GRAND DUCHESSES MARIA AND ANASTASIA’S INFIRMARY

GRAND DUCHESSES MARIA AND ANASTASIA’S INFIRMARY

After the start of the First World War, “The Little Pair” – Grand Duchesses Maria and Anastasia  were still too young to be certified as “Sisters of Mercy” like their elder sisters Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana. However they too had their own infirmary located within a short distance of the Alexander Palace. The girls visited the patients at their infirmary daily: reading to them, helping them write letters, playing games, and generally trying to boost the morale of the wounded soldiers and officers. This was probably the first time the young grand duchesses faced the darker side of life – and death – as war time became their new reality. They recorded news of the infirmary regularly in  their diaries and letters. Read more GRAND DUCHESSES MARIA AND ANASTASIA’S INFIRMARY

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ROMANOV FAMILY IN FINLAND

Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov - in Finland.
Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov in Finland.

Every summer prior to the war, the Romanov family boarded their imperial yacht “The Standart” and headed for a holiday on the Finnish skerries. The time they spent in Finland was always one of their fondest memories.

From Grand Duchess Olga’s 1913 diary: Read more ROMANOV FAMILY IN FINLAND

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TSARSKOE SELO TODAY

TSARSKOE SELO TODAY
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Map of Tsarskoe Selo

Exactly ten years ago, in July and August of 2005, I got an extraordinary opportunity for an extended stay (2 months) at Tsarskoe Selo, the town currently known as Pushkin. Although I wasn’t there a tremendously long time, the nature of my visit allowed me a very close glimpse of what it would be like to live and work in Pushkin, as opposed to coming there as a tourist. Read more TSARSKOE SELO TODAY

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Yusupov Palace: Then and Now

Yusupov Palace: Then and Now

Yusupov Palace

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.

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FEODOROVSKY GORODOK AND FEODOROVSKY CATHEDRAL

FEODOROVSKY GORODOK

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

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TIME TRAVEL WITH ROMANOV FAMILY: CHILDREN’S ISLAND

TIME TRAVEL WITH ROMANOV FAMILY: CHILDREN’S ISLAND

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Chidren’s Island in the 19th century
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The playhouse on the 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.

 

Read more TIME TRAVEL WITH ROMANOV FAMILY: CHILDREN’S ISLAND

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