95 years ago, Ekaterinburg was renamed Sverdlovsk

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Monument to Yakov Sverdlov, established on Lenin Avenue in 1925

Almost a century ago, Ekaterinburg was renamed Sverdlovsk and lived with the Bolshevik name for 67 years, until 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the city returned to its historical name. Few know that the capital of the Urals could have been called differently.

Today – 14th November – marks the 95th anniversary of the renaming of Ekaterinburg to Sverdlovsk. Ekaterinburg was founded on 18 November 1723 and named after the second wife of Peter the Great, who after his death became the Empress Catherine (Yekaterina)  I (1684-1727).  In 1924, however, Soviet newspapers condemned the Empress, and proposed alternative names for the city. So began the first renaming of Ekaterinburg.

A campaign was launched in early 1924, whereby a local newspaper came out with the headline “Rename the city of Ekaterinburg!”. Following this, propaganda was published explaining why Ekaterinburg was a bad name. The newspapers wrote derogatory comments about Empress Catherine I, referring to her as “a soldier’s wife under the Russian army”, “Menshikov’s laundress”, and an “illiterate, poor, depraved woman”.

At the same time, journalists offered alternative names. The very first option was Sverdlovsk, in honour of the revolutionary Yakov Mikhailovich Sverdlov (1885-1919), a Bolshevik party administrator and chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and mastermind behind the murders of the Imperial Family.

The 1922 book by White Army general, Mikhail Diterikhs, ‘The Murder of the Tsar’s Family and members of the House of Romanov in the Urals’, sought to portray the murder of the Imperial Family as a Jewish plot against Russia. It referred to Sverdlov by his Jewish nickname “Yankel”. This book was based on an account by Nikolai Sokolov, special investigator for the Omsk regional court, whom Diterikhs assigned with the task of investigating the disappearance and murders of the Imperial Family while serving as regional governor under the White regime during the Russian Civil War.

Other names suggested included Red Urals, Leninburg, Uralgrad, or even Revanchburg – in honour of the execution of the last tsar, while, the newspapers also suggested Uralosverdlovsk, Andreigrad, and Krasnouralsk. But journalists in subsequent publications explained to residents why Sverdlovsk was the best name. Public discussions went on for nine months, and in October 1924 the Ekaterinburg City Council adopted a resolution on renaming the city Sverdlovsk. In mid-November, the document was signed at the CEC of the USSR, and the following year, in 1925, a monument to Yakov Sverdlov was established on Lenin Avenue.

Yakov Sverdlov was known in Ekaterinburg among the revolutionaries under the names “Comrade Mikhailovich” and “Comrade Andrei.” He spoke at lot at rallies, led the Bolsheviks, and even served a year in the Ekaterinburg Central on Repin Street. He was a member of the Central Committee of the party, chairman of the commission on the development of the first Constitution of the RSFSR. According to Yevgeny Burdenkov, a researcher at the Museum of the History of Ekaterinburg, Sverdlov transferred many of his people from the Urals to work in Moscow, and it was they who promoted the idea of ​​renaming Ekaterinburg to Sverdlovsk as a sign of gratitude.

Sverdlov is commonly believed to have died of either typhus or most likely influenza, during the 1918 flu pandemic, after a political visit to Oryol. He is buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, in Moscow.

It is interesting to note that Sverdlovsk Oblast, the federal subject (an oblast) of Russia located in the Ural Federal District, in which the city of Ekaterinburg, serves as its administrative center still retains its Bolshevik name. In January 2019, Russian state deputies again raised the issue of renaming Sverdlovsk Oblast, however, the issue remains unresolved.

© Paul Gilbert. 14 November 2019

Paul Gilbert: “Yekaterinburg is my favorite Russian city”

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Paul Gilbert at the monument to Nicholas II, Ganina Yama

Last week, Russian journalist Olga Koshkina asked me for an interview, the article of which was published in the October 22nd 2019 issue of ‘Oblastnaya Gazeta,’ a daily newspaper published in Ekaterinburg.

Oblastnaya Gazeta’ is the official publication of state authorities of the Sverdlovsk Region, the founders of whom are the Governor and the Legislative Assembly of the Sverdlovsk Region.

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Paul Gilbert at the Church on the Blood during Tsars Days 2018’in Ekaterinburg

Koshkina’s article ‘Пол Гилберт: «Екатеринбург – мой любимый российский город»’ – ‘Paul Gilbert: “Ekaterinburg – My Favourite Russian City,” describes my love of the Ural city, my interest in the Romanov dynasty, my efforts to clear the name of Nicholas II, and the ‘Imperial Route’ project.

NOTE: this article is only in Russian. If you use Google Translate, you can still get the gist of the article in English

© Paul Gilbert. 22 October 2019

Holy Royal Martyrs Monument Vandalized in Ekaterinburg

On the night of 31 August/1 September the monument to Emperor Nicholas II and his family, in front of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg was vandalized. An unknown woman with a black marker defaced the pedestal of the monument, but she has been detained by law enforcement officials

The woman wrote several insulting inscriptions against the Russian Orthodox Church and the United Russia Party on the pedestal. The inscriptions included words such as “Masons” and “Illuminati.” A police spokesman confirmed that the vandal was arrested at the crime scene. She was a woman born in 1971, and is known to Ekaterinburg police for previous offences.

The Ekaterinburg diocese has confirmed the act of vandalism, who also added that the insulting inscriptions on the monument platform were erased that very morning.

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The Church on the Blood was constructed on the site of the Ipatiev House, where the Imperial family and their four faithful retainers were all brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks on 17th July 1918

On 28th May 2003, a monument to Nicholas II, his wife and their five children was established at the entrance to the Lower Church. The seven-figure composition represents the tragic moment of the descent of Nicholas II and his family into the basement of the “House of Special Purpose” for execution.

The monument is bordered by a spiral staircase from the Upper Church to the Lower Church. According to the sculptors, the 23 granite steps of this staircase, which correspond to the 23 steps into the basement of the Ipatiev House, should remind visitors of the last journey of the emperor and his family

© Paul Gilbert. 3 September 2019

“Ekaterinburg was the last capital of the Russian Empire” – says Russian historian

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The Church on the Blood, built on the site of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg

The Ural city of Ekaterinburg occupies an important place in the modern spiritual life of Russia. This conclusion was reached by Russian historian *Peter Multatuli following the results of the International Festival of Orthodox Culture Tsar’s Days 2019.

“On a spiritual level, Ekaterinburg is the last capital of the Russian Empire, because the residence of the Sovereign was always considered the capital in Russia. Peter the Great never officially transferred the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg, but since he lived there, it was the capital,” said Multatuli.

He noted that in 1918, for 78 days, Emperor Nicholas II and his family lived in Ekaterinburg, and that is why the Ural capital can be considered the last capital of the Russian Empire.

[It is important to note that many historians – myself included – firmly believe that the Tsar’s signing of the instrument of abdication, his status as Tsar remained inviolate and unassailable – PG]

“Petrograd and Moscow to one degree or another welcomed his overthrow, and they bear a greater responsibility in this than any other Russian city. No matter what anyone says, it was Ekaterinburg that served as the last Imperial residence, which, according to God’s special plan, became the Royal Golgotha,” added Peter Multatuli.

According to him, in the near future, Ekaterinburg will play a great role in the history of Russia, because “the city named after St. Catherine and becoming the Royal Golgotha ​​will be the city of Russian resurrection.”

[Once a bastion of Bolshevism, Ekaterinburg has slowly shed its status as the “capital of atheism”. Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Urals has experienced a revival of faith, with Ekaterinburg at the into the center of Orthodox Russia in the Urals. Ekaterinburg has done more to honour Nicholas II and his family than any other city in Russia. Thanks to my visits to Ekaterinburg in 2012, 2016 and 2018, it is a city which I have grown to admire and love – PG]

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Peter Valentinovich Multatuli

*Peter Valentinovich Multatuli was born in Leningrad on 17 November 1969. He is a Russian journalist, historian and biographer. Multatuli is the author of numerous books and articles about the reign of Emperor Nicholas II. He is the great-grandson of Ivan Kharitonov (1872-1918), who served as the Head Cook of the Imperial family. He followed the tsar and his family into exile, and was murdered along with them in the Ipatiev House on 17th July 1918.

Multatuli’s comprehensive Russian language studies of the life and reign of Emperor Nicholas II are often overlooked or simply ignored by his Western counterparts.

© Paul Gilbert. 26 July 2019

New Exhibits Dedicated to the Holy Royal Martyrs Open in Ganina Yama

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New permanent outdoor exhibit on the grounds of the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs

A photo exhibition “We” presents the work of Ekaterinburg photographer Yaroslav Kulakov, opened this week in the Museum and Exhibition Center of the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Ganina Yama. The exhibit features photos of the participants of the Tsar’s Days and the Cross Procession over a 20-year period from 1998 to 2018.

“The Lord has not created anything more beautiful than a spiritual and joyful human face,” said Yaroslav Kulakov. Many of his photographs have become historical. The photographs include the first designer of the monastery, Tatiana Alekseevna Petkevich, icon painter Tatiana Fedorovna Vodicheva, the confessor of the monasteryAbel (Odintsev) among many others.

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New permanent outdoor exhibit on the grounds of the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs

A second exhibit, a permanent outdoor exhibition dedicated to the Imperial Family and their faithful companions who perished with them on the night of 16/17 July 1918, also opened on the grounds of the monastery.

The exhibition which is located near the monument to Emperor Nicholas II, includes 12 stands featuring a photo and biography of members of the Imperial family and their faithful retainers.

This brief, yet information excursion into Russian history will help those who are just starting to get acquainted with the history of the Holy Royal Family.

The photo exhibition “We” will run until 13th September 2019, in the Museum and Exhibition Center of the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Ganina Yama, from 10:30 to 16:30 daily, except Monday.

© Ekaterinburg Diocese / Paul Gilbert. 26 July 2019

Icon of the Mother of God, “Of the Three Hands”

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The Icon of the Mother of God, “Of the Three Hands” belonged to Nicholas II and his family

On 11th July 2019, on the feast day of the Icon of the Mother of God, “Of the Three Hands”, Mrs. Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovsky, chairman of the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna Charitable Foundation, attended a Divine Liturgy in the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg.

The Divine Liturgy was led by Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg, in front of the Icon of the Mother of God, “Of the Three Hands.” The icon belonged to the Imperial Family, who venerated the icon, during their imprisonment in the Ipatiev House in 1918. The icon was found in the basement of the house after the murder of the Tsar and his family on the night of 16/17 July 1918. In the early 1920s, through the efforts of officers loyal to the Sovereign, the icon was smuggled out of Bolshevik Russia to Denmark, and presented to Nicholas II’s mother – the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna. After her death in 1928, the icon was bequeathed to her youngest daughter Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, who took it with her when she emigrated to Canada in 1948.

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Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg, kisses the Icon of the Mother of God, “Of the Three Hands”

In 1991, when Tikhon Nikolaevich Kulikovsky, the eldest son of Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, learned that Russia was discussing the construction of a Memorial Church on the site of the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, he addressed a letter to His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, in which he noted that upon completion of construction, he intended to transfer the icon to the newly established church. However, Tikhon Nikolayevich was not able to fulfill his wish during his lifetime – he died on 8th April 1993. His widow Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovsky, however, carried out her husbands wish, and presented the Mother of God, “Of the Three Hands” during the solemn consecration of the Church on the Blood in 2003.

After the service, Metropolitan Kirill congratulated everyone on the holiday and the beginning of the Tsar’s Days, noting that this day marks the beginning of “Passion Week” dedicated to the memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs. His Eminence thanked Olga Nikolaevna, to whom the Church on the Blood and the Ekaterinburg Diocese acquired “a special significant icon – the image of God’s blessing on the Holy Tsar’s Family.”

Today, the icon is kept in the Upper Church of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg.

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Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky

It should be noted, that Mrs. Olga Kulikovsky (now 93 years old), has dedicated many years to charitable activities in the name of her mother-in-law Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna. Despite her age, she continues to work actively to help clear the name of Russia’s much slandered Tsar and his family. She travels to Ekaterinburg each year to take part in the Tsars Days events, culminating with the Divine Liturgy at the Church on the Blood on the night of 16/17 July, and in Ganina Yama.

© Paul Gilbert. 12 July 2019

Exhibition dedicated to Nicholas Sokolov opens in the Urals

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On 8th June 2019, the Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye opened the exhibition Penza – Paris. The Way of the Tsar’s Investigator N.A. Sokolov, in the Museum and Exhibition Center in Ganina Yama.

The exhibition, is timed to the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the work of the investigator Nikolai Alekseevich Sokolov (1882-1924)  in Ekaterinburg and at the Four Brothers mine in 1919.

Metropolitan Kirill reminded guests that the name of N.A. Sokolov is inextricably linked with the Imperial family, since Sokolov was a monarchist, he loved Russia and would not accept the changes brought about by the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. 

“Nikolai Alekseevich crossed the front line to reach the troops commanded by General Vasilyevich Kolchak (1874-1920), who was recognised as the “Supreme Leader and Commander-in-Chief of All Russian Land and Sea Forces” by the other leaders of the White movement from 1918 to 1920. Sokolov became one of the closest assistants to the Supreme Commander, who entrusted him with the investigation into the case of the regicide. This year also marks 95 years since the death of investigator Sokolov, a man who made an enormous contribution in gathering evidence about the last days of the Imperial Family in Ekaterinburg,” noted Kirill.

The ruling bishop said that it was NA Sokolov who was the first to follow the path of the cross from the Ipatiev House to Ganina Yama, and it was he who conducted most of the research at the site of the murder and burial of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers.

“We value his sincere work no less than the work of those who remained faithful to the Tsar, his family and and their faithful retainers – Dr. Botkin, cook Kharitonov, maid Demidova and the tsar’s valet Troupe, and all those who wanted to remain with them, but who were separated from the Imperial Family, at Tsarskoye Selo, Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg,” he added.

In conclusion, Metropolitan Kirill thanked the staff of the museum who preserve the memory of the Imperial family.

Visitors to the exhibit can see unique archival materials that give an idea of ​​the difficult task of the investigator. Also presented are rare family photos of N. Sokolov, which are kept by his descendants in France and in Russia. Many of them are displayed for the first time.

The exhibition will be open to visitors until the end of 2019, admission is free.

Click HERE to read Memorial Plaque to Nikolai Sokolov Unveiled in Mokshan, published on Royal Russia News 27th December 2018;

and HERE to read Nikolai Sokolov: The man who revealed the story of the Romanov killings by Alla Astanina, published on 18 April 2015 on Russia Beyond the Headlines.

© Paul Gilbert. 20 June 2019

Ekaterinburg prepares for Tsar’s Days – 2019

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Icon of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearer Nicholas II in front of the steps of the Church on the Blood

Every year tens of thousands of people gather in Ekaterinburg to take part in the Tsar’s Days. The main events are the Divine Liturgy, which takes place on the night of 16/17 July at the Church on the Blood, where the lives of the Imperial Family and and their faithful retainers tragically ended, and the Cross Procession to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers in Ganina Yama, where the august remains were destroyed 101 years ago.

*NOTE: due to the fact the Moscow Patriachate does not yet recognize the Ekaterinburg remains as authentic, the Cross Procession does not stop at Porosenkov Log, where the remains of the Imperial family were unearthed in two separate graves in the late 1970s and 2007 – PG

This year’s mass celebrations in the Ural capital will begin on 12th July, the day marking the opening of the XVII Festival of Orthodox Culture “Tsar’s Days.”

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Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye Kirill

XVII Festival of Orthodox Culture “Tsar’s Days”

From 12th  July to 21st July, Ekaterinburg will host the key event of the Tsarist Year – the XVII Festival of Orthodox Culture “Tsar’s Days”. In the Ural capital, dozens of religious and secular events of various formats will be held , dedicated to the “Tsarist” theme – from music festivals to creative meetings and lectures.

A cultural program is planned, which includes cultural, historical, musical and educational events, museum and library exhibitions, concerts and meetings with historians, writers, directors from across Russia and abroad.

The Church on the Blood, the Tsarsky Spiritual and Educational Center (located in the Patriarchal Compound), and the Russia – My Story Museum, will become the central venues for the festival.

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Pilgrims gather at the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg on the night of 16/17 July

Festival of the bell ringing “Bless the land of the Ural!”

From 14th July to 18th July, the annual festival of the bell ringing “Preach to the Land of the Urals!”, organized as part of the All-Russian Festival of Orthodox Culture “Tsar’s Days”, will also take place.

Ringers from across Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yaroslavl, Veliky Novgorod, Rostov Veliky, Vologda, Tyumen, as well as the best bell-ringers of the Ekaterinburg Metropolis will take part in the festival.

A concert of bells at the bell tower of the Bolshoi Zlatoust (Great Zlatoust) Church, with the participation of the military brass band and the choir of the Bolshoi Zlatoust (Great Zlatoust) Church, which will be held on 15th July 15, Priest Victor Yavich will recite his poems.

After that,  participants and spectators of the festival will enjoy master classes with the participation of the most experienced bell-ringers of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The bell ringing concert will begin at 6:00 pm at the Bolshoi Zlatoust (Great Zlatoust) Church, located on Malysheva Street.

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Pilgrims take part in the Cross Procession from Ekaterinburg to Ganina Yama

The main events of Tsar’s Days

The main events of the Tsar’s Days will begin on 15th July with the consecration of the Church of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers in Ganina Yama.

Then come the culminating events, which will be held on 16th and 17th July. 

On 16th July, at 09:00, the Divine Liturgy will begin in the Chapel of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers in the Church on the Blood. At 1:00 pm, a day procession along the Ekaterinburg Path of Grief will be held to mark the arrival of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers in Ekaterinburg (transported to the Ipatiev House) – from Shartash station (149 Kuybyshev St.) to the Church Church on Blood.

Then, at 15:00, a small vespers with an akathist to the Holy Royal Passion-bearers will take place in the lower church of the Church on the Blood.

At 16:30, an all-night vigil will begin at the site in front of the Church on the Blood.

At 23:30, the main service of the Tsar’s Days will begin – the evening Divine Liturgy at the site of the Church on the Blood. The service will end in the early morning hours of 17th July, after which at 02:30 a 21-km Cross Procession from the Church on the Blood — the place where the Imperial family were murdered — to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers — the site of where their remains were destroyed by their Bolshevik murderers at the Ganina Yam tract in 1918. The procession gathers tens of thousands of pilgrims from around the world. In previous years, the procession has attracted any where from 60,000 to 100,000 (in 2018) people. Upon the arrival of the procession at Ganina Yama, a liturgy will be held for the Holy Royal Passion-bearers.

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Victims of the Alapaevsk Massacre

Tsar’s days in Alapayevsk

The Tsar’s Days will continue with the celebration of the Days of Remembrance of the Great Martyr Grand Duchess Elizaveta Feodorovna and the Alapayevsk martyrs, which will be held in Alapayevsk, situated 150 km north of Ekaterinburg.

On 18th July, at 00:00, a Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Alapayevsk, and at 02:30 a liturgy will be held with the akathist singing to the holy martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth and the Nun Varvara.

At 03:30, at the end of the liturgy, a procession will begin from the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Alapayevsk to the school (where Grand Duchess Elizabeth and other members of the Romanovs were held captive) and then to the monastery in the name of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, which was founded on the place where they were thrown alive into the mine by their captives on the night of 18th July 1918. Two Divine Liturgies will be celebrated her, at 05:30 and 09:00.  

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“Tsar’s Days Hot line”

On 1st July, the “Tsar Days Hotline” will open. Pilgrims can call and ask for information on the main events that will be celebrated in Ekaterinburg from 16th to 18th July 2019, including: the divine liturgy services scheduled; the date and start time of the religious processions in Ekaterinburg, as well as the procession of the cross in Alapayevsk; how pilgrims can return to Ekaterinburg from the Monastery of the Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama after the procession on 17th July, and from Alapaevsk on 18th July, and any other questions.

In addition, by calling the hotline, pilgrims can obtain information about excursions to church museums and exhibition centers in Ekaterinburg, Alapaevsk and Verkhoturye, as well as book a reception for organized groups and single pilgrims on the Ekaterinburg Tsar Route.

Phones of the “hotline” of Tsar’s days – 2019:

+7 (343) 268-99-29, +7 (950) 64-69-019.

Hotline opening hours: daily from 10:00 to 19:00 local time (from 8:00 to 17:00 Moscow time).

Click HERE for more information about Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg 2019

© Ekaterinburg Diocese / Paul Gilbert. 16 June 2019

Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg 2019

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In 2019, Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg will be held from 16 to 19 July. Tsar’s Days is the annual festival of Orthodox culture in Ekaterinburg and the Sverdlovsk Region, marking the deaths and martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, who were murdered by the Bolsheviks in the Ipatiev House on 17th July 1918. The festival includes divine services, religious processions, exhibitions, concerts and other events. 

Some of the city’s museums and churches will become venues for exhibitions dedicated to Emperor Nicholas II, his family and other members of the Romanov dynasty, who were murdered in Ekaterinburg and Alapaevsk.

The main event, for which thousands of Orthodox pilgrims come to Ekaterinburg, is the solemn liturgy, which takes place on the night of the murder of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers – 16/17 July, in the Church on the Blood. At the end of the Liturgy, tens of thousands of pilgrims take part in the 21 km Cross procession from the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs in Ganina Yama.

The first Tsar’s Days was held in Ekaterinburg in 2001. Last year in 2018, the year marking the 100th anniversary of the regicide in the Ural capital, attracted more than 100,000 Orthodox pilgrims, monarchists, among others from across Russia and around the world.

NOTE: further information on Tsar’s Days will be published here, as further details become available from the Ekaterinburg Diocese 

If you are planning to be in Ekaterinburg during Tsar’s Days this year, I highly recommend visits to the following places which memorialize the last days of Emperor Nicholas II and his family:

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Church on the Blood and the Patriarchal Compound, Ekaterinburg

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Bust of Nicholas II, Patriarchal Compound, Ekaterinburg

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Museum of the Holy Royal Family, Patriarchal Compound

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Romanov Memorial Hall, Museum of History and Archaeology of the Urals, Ekaterinburg

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Novo-Tikhvinsky Convent

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Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs, Ganina Yama

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Romanov exhibit in the Museum and Exhibition Center, Ganina Yama

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Romanov Memorial, Porosenkov Log

For more information (photos, videos and links) about Tsar’s Days in 2018 and 2017, please refer to the following links:

2018 Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg

2017 Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg

*  *  *

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The entire issue of Sovereign No. 7 is dedicated to Tsar’s Days, held in Ekaterinburg in July 2018, the year marking the 100th anniversary of the deaths and martyrdom of Nicholas II and his family.

This special issue features 143 pages, and richly illustrated with 150 black and white photographs – many of them taken by me, during my visit to the Ural city in July 2018. Click HERE to order your copy

© Paul Gilbert. 27 May 2019

TSAR’S DAYS. EKATERINBURG 2019

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This year’s Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg will be held from 16-19 July 2019. The events mark the 101st anniversary of the the deaths and martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, all of whom were brutally murdered on the night of 16/17 July 1918 in the Ipatiev House in the Ural city of Ekaterinburg. 

Memorial events will include liturgies and prayers, historical conferences, sacred music concerts and exhibitions. Tens of thousands of people from across Russia, and abroad, will once again gather in Ekaterinburg for this annual event.

The main event of the Tsar’s Days is the Divine Liturgy held at the Church on the Blood (built on the site of the Ipatiev House) on the night of 16th July, followed by a religious procession in the early morning hours of 17th July, from the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Martyrs at Ganina Yama (21 km). 

The first procession in memory of the Royal Passion-bearers, headed by the ruling bishop, took place in 2002, in which more than 2 thousand pilgrims and about 100 clerics participated. In 2012, for the first time since the construction of the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg, an all-night vigil and night Divine Liturgy were performed in the open air. In 2018, more than 100,000 pilgrims from across Russia and around the world took part in the Patriarchal Liturgy and procession of the cross from the Church on the Blood to the Ganina Yama.

Please note that updates on the 2019 Tsar’s Days events in Ekaterinburg will be posted as further details become available.

Click HERE for information on the 2018 Tsar’s Days marking the 100th anniversary of the deaths and martyrdom of Emperor Nicholas II and his family, and HERE for information on the 2017 Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg + colour photos and video.

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I was fortunate to attend the 2018 Tsar’s Days in Ekaterinburg, and have dedicated a special issue of SOVEREIGN dedicated to the centenary – featuring 144 pages, 7 full-length articles, and richly illustrated with 150 black and white photos. Click HERE to order your copy!

© Paul Gilbert. 20 March 2019