A brief look at the House of Ro­manov

Timeless Travels Magazine - - RUSSIA -

The Ro­manovs were one of the aris­to­cratic fam­i­lies of Moscow. In 1613, the Rus­sian crown was of­fered to Mikhail Ro­manov, and he be­came Michael I, the first Tsar of Rus­sia from the House of Ro­manovs.

Peter the Great was his grand­son, and it was he that es­tab­lished the first Rus­sian em­pire and trans­formed the coun­try through his so­cial re­forms and wars. The di­rect male line of the Ro­manovs came to an end with Peter’s daugh­ter, Em­press El­iz­a­beth, who died in 1762 with no chil­dren.

How­ever, the Hol­stein-Got­torps of Rus­sia were re­lated to the Ro­manovs through their ma­tri­lin­eal de­scent through Anna Petro­vna (Peter the Great’s el­der daugh­ter by his sec­ond wife). In 1742, Em­press El­iz­a­beth brought Anna’s son, her nephew Peter of Hol­stein-Got­torp, to St. Peters­burg and pro­claimed him her heir.

He mar­ried the Ger­man princess, Sophia of An­halt-Zerbst who took the Rus­sian name Cather­ine upon her mar­riage. She over­threw her hus­band, and with the aid of her lover Grig­ory Orlov, went on to reign as Cather­ine the Great.

Cather­ine’s grand­son Alexan­der II (who was as­sas­si­nated at the fu­ture lo­ca­tion of the Church of the Spilled Blood) is best known for lib­er­at­ing the serfs in 1861. He was suc­ceeded by his son Alexan­der III who was very con­ser­va­tive and re­versed some of the lib­eral re­forms of his fa­ther. There were no ma­jor wars dur­ing his reign.

His el­dest son, Nicholas II, was the last Ro­manov Em­peror. Nicholas II ab­di­cated on be­half of him­self and his son, in March 1917, dur­ing the Fe­bru­ary Revo­lu­tion end­ing over 300 years of Ro­manov rule. He was ex­e­cuted, along with mem­bers of his fam­ily, by the Bol­she­viks in July 1918.

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