].
Klykov forged his new monument from copper. The Emperor stands proudly, dressed in ermine robes, holding a sceptre and orb. The sculpture reflects the moment of his greatest triumph – his accession to the throne. The inscription on the monument read: “To the Emperor Nicholas II from the Russian people with repentance”.
The monument has become a popular place of pilgrimage for Russian monarchists and nationalists, who believe that only “repentance for the murder of Tsar Nicholas II will lead to the salvation of Holy Russia”
On 19th May 2018, members of the All-Russian public movement “National Idea of Russia” and the Kuban Cossacks laid flowers at the monument to Emperor Nicholas II in the village of Taininskoye (Mytishchi). The event marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Nicholas II, on 19th (O.S. 6th) May 1896, in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo.
PHOTO: Klykov’s second monument to Nicholas II was cast
in bronze, it was opened on the same site in August 2000
Klykov was determined not to be threatened or bullied by thugs and radicals. Thanks to his efforts and determination, Orthodox Christians, monarchists and adherents to Russia’s last monarch, today have the opportunity to honour the memory of the Tsar, to offer flowers and prayers, but also to reflect on the life and reign of Russia’s much slandered Sovereign.
PHOTO: Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Klykov (1938-2006)
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Klykov was born on 19th October 1939, in the village of Marmyzhi, Kursk Region.
In the second half of the 1980s, Klykov’s work focused on Orthodox-patriotic themes. During his life, he created more than two hundred monuments: memorial plaques and crosses. In addition, he created numerous works for other cities across Russia, but also in Ukraine, Greece and Italy.
One of his greatest works was a monument to St. Sergius of Radonezh, inspired by the painting by MV Nesterov “Vision to the youth Bartholomew”. The monument was installed on 29th May 1988, in the village of Gorodok (Radonezh) near the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. He also created a monument to Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna in the Martha-Mariinsky Convent in Moscow.
Vyacheslav Klykov died on 2nd June 2006 in Moscow. He was buried in his native village.
Memory Eternal! Вечная Память!
© Paul Gilbert. 13 April 2021