I was doing some major cleaning and came across this. Two small stones I “smuggled” from Russia back in 2004. Don’t worry, I picked these stones off the ground: they actually fell off from Georgievsky Cathedral at Russia’s oldest monastery – Yuriev Monastery (or Yurievsky Monastery) just outside of Novgorod (founded in 1119). Unfortunately this historic building is in much disrepair, at least it was in 2004 when I was there, which is why loose stones were constantly falling off it. The Romanov family made a pilgrimage there in December of 1916, shortly before the Russian revolution broke out. Grand Duchess Olga Romanov wrote about this experience in her diary. For some reason that day’s entry is missing from the 1916 diary of Tsar Nicholas II.
From the 1916 diary of Olga Romanov: Read more DIARY OF OLGA ROMANOV: YURIEVSKY MONASTERY, NOVGOROD