UPDATE: Nicholas II Equestrian Monument in Kulebaki

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Photo © Irina Makarova

On 13th December 2019, I published an article Nicholas II Equestrian Monument Planned for the Russian city of Kulebaki (with photos) of a truly splended equestrian monument of Nicholas II by the sculptor Irina Makarova, which is to be installed in the Russian city of Kulebaki in July of this year.

I am pleased to share the following three videos by Max Bataev, which depict the process of creating this impressive equestrian of Russia’s last emperor and tsar:

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

Note: the Russian media refer to this monument as the first equestrian monument of Nicholas II to be established in Russia. The Kulebaki monument will be the second equestrian monument to Nicholas II in Russia, the first was established in Moscow.

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Ministry of Defense on the Frunze Embankment 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. 4 April 2020

Nicholas II monument proposed for Tsarskoye Selo

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© Philipp Moskvitin

The above sketch is for a proposed monument of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II by Russian artist Philipp Moskvitin. Note the crown of thorns that the tsar is holding in his right hand.

The artist’s idea has been presented to Tsarskoye Selo. It would be nice to see such a monument erected in the garden of the Alexander Palace, a perfect welcome to the Museum of the Russian Imperial Family, which is scheduled to officially open on 18th August 2020.

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© Philipp Moskvitin

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© Philipp Moskvitin

Click HERE to visit Philpp Moskvitin’s web site

© Philipp Moskvitin / Paul Gilbert. 28 February 2020

Monument to Nicholas and Alexandra to be established in Crimea

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The above image is an artist drawing of a monument that will be established in the Crimean town of Alushta later this year, in honour of the meeting of Tsesarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich and his future wife Princess Alix of Hesse and by Rhine on 10th October 1894, the date that will be inscribed on the monument.

In April 1894, Nicholas’s engagement to Alix was announced. When it became clear that the health of the Tsesarevich’s father Emperor Alexander III was serious, Alix was invited to the Crimea. The couple met at the Dove Cottage, where Alix stopped on the way to Livadia. Princess Alix travelled with her sister Ella to Livadia to receive the blessing of the dying emperor. Nicholas was accompanied by his uncle Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (Governor of Moscow). It is this historic moment – the meeting of four people – that will be depicted by sculptors.

According to the project manager, vice president of the St. Basil the Great Foundation, Mikhail Wilter, “the cost is estimated at about 18.5 million rubles. This includes four bronze sculptures, a granite pedestal, and an arch. The height of the monument is five meters, the length of the stone is about four meters, and the height of the figures themselves is more than two meters. We expect this project to be implemented in 2020. Part of the funds will come from the Saint Basil the Great Charitable Foundation, and we hope that Crimeans will also contribute to this important project,” said Wilter.

“The composition will consist of four figures – the couple themselves – Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna, her sister Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna and her husband Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, both of whom were present at the meeting of the future Imperial Couple. The arch unites two loving hearts – Nicholas and Alexandra, and is also crowned with an Orthodox cross. I would like the monument to be consecrated so that you can approach, even baptize, as they are saints. Newlyweds can come to the monument to have their wedding photos taken, ”said Irina Makarova, one of the sculptors participating in the project.

“The uniqueness of the sculpture is that all four people died tragically, three of them canonized by the Orthodox Church: Nicholas II, Alexandra Fedorovna and Elizaveta Fedorovna. This is a real human story,” said the author of the project Maxim Batayev, the other sculptor participating in the project.

The bronze and granite monument will be installed in the garden of the city library in October, while the territory surrounding it will be improved and planted with cypress trees.

Click HERE to read my article Love of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna to be immortalized in Crimea, published on 27th September 2019

© Paul Gilbert. 20 February 2020

Church of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II under construction in Novosibirsk

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The Church of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II in Novosibirsk

The Church of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, is now in the second phase of construction in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, with the final phase due to be completed in 2020.

The Church of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II is being built on the site of the Zakamensky Cemetery, which was destroyed by the Soviets in the middle of the 20th century. During construction of the stone church, liturgies are carried out in a temporary wooden building nearby, which is intended for the administration building. Construction has been slow, due to lack of funding, much of which has been collected by donations collected by local parishioners. 

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The consecration of the church dome and cross was performed by
Metropolitan Tikhon of Novosibirsk and Berd on 19th May 2018

The future church is based on the design of the Cathedral of the Spaso-Andronikov Monastery in Moscow. The temporary wooden church is a simple architectural design. It was consecrated on 23rd March 2007. In 2009, a belfry was built. It contains six bells cast at the Svetolitie enterprise, and an evangelist cast at the Litex Moscow plant in 2012. The temporary belfry is an architectural one-story building in the form of an octahedron crowned with a crown – a dome with a cross. The tier of ringing is with eight openings located on the cardinal points.

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Icon of the Holy Royal Martyrs in the temporary wooden church

The church is consecrated in honour of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II. A decision of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church of 14 August 2000, Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsesarevich Alexy, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia were canonized as holy martyrs.

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Monument of Emperor Nicholas II and Tsesarevich Alexei in Novosibirsk

A monument of Emperor Nicholas II with his son and heir Tsesarevich Alexei was established on 17th July 2017, on the grounds of the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Novosibirsk.

© Paul Gilbert. 20 December 2019

Memorial Bas-relief plaque of Nicholas II installed in Voronezh

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Memorial plaque to Emperor Nicholas II by the sculptor  Alexander Melnichenko

On 19th December 2019, a memorial plaque in memory of Emperor Nicholas II was unveiled in the Russian city of Voronezh, and consecrated by Metropolitan Sergiy of Voronezh and Liskinsky.

The date marks the 105th anniversary of the emperor’s visit to Voronezh on 19th December 1914. This was the second time Nicholas visited Voronezh, the first was in 1887, when he visited the city as heir to the throne, together with his father Alexander III.

The bas-relief plaque was made by the sculptor Alexander Melnichenko, and placed on the facade of the former Mariinsky Gymnasium (now the Youth House, situated on Revolution Avenue). During the First World War, the gymnasium served as a hospital for Russian soldiers, and it was here that the Emperor met with those who had been wounded. 

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The memorial plaque was consecrated by Metropolitan Sergiy of Voronezh and Liskinsky

Today, 19 December (O.S. 6 December) is also the day when the Orthodox Church honours the memory of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, the patron saint of Nicholas II.

During Nicholas II’s visit to Voronezh on 19th December 1914, an arch to honour his visit was built near Petrovsky Square (which has not survived). The Emperor together with the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna and the Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana Nikolaevna, attended a Divine Liturgy held in the Annunciation Cathedral, after which, they visited the Mitrofanov Monastery, where the Emperor presented awards to wounded Russian soldiers.

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© Paul Gilbert. 19 December 2019

Russian Singer Has Chapel built in Honour of Nicholas II in Klin

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NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 15 February 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation (2016), rock singer Olga Kormukhina has financed the construction of a chapel in honour of Emperor Nicholas II in Klin.

The Chapel-monument is situated on the M-10 Russia highway near the Tchaikovsky Museum-Reserve.

“Everything that I was looking for coincided here: the ancient city of Klin, the blessings of two elders, the music of Tchaikovsky, who was revered by the Imperial family, and the imperial route from Moscow to St. Petersburg,” said Kormukhina during an interview with the TASS News Agency.

Kormukhina explained that she had been looking for location to build a chapel for 15 years. It was Nikolay Guryanov (1901-2002), a highly respected spiritual figure within the Russian Orthodox Church and reputed myrrh-bearing starets and priest, and later the elder Elijah (Nozdryn), who turned her attention to this location. After visiting Klin, she agreed that it was here that the Tsar’s chapel should be erected. The city of Klin and the history of the Imperial family shared an important connection. “This was the location of the miracle-working icon of the Mother of God Klinskaya, which was especially honoured by the Romanov dynasty, and Peter Tchaikovsky, the favourite composer of Nicholas II and his family,” noted the singer.

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Mosaic bearing the image of Nicholas II

The features of the chapel include a mosaic icon bearing the image of Nicholas II, which is located inside, and a bas-relief in the form of a cross.

The chapel has already become a favourite place for both locals and visitors to Klin. People come here to pray, light candles, and in the evening the glow of light coming from within the white chapel, add a special beauty to its gilded dome. The local tourist office noted that it is included in a new tourist route, which runs from the station to the Tchaikovsky House. “It blesses all those traveling along the Moscow-Saint Petersburg highway,” – said Kormukhina.

The consecration of the chapel is scheduled to take place on Forgiveness Sunday, 18th February, with the blessing of Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna.

© Paul Gilbert. 14 December 2019

Nicholas II Equestrian Monument Planned for the Russian city of Kulebaki

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Artists concept of the equestrian monument to Tsar Martyr Nicholas II on the grounds of the
Church of the Holy Martyr Michael (Gusev), located on Admiral Makarov Street in Kulebaki

“The monument will be a symbol of universal repentance”

Donations are now being collected for a monument to Tsar Martyr Nicholas II, which which will be established in the Russian city of Kulebaki, in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

With the blessing of Bishop Vyksa and Pavlovsky Barnabas, the monument is to be installed on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Martyr Michael (Gusev), located on Admiral Makarov Street in Kulebaki.

According to the initiators of the project, the installation of the monument is planned for 17th July 2020, the day marking the murders of the Imperial Family. The cost of the monument is 5 million rubles ($80,000 USD). To date, more than 1 million has been raised. Work is already underway, which includes the metal frame for the monument.

The sculptor of the future monument is Irina Makarova, the same author of the monument to the Holy Royal Martyrs established in the St. Seraphim-Diveyevo Convent in July 2017. Makarova presents the Tsar on horseback, holding an Orthodox cross in the air – truly impressive!

The initiators are 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. ”

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In an interview with the newspaper Kulebaksky Metallist, the rector of the church Archpriest Nikolai Boldyrev spoke about the Orthodox initiative:

“The reason for our troubles is the violation of the Cathedral Oath of 1613. The fact is that Russia (the church and the people), taught by the bitter experience of the Polish yoke, at the zemstvo-local Council of 1613 made a vow to God to faithfully serve his anointed, autocratic tsars from the Romanov dynasty, until the second coming of Christ,” recalls Father Nikolai.

“Having shot the Tsar and his family in 1918, the Russian people had broken their oath,” the priest claims. “We rejected and killed the Tsar anointed by God.”

According to Father Nikolai, in order to atone for this crime, “firstly, it is necessary to deeply comprehend and realize your sin, and secondly, to sincerely repent of it. Moreover, this applies to almost all classes, including the clergy, which lacked the wisdom and strength to stop the crime against both Divine and civil laws. We all need to embark on the path of repentance. Without it, nothing good awaits us. And this is the main problem. ”

“Thank God that much has changed in recent years,” noted Father Nikolai – “The glorification of the Holy Royal Martyrs has passed. At the place of their murder, the Church on the Blood was built, penitential prayers are underway, icons are painted, books are published. People began to see spiritually. The construction of this monument in our city is a sign of repentance. We repent with the whole world – both for our ancestors and for ourselves. The monument will be an eternal reminder not only of that terrible sin, but also a symbol of universal repentance. Passing by, anyone can say: “Forgive us, Sovereign, for our sins.”

Expressing hope, Archpriest Nikolai Boldyrev added – “The place, financial expenses, the Lit-Art company from the city of Zhukovsk, which plans to cast the monument in six months, were determined, the sculptor was chosen. Like churches, we will build a monument to the whole world. We hope that Kulebachans will respond to this good deed.”

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Billboard promoting the monument in Kulebaki

© Paul Gilbert. 13 December 2019

State Russian Museum Establishes Monument to Founding Emperors

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NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 17 March 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

On 15th March 2018, the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg, established a monument to its two founding emperors Alexander III and Nicholas II.

The monument, which was established in the courtyard of the museum, was designed by the Russian sculptor Ilya Dyukov. It features a granite base with bronze portraits of the two emperors, and the text of the decree on the establishment of the museum, published in April 1895.

The monument was established on the eve of the 120th anniversary of the birth of the State Russian Museum. The main building of the museum is the former Mikhailovsky Palace, a splendid Neoclassical residence of Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich (1798-1849), constructed between 1819-1825. Upon the death of the Grand Duke the residence was named after his wife as the Palace of the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna, and became famous for its many theatrical presentations and balls.

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The museum was established on 25 (O.S. 13) April 1895, by Emperor Nicholas II and renamed the Russian Museum of Emperor Alexander III, in honour of his father, who was a great patron of Russian art. The museum was officially opened on 19 (O.S. 7) March 1898. The following day, the museum received its first visitors, and over time would acquire a rich collection of art and sculpture. After the 1917 Revolution, many private collections were nationalized and relocated to the renamed State Russian Museum.

Today it is the world’s largest depository of Russian art, a unique and beautiful architectural complex of palaces and gardens in the heart of St Petersburg, with a collection of more than 410 thousand items.

© Paul Gilbert. 13 December 2019

Historical Society Memorial Plaque with Nicholas II Established in St Petersburg

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NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 20 March 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

On 18th March 2018, the unveiling of a memorial plaque dedicated to the 110th anniversary of the creation of the Imperial Russian Military Historical Society (RVIO) was held in St Petersburg. The plaque was installed on the building of the Museum of Artillery, Engineering Troops and Signal Corps.

The opening ceremony was attended by the leadership of the Russian Military Historical Society, the delegation of RVIO branches from 68 regions of the country, as well as representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry.

For the first time in the last 100 years a commemorative plaque with a portrait and signature of Emperor Nicholas II was established in St. Petersburg, who in 1907 received the title of Honorary Chairman of the Russian Military Historical Society. From 1907 to 1917, the former Artillery Historical Museum (now the Museum of Artillery, Engineer and Signal Corps of the Ministry of Defense of Russia), housed the Council, the Chancellery and the repository of the main fund of the Imperial Russian Military Historical Society.

“Over the past five years, the Russian Military Historical Society has established more than 200 memorials and plaques. But this memorial plaque is special to us, because it emphasizes the connection of times between those people who created the society, and those who continue these traditions today,” – said Vladislav Kononov, Executive Director of RVIO.

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The opening ceremony was also attended by the descendants of the military dynasty of Skalon. In 1907, Major-General Dmitry Antonovich Skalon (1840-1919) was elected Chairman of the Council of the Imperial Russian Military Historical Society.

The plaque was designed by the Adviser to the Chairman of the Russian Military Historical Society Rostislav Medinsky, sculptor Denis Stritovich and the artist Timur Yurchenko .

The composition of the plaque features two inscriptions of Emperor Nicholas II, who in 1907 personally approved the Charter of the organization: “I agree. I highly approve of the establishment of this Society.” Later, Nicholas II accepted the title of Honorary Chairman of the Russian Military Historical Society, granting it the right to be called the Imperial Society: “Deeply sympathizing with the aims of the Society, I readily accept the Honour of its Honorary Chairman, and I salute him with the name “IMPERIAL”.

It is interesting to note that the Imperial Russian Military Historical Society, was one of the four Imperial Societies, along with the Russian Geographical Society, the Russian Historical Society and the Orthodox Palestine Society – created by the Decree of Emperor Nicholas II in 1907. All four societies ceased their activities after the 1917 Revolution.

© Paul Gilbert. 13 December 2019

Duma Deputy Proposes Monument to Nicholas II for Central Moscow

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NOTE: All of the articles pertaining to Nicholas II and his family which were originally published in my Royal Russia News blog, have been moved to this Nicholas II blog. This article was originally posted on 19 May 2018 in my Royal Russia News blog – PG

The first deputy chairman of the Duma Committee for Public Associations and Religious Organizations, Ivan Sukharev, has prepared a request to Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin for permission to establish a life-size monument to Nicholas II in the center of the Russian capital.

Sukharev believes that perpetuating the memory of the last Russian emperor will help restore historical justice. The parliamentarian noted that a monument was installed in the center of Belgrade in November 2014, while in central Moscow there is not even a memorial plaque [Note: this is not entirely correct, please see my list of monuments to Nicholas II in Moscow and surrounding region at the bottom of this article – PG].

In turn, the Moscow Monumental Art Commission announced that they are ready to consider the proposal to install a monument to Nicholas II in Moscow, if the artist of the initiative can prepare the necessary documents for the Commission to evaluate.

Meanwhile, the head of the Commission on Culture and Mass Communications, Yevgeny Gerasimov believes that a monument to Nicholas II should be established in St. Petersburg instead of Moscow.

“I do not see any significant place in Moscow for this monument, from my point of view, it might be possible to establish it in St. Petersburg,” Gerasimov told RIA Novosti. He noted that the Moscow City Duma had not yet applied for the installation of the monument to Nicholas II in the capital.

Nikolai Svanidze, member of the commission of the Human Rights Council under the President of the Russian Federation for Freedom of Information and Journalists’ Rights, publicist and journalist, also supports the initiative to establish a monument to the last Russian emperor, but noted that it would be more logical to do this in St. Petersburg.

“Nicholas II had no ties to Moscow, but to the capital St. Petersburg. Nicholas II and Moscow are bound only by the Khodynka Field. This is the tragic connection between the two.” Svanidze, however, agrees that Nicholas II, deserves a monument in his honour, even despite the controversy which haunts his reign.

Meanwhile, the monuments has already angered the leaders of radical left-wing groups, such as the Left Front and Yabloko, who spoke out against the idea of ​​perpetuating the memory of the last tsar, who make the absurd comparison towards sympathizers of Nicholas II as “Nazi collaborators”.

There are currently four outstanding monuments to Nicholas II in the Moscow region, they include a magnificent equestrian monument to Nicholas II on the Frunze Embankment (center); another at the Novospassky Monastery (below); and two monuments established in suburban Moscow: at Mytishchi in the north (top left) and Podolsk in the south (top right). There are also a number of busts to Nicholas II: the Petrovsky Palace, the Church of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the former Lazarev Cemetery, the Church of St. Nicolas, Saint Nicholas Berlyukovsky Monastery, situated on the outskirts of Avdotyino, and the Armenian Center in Moscow.

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© Paul Gilbert. 11 December 2019