Just came across this “then and now” photograph of the Yusupov Palace on Moika before the revolution, which I created on my last trip to Russia. I painstakingly lined up the “now” photograph, as you can see… just because. Of course this is the palace where the infamous Rasputin murder took place.
Across the Alexander Park, down the path from the palace Palace is Feodorovsky Gorodok, a tiny old Russia style town built by Nicholas II in the first decade of the 20th century as an attempt to return to the original Russian architecture and culture. Nicholas, unlike his earlier predecessor Peter the Great, loved all things Russian and had many ambitious plans for the Gorodok and the cathedral within it. But the First World War halted his plans, while the revolution ended them completely.
Currently the Gorodok still stands in semi-ruins, almost as symbol of things that could have been but never came to fruition. Reportedly some restoration has begun. But the area has not been completely abandoned: lots of things are going on inside, including a fully functioning privately owned restaurant in one of the courtyards. The former Grand Duchesses Maria and Anastasia’s infirmary and the buildings in the courtyard behind it have been converted to boarding rooms for the elderly who are too poor to afford housing and food. Read more FEODOROVSKY GORODOK AND FEODOROVSKY CATHEDRAL
TIME TRAVEL WITH ROMANOV FAMILY: CHILDREN’S ISLAND
Across a canal from the west wing of the Alexander Palace is a tiny island – called the Children’s Island, complete with a miniature but fully real play house. The play house was originally built for the children of the first Tsar Nicholas in 1830, but was fully enjoyed by the last imperial children. The little island also contains a grave yard for the beloved imperial pets.
There were two Russian revolutions that actually occurred in 1917. The first one, referred to as “The February Revolution” (also known as the February bourgeois-democratic revolution) – initiated the events in Petrograd, which resulted in the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II. These events span from the end of February to early March of 1917 (according to the Julian calendar then used in Russia).
The February revolution began as a spontaneous impulse of the masses, based on strong dissatisfaction with the liberal-bourgeois circles and with the (perceived) autocratic politics of the Tsar. Bread riots, anti-war rallies, demonstrations, and strikes superimposed on this discontent and contributed to the unrest of the revolutionary masses. On February 27, 1917 (March 12 on the Gregorian calendar), a major general strike grew into an armed uprising; the troops sided with the rebels, and took over the most important points of the city – the government buildings. Under these circumstances, the tsarist government was unable to come to a quick and decisive action which may have saved the Romanov dynasty rule. Read more THE TWO RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONS