Russia’s second largest monument to Nicholas II erected in the Vladimir region

VIDEO: in Russian. DURATION: 2 minutes, 11 seconds

On 14th September, a new monument to Emperor Nicholas II was opened in the Russian village of Sanino, situated in the Petushinsky District of the Vladimir Region. The new monument is the first in the Vladimir region, and the country’s second largest monument to Russia’s last Tsar.

The bronze monument was made by the Moscow sculptor Rovshan Rzayev. It was installed on the grounds of the Church of the Chernigov Icon of the Mother of God in the village of Sanino. The opening of the monument was timed to coincide with the patronal feast day. A Divine Liturgy was led by Metropolitan Ambrose of Tver and Kashin. About 500 people took part in the service, procession, unveiling and consecration of the monument.

PHOTO: Metropolitan Ambrose of Tver and Kashin performs the act of consecration

PHOTO: more than 500 people attended the unveiling and consecration ceremony

The height of the monument [with pedestal] is 3 meters [nearly 10 ft.]. The Tsar is depicted in uniform, wearing his coronation mantle, a sword on his left side. He is holding an orb in his left hand, while the fingers of his right hand are poised to make the sign of the cross. The figure stands on a massive pedestal with the inscription “Nicholas II Tsar and Passion-Bearer.”

PHOTO: “Nicholas II. Tsar and Passion-Bearer.”

PHOTOS: front and rear views of Russia’s second largest monument to Nicholas II

During the Soviet years, Nicholas II was vilified and forgotten. Not a single memorial of any kind existed in the Soviet Union, however, during the last 30 years more than 100 monuments, busts and memorials in honour of Nicholas II have been erected in more than 30 regions of the country.

© Paul Gilbert. 16 September 2021

Nicholas II and the opening of the Romanov Museum in Kostroma, 1913

PHOTO: Nicholas II opens the Romanov Museum in Kostroma, 19th May 1913

The idea of ​​creating the Romanov Museum belonged to the chairman of the Kostroma Provincial Scientific Archive Commission, who proposed opening a special Romanovsky department “for collecting and storing information and data about the ancestors of the ancestor of the reigning house of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich.” His proposal was supported by Emperor Nicholas II, who approved the official use of the name “Romanovsky department”.

As the number of exhibits multiplied each year, the Romanovsky department ran out of space, and the question of creating a separate museum building arose. In 1907 the governor of Kostroma Alexei Porfirievich Veretennikov (1860-1927), reported to Moscow about the funding for the construction of the museum (donated by the Kostroma City Duma, industrialists, nobles and local residents) and a plot of land for the future museum. The permission to use the name “Romanov Museum” and the promise of co-financing came from Moscow.

In 1908, the project of the building was developed by the architect Nikolai Ivanovich Gorlitsyn (1870-1933), the construction began in 1909. In 1912, Nicholas II issued an order of 35 thousand rubles for the completion of the internal arrangement and interior decoration of the Romanov Museum, as well as the external decoration necessary for the opening of the museum.

In May 1913, Nicholas II and his family arrived in Kostroma as part of the celebrations marking the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty and attended the official opening of the Romanov Museum. The Emperor and his family became the first visitors to the museum and left their names in the memorial book, which has survived to this day.

Currently, the Romanov Museum has several expositions, but one remains unchanged – about the role of Kostroma in the history of the Romanov dynasty.

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Bust of Nicholas II unveiled in Kostroma

Earlier this week, a new bronze bust of Emperor Nicholas II was presented to the Romanov Museum in Kostroma, where it now stands in the foyer of the museum [photo above]. The Emperor is depicted wearing the uniform of the Guards crew, complete with orders and medals.

The inscription on the wall reads: “The Romanov Museum began construction on 21 June 1909, and opened on 19 May, 1913 in the presence of their Imperial Majesties, the Tsesarevich Alexei and the August daughters of their Imperial Majesties”

The bronze bust was created by the contemporary Moscow sculptor Vasily Moskvitin [photo below]. The sculptor who is passionate about Russian history, has created sculptures and busts dedicated to Russian princes and saints, including Patriarch Tikhon (1865-1925).

The theme of the last emperor is the latest in the work of Moskvitin. For the Romanov Museum in Kostroma, however, the master decided to create a different sculptural portrait.

“Yes, he was also made to wear a crown of thorns, however, I did not want to present Nicholas II in the tragic image he is so often depicted. Instead, he is presented as the living soul of a person, to reveal his true character. Nicholas II was a very intelligent person, cheerful, with radiant eyes, which emitted kindness. I tried to capture all these features in my bust,” said Moskvitin.

© Paul Gilbert. 23 July 2021

Britain’s first memorial to the Russian Imperial Family

Up until a few years ago, Britain’s first and only memorial to Emperor Nicholas II and his family was located in the Battenberg Chapel in St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham, Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.

It was here that Princess Victoria Mountbatten (1863-1950), the elder sister of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, created a memorial plaque for the members of her family who were brutally murdered in the Urals by the Bolsheviks in July 1918.

The memorial is tucked away in a corner of the Battenberg Chapel.

“Give rest O LORD to the Souls of thy Servants
who have fallen asleep, for they have set their hope on Thee”.

In loving memory of
ELISABETH, Grand Duchess Serge of Russia – b. Nov. 1st 1864
perished in the Russian Revolution on the 18th of July 1918

ALEXANDRA, Empress of Russia – b. June 6th 1872
NICHOLAS II, Emperor of Russia – b. May 18th 1864*
and of their children
OLGA – b. Nov. 5th 1895 TATIANA – b. June 10th 1897
MARIA – b. June 26th 1899 ANASTASIA – June 13th 1901
and ALEXEI, the Caesarevich – b. Aug. 17th 1904
perished in the Russian Revolution on the 17th July 1918

* Nicholas II was born in 1868, not 1864, as shown on the plaque

On 7th July 2018, a granite memorial [above photo] with bronze relief portraits of the Russian Imperial Family, was unveiled at East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The monument marking the 100th anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Nicholas II and his family was created by the Moscow sculptor Elena Bezborodova.

On 13th July 2018, a monument [above photo] was also erected in memory of the Holy Royal Martyrs, on the grounds of the Cathedral of the Nativity Of the Most Holy Mother of God and the Royal Martyrs in the London Borough of Hounslow.

© Paul Gilbert. 20 July 2021

Russia’s 2nd equestrian monument to Nicholas II consecrated in Nizhny Novgorod region

On 9th July 2021, Russia’s second equestrian monument to Emperor Nicholas II was installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) in Kulebaki of the Nizhny Novgorod region.

On 17th July – the day marking the 103rd anniversary of the death and martyrdom of Nicholas II – the monument to Russia’s last emperor and tsar was officially unveiled and consecrated by Bishop Barnabas of Vyksa and Pavlovsk.

According to the initiators of the project, the installation of the monument was initially planned for 17th July 2020, however, a lack of funds delayed the project by one year. The cost of the monument was 5 million rubles ($80,000 USD), collected from donations within the diocese.

PHOTO: on 17th July 2021, Russia’s second equestrian monument to Emperor Nicholas II was installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) in Kulebaki of the Nizhny Novgorod region

PHOTO: the monument was consecrated by Bishop Barnabas of Vyksa and Pavlovsk

The initiators of the minument-project were inspired by the famous dictum of the old man Nikolai Guryanov :

“The reason for the spiritual illness in Russia is the conciliar sin of treason against the Tsar, in allowing the slaughter of the Holy Royal Family and in the unrepentance of hearts … We lost the pure, strengthening grace that poured out on the sacred head of the Anointed One, and through him on all of Russia. By rejecting the Tsar, we raised a hand to everything holy and to the Lord. Without true repentance, there is no true glorification of the Tsar. There must be spiritual awareness. ”

“The Russian people are entirely guilty for the death of the tsar,” said the rector of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) Father Nikolai Boldyrev,  who considers the monument a step of repentance “for the sins of the fathers.” He draws parallels between the last tsar and Christ, believing that a curse hangs over Russia, and calls for repentance.

PHOTOS: on 17th July 2021, Russia’s second equestrian monument to Emperor Nicholas II was installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) in Kulebaki of the Nizhny Novgorod region

“Our goal is to return historical memory, to reveal the true image of Tsar Nicholas, so that the Russian people may know who he was for us. He knew throughout his life that he would have to suffer. Three saints told him about that he would be a martyr and that his family would perish, and that all his nobles, military leaders would betray him” said Father Nikolai – “He died for us, for the Russian people, who betrayed him, to the Russian Golgotha. He forgave everyone who slandered him,” he added.

PHOTOS: on 17th July 2021, Russia’s second equestrian monument to Emperor Nicholas II was installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) in Kulebaki of the Nizhny Novgorod region

The sculptor of the monument is Irina Makarova, who also created monuments to the Holy Royal Martyrs at the St. Seraphim-Diveyevo Convent in July 2017; the meeting of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna in Alushta, Crimea; and a monument to the Holy Royal Martyrs in Tyumen.

PHOTO: Father Nikolai Boldyrev standing in front of Russia’s second equestrian monument to Emperor Nicholas II on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) in Kulebaki of the Nizhny Novgorod region

Below, is a short VIDEO of the official opening and consecration of Russia’s second equestrian monument to Emperor Nicholas II, on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) in Kulebaki of the Nizhny Novgorod region. CLICK on the IMAGE below to watch the VIDEO – duration 1 minute, 9 seconds

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Russian news and social media continually claim that the equestrian monument of Nicholas II in Kulebaki is Russia’s first equestrian monument to Nicholas II, however, this is incorrect, Russia’s first equestrian monument to the Tsar was erected in Moscow in December 2014.

PHOTO: Equestrian of Nicholas II dominates the Monument to the Heroes of World War One in Moscow

On 16 December 2014, Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu opened a sculptural composition dedicated to the heroes of World Wars I and II on the grounds of the Ministry of Defense on the Frunze Embankment in Moscow. The WWI monument features Nicholas II on horseback, recognizing and honouring his efforts during the Great War.

© Paul Gilbert. 17 July 2021

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Dear Reader: If you enjoy my articles, news stories and translations, then please help support my research by making a donation in US or Canadian dollars to my project The Truth About Nicholas II – please note that donations can be made by GoFundMePayPal, credit cardpersonal check or money order. Thank you for your consideration – PG

Russia’s second equestrian monument to Nicholas II to open on 17th July

At long last, Russian sculptor Irina Makarova’s magnificent equestrian monument to Emperor Nicholas II is to be erected on 17th July, on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) in Kulebaki of the Nizhny Novgorod region.

Russian media continually note that this is Russia’s first equestrian monument to Nicholas II, however, this is incorrect, Russia’s first equestrian monument to the Tsar was erected in Moscow in December 2014.

“The Russian people are entirely guilty for the death of the tsar,” said Archpriest Nikolai Boldyrev, who considers the monument a step of repentance “for the sins of the fathers.” He draws parallels between the last tsar and Christ, believing that a curse hangs over Russia, and calls for repentance.

The erection of the monument is timed to the date of the murders of the Imperial Family in Ekaterinburg by the Ural Soviet on the night of 16/17 July 1918. The opening and consecration of the monument will take place at the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev). Deputies from the State Duma, Monarchist General Leonid Reshetnikov from the Double-Headed Eagle Society, the leader of the Nizhny Novgorod branch of the Russian Noble Assembly Olga Polyanskaya and other guests have been invited.

The rector of the Church of the Holy Martyr Mikhail (Gusev) Father Nikolai Boldyrev, speaking about the erection of the monument, draws parallels between the sacrifice of Christ and the death of Nicholas II:

“Our goal is to return historical memory, to reveal the true image of Tsar Nicholas, so that the Russian people may know who he was for us. He knew throughout his life that he would have to suffer. Three saints told him about that he would be a martyr and that his family would perish, and that all his nobles, military leaders would betray him” said Father Nikolai – “He died for us, for the Russian people, who betrayed him, to the Russian Golgotha. He forgave everyone who slandered him.”

PHOTO: Father Nikolai Boldyrev

Archpriest Nikolai Boldyrev also said that a curse lies on the Russian people and that they must repent for betraying the oath given to the Romanov dynasty at the Zemsky Sobor in 1613.

“The elders said that until you realize who Nicholas II was, Russia will not rise from its knees,” says Father Nikolai – “Sin hangs over us, we have become perjurers. If you have read the Bible, you know that children suffer for the sins of their parents until the third generation. All this is a curse. Grandfathers, perhaps, demolished churches, participated in persecutions. Saint John of Shanghai wrote that the Russian people were entirely guilty for the death of the tsar.”

A year ago, Father Nikolai Boldyrev gained fame because he was temporarily suspended for refusing to close churches during the COVID pandemic and wipe the communion spoons with alcohol.

Initially, the equestrian monument to Nicholas II was planned to be erected in 2020, however, a lack of funds delayed it by one year, Donations for the construction of the monument have been collected for several years. The cost of the monument is 5 million rubles [$70,000 USD].

The monument’s sculptor Irina Makarova, also created monuments to the Holy Royal Martyrs at the St. Seraphim-Diveyevo Convent in July 2017; the meeting of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna in Alushta, Crimea; and a monument to the Holy Royal Martyrs in Tyumen.

Click HERE to read my article Nicholas II Equestrian Monument Planned for the Russian city of Kulebaki + PHOTOS, originally published on 13th December 2019.

© Paul Gilbert. 15 June 2021

Vandals destroy monument to Tsar’s family in Tatarstan

PHOTO: the memorial dedicated to the Holy Royal Martyrs situated on a cliff overlooking the Volga River, near the village of Pechishchi, consists of a Cross, a black-granite monument and a simple bench

Vandals have destroyed a memorial dedicated to the Holy Royal Martyrs situated on a cliff overlooking the Volga River, near the village of Pechishchi, Verkhneuslonsky district of Tatarstan. The monument bearing the images of Nicholas II, Alexandra Feodorovna and their five children was knocked from its pedestal and thrown over the side of a cliff. The Orthodox Cross was untouched by the vandals.

The composition includes an iron veneration cross and black granite monument were erected on 17th July 2013, to mark the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, and to honour the memory of Nicholas II and his family, who were murdered in Ekaterinburg on 17th July 1918. A small bench was added, allowing visitors a place for solitude and reflection at the Holy Orthodox site.

PHOTOS: the black granite monument to the Holy Royal Martyrs – before (above) and after (below) Bolshevik sympathizers threw it over the nearby cliff

The plaque’s inscription on the Cross (below) reads:

“Императору великому мученику, его царственной семье, его верным слугам, с ним мученический венец принявшим, и всем россиянам, богоборческой властью умученным и убиенным. Россияне, склоните головы. Париж, Александро-Невский храм”.

“To the great martyr Emperor, his royal family, his loyal servants, who accepted the martyr’s crown with him, and to all Russians tortured and slain by the godless power. Russians, bow your heads. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Paris.”

Who the vandals are and how they managed to throw the multi-ton slab over the cliff remains unknown. although local officials claim those responsible would have needed heavy equipment to carry out their act of vandalism.

During the last decade, a number of monuments to Russia’s last emperor and tsar have been the target of vandals – mostly Bolshevik radicals.

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”

© Paul Gilbert. 22 April 2021

The fate of the obelisk to Nicholas II in Kaluga

PHOTO: The obelisk erected in memory of the visit of Emperor Nicholas II to Kaluga
in 1904, was erected in 1908, and demolished by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s.

By the late spring of 1904, the Russo-Japanese War was already in full swing. In an effort to boost morale, Emperor Nicholas II personally went to Kaluga to inspect the garrison.

The Emperor arrived on the Imperial Train in Kaluga on 20th (O.S. 7) May 1904, accompanied by his brother Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, and their uncle Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich.

Upon arrival, the Emperor stepped off the Imperial Train and mounted a horse given to him by the Kaluga military. Accompanied by the Grand Dukes and his retinue, they proceeded to the town’s military field, where the Kaluga garrison had assembled for inspection, before being sent to defend Russia during the Russo-Japanese War. The garrison included the 9th Ingermanland Infantry Regiment, the 10th Newlingermanland Infantry Regiment and the 31st Cavlary Artillery Brigade.

PHOTO: Emperor Nicholas II arrives on the Imperial Train
in Kaluga on 20th (O.S. 7) May 1904

Nicholas II headed for the line of troops who awaited him. The commander of the division presented the Emperor with his combat report, the troops stood at attention, music played, and the military slowly lowered their banners in front of their Sovereign. Nicholas followed the front line with his retinue and greeted each military unit separately. The orchestra played the Imperial anthem God, Save the Tsar!, which prompted enthusiastic shouts of “Hurrah!” from the regiments.

The Emperor then stood in front of the pavilion, at which point the troops marched past in front of him in a ceremonial march. Then the officers were gathered, the Sovereign questioned those who had already participated in the war. After that he granted each with an icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and made a parting speech to the troops.

The tsar wrote in his diary that night: “We arrived at a field near Kaluga, where the 9th Ingermanland Infantry Regiments, the 10th Newermanland Regiments, the 31st Cavlary Artillery Brigade. and two flying artillery regiments were lined up. Due of the rains over the past few days, the field had turned into a swamp. Despite this, it did not deter the troops.”

PHOTOS: Emperor Nicholas II, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich, and Grand Duke
Sergei Alexandrovich, leave the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kaluga

In 1907, Kaluga Governor Alexander Alexandrovich Ofrosimov proposed to erect a monument- an obelisk in honour of this event. The laying took place on 29th June 1907, the unveiling and consecration was held three days later on 30th July 1908. The monument to Nicholas II was the first monument to appear in the Kaluga region.

The fourteen-meter obelisk was made of granite blocks, and crowned with a bronze double-headed eagle made of bronze by S.A. Pozhiltsov). The pedestal featured a commemorative plaque, which included the names of the Kaluga officers who participated in the Russo-Japanese War. Many of these men died during the war, therefore, the monument became a memorial to those Kaluga officers and soldiers who perished in 1904-1905. The composition was complemented by two cast-iron cannons at the base.

The obelisk was demolished by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s, who regarded the monument as a reminder of Tsarism.

The idea of restoring the obelisk for the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty in 2013 was considered, but it was not implemented. Instead, a bust of Nicholas II was installed in the Central Park of Culture and Leisure in Kaluga on July 31, 2016.

© Paul Gilbert. 17 April 2021

Taininskoye: the site of Russia’s greatest monument to Nicholas II

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.

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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

The fate of the gilded bronze plaque to Nicholas II at Tamerlane Gate

PHOTO: detail of the plaque to Nicholas II at Tamerlane Gate. 1898

The Trans-Caspian Railway follows the path of the Silk Road through much of western Central Asia. It was built by the Russian Empire during its expansion into Central Asia in the 19th century. Construction on the railway began in 1879, and originally served a military purpose of facilitating the Imperial Russian Army in actions against the local resistance to their rule.

The railway had a huge impact on the Russian economy, permitting a massive increase in the amount of cotton exported from the region. This increased from 873,092 pudy in 1888 to 3,588,025 in 1893. Also sugar, kerosene, wood, iron and construction material were imported into the area. These rising trade figures were used by Governor-General Nikolai Rozenbakh (1836-1901) to argue for the extension to Tashkent.

In 1895, Emperor Nicholas II issued an Imperial Decree, ordering that the line be extended to Tashkent and Margelan. Thus, the Tashkent Railway connecting the Tran-Caspian Military Railway with the network of other Russian and European railways was completed in 1906.

PHOTO: Alexander Ivanovich Ursati posing next to the plaque to Nicholas II. 1898

Alexander Ivanovich Ursati (1848 -1918) was appointed to the post of the head of the construction of the Samarkand-Andijan line. Ursati was a hereditary nobleman, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Institute of Railway Engineers, and outstanding engineer-tracker of pre-revolutionary Russia.

The new railway line passed along the ancient caravan route through the Nurata mountain range, along the narrow part of the Ilan-Uta gorge through the Jizzakh passage or through the so-called Tamerlane Gate.

PHOTO: plaque to Nicholas II at Tamerlane Gate. 1898

Upon completion of the construction of a highway which ran parralell to the railway track, Ursati ordered a commemorative bronze plaque and mounted with a double-headed eagle from one of the Ural factories. The inscription read: “Nicholas II in 1895 ordered construction of the railway. 1898 completed.” Both the text on the plaque and the double-headed eagle were gilded. It was installed on the steep northern slope of the Nurata rock, directly above two Arabic inscriptions carved into the rock: the first dates back to 1425, and the second to 1571.

In 1899, for the successful completion of the construction of the railway ahead of schedule, Ursati was promoted to acting state councilor. Thus, according to the Table of Ranks, he became a general.

In recognition of Alexander Ivanovich in Central Asia, one of the stations was named Ursat’evskaya (renamed Khavastsince in 1963, ). In 1899, Ursati left his mark in Tashkent, with the construction of one of the most beautiful churches of the city – the Church of the Annunciation, popularly called the Railway Church, on the station square of the city. Following the 1917 Revolution, the church was closed, and demolished in the 1920s.

PHOTO: Tamerlane Gate as it looks today

While the two ancient Arabic inscriptions carved into the rock at Tamerlane Gate have survived to the present day, the bronze and gilded plaque to Nicholas II was destroyed by the Bolsheviks. The railway became one of the most important means of communication in the area, and the workers on the railway became key activists during the Russian revolution. Both railway and workers also played an important role in the Russian Civil War. Troops of the British Indian Army participated in some of the battles along the railway line. Tashkent was an important bastion for the Red Army.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, vandals have repeatedly defaced the historic rock face at Tamerlane Gate with graffiti, including anti government slogans and profanity. Truly, a very sad example of the troubled times we live today.

© Paul Gilbert. 23 January 2021

New monument to Nicholas II opens in Murmansk Region

PHOTO: Monument to Nicholas II in the city of Kovdor, Murmansk Region

On 19th December 2020, a new monument-bust to Nicholas II was unveiled in the Murmansk region. The proposal to install the monument was approved only last week, after a vote by local residents with 512 participants in favour, and 38 against.

The bronze bust was established on the grounds of the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the city of Kovdor, which is situated about 300 km south of Murmansk.

The bust weighs 300 kilograms, and the marble pedestal weighs about two tons, and is planned to be erected in early 2021.

The idea of ​​erecting the monument is that of members of the Tsar’s Cross Movement in June 2020. The local church parish raised the necessary funds for the pedestal, and the bronze bust itself was donated by the Alley of Russian Glory sculptural workshop situated in Kropotkin, Krasnodar Krai region.

The purpose of erecting the monument to the Tsar-Martyr is to emphasize the contribution of Nicholas II to the development of the Murmansk region in the early 20th century.

Nicholas II is the founder of the city of Romanov-on-Murman, which was renamed Murmansk by the Bolsheviks in April 1917. In June 2019, the local airport was renamed after the Emperor; and on 20th November 2020, a permanent photo exhibition dedicated to Nicholas II was opened in the terminal building of the airport.

PHOTO: Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Kovdor

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Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, more than 70 monuments, busts and memorials to Nicholas II have been established in more than 30 regions across Russia. Click HERE to review more than 30 of them in my Nicholas II Monuments category

© Paul Gilbert. 21 December 2020