PHOTO: Emperor Nicholas II and his family visiting the Memorial Chapel, 1917. To the left of the Tsar is General Count Alexander Grabbe (1864-1947), who served as Major-General of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Convoy from 1914 to 1917, and Pierre Gilliard (1879-1962), can be seen between the two
NOTE: The three vintage photographs presented in this post, depict Emperor Nicholas II and his family visiting the Memorial Chapel in the village of Saltanovka, on 1st January 1917, just weeks before the Tsar’s abdication on 16th (O.S. 3rd) March 1917.
The Memorial Chapel was constructed in 1912, it is situated two kilometers north-west from the village of Saltanovka near Mogliev. It has survived to this day – see photo below.
The chapel was erected by the Tsarist government in 1912 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Saltanovka, during the Patriotic War of 1812. It was here, on 11th July 1812, that the battle took place between the Russian troops of Emperor Alexander I (1777-1825) the 7th corps under the command of Lieutenant General Nikolai Raevsky (1771-1829), and the French troops of Emperor Napoleon I (1769-1821) under the command of Marshal Luis-Nicolas Davout (1770-1823).
It was constructed in the Neoclassical style by the Russian architect Konstantin Alekseevich Mikhailov (1873-1927) and sculptor Pyotr Grigorievich Yatsyno, who carried out the artistic stucco decoration, memorial plaques and finishing works.
On the walls of the chapel are commemorative plaques listing the Russian regiments and divisions that took part in the battle. The ashes of Russian soldiers who died in the 1812 Battle of Saltanovka, lie within the walls of the chapel.
PHOTO: Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Emperor Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna and an unidentified officer
PHOTO: Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna
PHOTO: The Memorial Chapel near the village of Saltanovka as it looks today
© Paul Gilbert. 15 June 2021
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