On Saturday 11th June – the eve of Russia Day and the feast of the Holy Trinity – a new monument to Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled on the grounds of the Church of the Life-Giving Trinity, located on Muzeynaya Street in Vladimir, Russia. The flags of the Russian Federation and the Russian Empire were placed on either side of the monument.
The bronze monument was created by the famous Vladimir sculptor Ilya Shanin. The pedestal was created by Nikolai Andrianov, and the memorial plaques by Yuri Tumarkin and artist Olga Rozanova.
- Readers may recall that I reported on this new monument back in late 2021. Click HERE to read this article – PG
The initiative to install the monument came from the rector of the Holy Trinity Church, Father Evgeny Borovskikh, and Ilya Shanin. A fundraiser was announced in November 2021, the cost of casting and installation of the monument amounted to 1.5 million rubles [$20,000 USD], the entire amount of which was raised by private donors.
In January 2022, sculptor Ilya Shanin announced that he wanted the installation of the monument to take place in May 2023, to coincide with 110th anniversary of the Emperor’s only visit to Vladimir, on 16th May 1913.
PHOTOS: Close up views of the sculpture and pedestal
The bronze monument of Nicholas II was made at a factory in Smolensk. He is presented from the waist up wearing a ceremonial uniform, with a ribbon over his shoulder, crosses, orders and medals. The height of the monument is 125 centimeters [app. 4 ft.] without the pedestal. The granite pedestal was made in St. Petersburg. On the pedestal there is an inscription «Государь император Николай II» – “Sovereign Emperor Nicholas II”.
The monument is set against the backdrop of a large colourized photograph of the Imperial Family. The photo is famous, and part of a series taken in 1913 marking the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty. These black-and-white photos were mass produced and sold as postcards, the proceeds of which went to various charities supported by the Imperial Family.
It is interesting to add, that within 24 hours of the announcement of plans to install this monument to Emperor Nicholas II, local Bolsheviks and atheists reared their ugly heads in protest. The local branch of the Communist Party opposed its installation. The communists declared that they were “categorically against perpetuating the memory of ‘Nicholas the Bloody'”, as he organized the mass execution of unarmed workers in St. Petersburg and dragged Russia into two unnecessary wars.
Apparently, access to the monument is at present only possible during worship. The rest of the time the gates to the church are closed. Despite this, Vladimir residents still come to look at the bronze Nicholas II and take photos through the fence bars (see photo below).
It is known that Nicholas II came to Vladimir only once – on 16th May 1913, as part of the celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Dynasty.
The Vladimir Region is now home to two of Russia’s finest monuments to Emperor Nicholas II. In September 2021, Russia’s second largest monument to Nicholas II [featuring 8 colour photos + VIDEO] was also installed in the village of Sanino, Petushinsky District, Vladimir Region.
© Paul Gilbert. 12 June 2022