The Timothy Dalton Chat Group Presents
Timothy's Narration Script for the CZARS: 400 Years of Imperial Grandeur Exhibition.

Here is the Narration Script that Timothy was given in order to narrate the CZARS: 400 Years of Imperial Grandeur Exhibition.

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(c) Copyright 2002 WONDERS

WONDERS -- Treasures from the Moscow Kremlin.

Antenna Audio ADULT Tour


Timothy Dalton: Hello. I'm Timothy Dalton. Welcome to Czars: Four Hundred Years of Imperial Grandeur. You're about to see art and artifacts from a time when a single family ruled all of Russia -- the Romanovs. These treasures tell us not only about the extraordinary Romanov Dynasty, but also about the very heart and soul of Russia.

The first stop on your tour is just to the left as you enter the first gallery. [direction TBD] -- it's a scale model of the Moscow Kremlin.

Before you begin, take a moment to become familiar with your player. When you see a number next to an object, simply enter that number into your keypad and wait a moment for the message to begin. You can access these messages in any order that you wish.

Now, come-enter the extraordinary world of the Romanovs.


Timothy Dalton: Of all the great power centers in the world, the Moscow Kremlin ranks as one of the most impressive and historic. The citadel served as Russia's political and religious core beginning in the 14th century. This model shows how it looked in the 19th century. The word Kremlin means fortress. The walls of this bastion are 10 to 20 feet thick, surrounding an almost 70-acre site.

One of the Kremlin's most appealing open spaces is Cathedral Square. It's flanked by the majestic Assumption Cathedral [direction TBD] with its five golden domes. It was completed in 1479, and was the first Kremlin cathedral. Here is where Czars were crowned and anointed by the church.

Now, find Terem Palace, with its red walls and diamond-patterned rooftop [direction TBD]. It's the oldest building in the Kremlin and was the residence of the Czars until 1712, when the Russian capital moved to St. Petersburg.

The Armory [direction TBD] started as an arsenal for weaponry but became a repository for Imperial family treasures. It holds an overwhelming amount of precious and historical artifacts, many of which you'll see today.

Before you move on to the next gallery, take a moment to look at the Kremlin in more detail. All around the room [direction TBD] are prints, drawings, and paintings.

The Anointing of Czar Mikhail Feodorovich Tapestry (TK-2970)

Timothy Dalton: SFX: numerous ringing church bells. The first Romanov Czar -- Mikhail Feodorovich -- rose to the throne on July 11, 1613. Here's a tapestry that captures that momentous occasion. The consecration took place at the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin. Bells of all the Kremlin churches rang out with reverent tribute.

Mikhail Feodorovich, just 16 years old, stands in the center. He holds his right hand over his heart. He wears the full royal costume -- layer upon layer of brocade, velvet, and satin heavy with studded jewels. One foreign guest attending the ceremony commented…

CHARACTER VOICE: One small part of this magnificence would have been enough to adorn ten sovereigns.

Timothy Dalton: Mikhail's mother looks on behind him. The Archbishop gestures grandly, anointing the young Czar and giving his blessing of holy patronage. Kneeling below them, an official offers the crown, scepter, and golden orb -- symbols of the Russian ruler.

The Romanovs rose to power after a period called the Time of Troubles, when famine, war, and economic hardship gripped Russia. There were also disputes over the throne. When Ivan the Terrible died in 1584, he had no heirs. The title of Czar passed through six rulers-until it finally fell upon a Romanov. This was the beginning of a dynasty that lasted 300 years.

Michail FeodorovichAlexei MikhailovichFeodor Alexeevich

Portraits of Three Romanov Czars -- Mikhail Feodorovich (ZH-1960, Alexei Mikhailovich (ZH-1961), Feodor Alexeevich (ZH-1946).

4. Timothy Dalton: These are portraits of the first three Romanov Czars. The man on the left [direction TBD] holding the scepter and orb is the first Czar, Mikhail Feodorovich. He unified Russia after the turbulent years of the Time of Troubles, and normalized foreign policy. The court physician, an Englishman named Samuel Collins, said this of him…

CHARACTER VOICE (COURT PHYSICIAN): Mikhail is a leader of extraordinary kindness. He has always lived in peace and in friendship with all Christian nations. He loves foreigners and is very pious.

Timothy Dalton: Just next to him, on the right, is his son, Alexei Mikhailovich, who succeeded him on the throne. He was known as the "Quiet One" because of his religious devotion. The court physician described him in this way…

CHARACTER VOICE (COURT PHYSICIAN-same as above): His Imperial Majesty is a goodly person…of a majestical deportment, severe in his anger, bountiful, charitable...of a strong memory, [and] strict in his devotions.

Timothy Dalton: The third portrait, to the far right, [direction TBD] is Czar Alexei's son, Feodor Alexeevich. He rose to the throne at only 14, but was well educated and religiously devout. He also had a flair for the literary. He reformed the Russian army, doing away with the precedence system that awarded military rank according to ancestry instead of merit. He said…

CHARACTER VOICE (CZAR FEODOR ALEXEEVICH): In times gone by, this system brought about great misfortune…therefore, we, the sovereign…command that this code…be abolished…and the hearts torn apart by this perfidy unite in peaceful and blessed love.

5. Coffin Cloth for the tomb of Metropolitan Peter (TK-31)

SFX: reverent chiming of a single church bell.

Timothy Dalton: The man depicted here was the Metropolitan Peter. A Metropolitan in the Russian Orthodox Church was like an Archbishop. But Peter was also considered a saint and a miracle worker. He moved the seat of the Russian church from Vladimir to Moscow in 1325. He then sanctioned the rights of Muscovy Princes to become Czars.

The large embroidered cloth decorated with pearls and gems was a coffin cover for the saint's shrine or tomb. Above his gold-studded halo is an image of the Christian Trinity. The two bands over his shoulders are an inscription.

The Orthodox Church was central to Russian life. The head of the church -- known as the Patriarch -- was almost as powerful as the Czar. The Patriarch's residence in the Kremlin was magnificent. He had a large staff and his own ceremonial processions. The Czar and Patriarch were considered the two chosen by God and were represented by the symbol of the two-headed eagle -- Russia's state emblem.

6. Ecclesiastical Pieces: Chalice, Spoon, Paten, Holy Water Vessel, Censer (MR-4430, MR-1780, MR-5215, MR-8991, MR-5215)
SFX: church chanting, singing, prayers

Timothy Dalton: These glittering gold and silver objects were used during services of the Russian Orthodox Church. Look for the chalice with its wide bowl. * It was the container for the Holy Eucharist. This bread of Christ was cut into smaller parts on the plate, or paten, nearby [direction TBD], and then served with the spoon. The spoon was also a symbol of the bond between worshipper and church -- the spoon fed the soul of the believer. St. Gregory the Great said that during Holy Communion, Earth and Heaven unite, and the invisible becomes visible.

That large silver vessel held holy water for cleansing the soul. * And the incense burner with the long chain was swept to and fro, filling the church with perfumed smoke. *

Russian churches-and especially the cathedrals of the Kremlin-were elaborately adorned with frescoes and icons. The congregation experienced a spellbinding world of flickering candles, wafting incense, chanted prayers, and song. The Russian priest recited this invocation:

CHARACTER VOICE: Sanctify those who love the beauty of thy house, glorify them and reward them with thy divine might.

7. Iconostasis -- The Czar's Gates -- The Royal Doors PICTURES MATTHEW MARK LUKE JOHN(ZH- 452/1-4)


From left to right, Matthew and Mark.

Timothy Dalton:: SFX: religious chanting, or spiritual music This wall, filled with sacred images, is called an iconostasis. In a Russian Orthodox Church, it separated the altar from the congregation. The holy pictures that adorn it are called icons.


From left to right Luke and John.

In the center of the wall are what are called the Royal Doors. Only ordained clergy passed through these doors. They carried the blessed sacrament of the Holy Eucharist from the altar of God to the people. Look at the four rectangular paintings on the doors. * These are the four evangelists -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Notice their facial expressions. * They show neither sorrow nor joy. Instead, they express reverence. Icons emphasized spirit rather than physical nature. The bodies are painted flat, the settings mere suggestions-everything is symbolic. Above them is the Annunciation, where the angel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she will give birth to Christ.

The images on the iconostasis follow a set pattern. Over the doors is a painting of the Last Supper with a portrait of Christ above it. To his right is the Virgin Mother, to his left is John the Baptist. * In the next tier are the Apostles. * The third tier shows prophets from the Old Testament. Icons were much more than religious paintings. For the believer, they were the embodiment of God.

8. Child's Armor (OR-304/1-10)

Timothy Dalton: Can you imagine a child wearing armor? This child-sized armor made of iron, brass, and leather authentically imitates an adult's suit of armor. But it wasn't meant for battle. It was an elaborate toy for a young Czarevich -- which is the eldest son of a Czar, destined for the throne. Czar Alexei Mikhailovich probably played in this armor when he was a boy.

The Kremlin workshops often built military toys for the sons of Czars. These playthings were made with almost the same care and attention to detail as adult arms. When Czar Peter the First was growing up, he played with miniature axes, toy maces, cannon models, knives, and bows and arrows.

The life of a Czarevich was surrounded with luxury. All his clothes were made of extravagant fabrics. From the day he was born until he was 6 or 7, he received the doting attention of a large staff of female servants. After that, male tutors and mentors took care of his upbringing and education.

Both the Czarevich and the Czarevna -- the Czar's daughter -- were seen only by relatives, royalty, and teachers until they were 15. Even in church, a cloth screen hid them from others.

9. Cradle (TK-2840)

Timothy Dalton: Here is a royal cradle with golden spheres, and horses carved in the wood. It's lined with red Chinese velvet. Traditionally, the godmother of the Czarevich ordered his cradle a few days after his birth.

As soon as he was born, a Czarevich was measured, so that an icon of his patron saint could be painted in his exact size. For his christening, the baby was taken to the Chudov Monastery of the Kremlin in an elegant sleigh or carriage edged in gold brocade. As part of the grand ceremony, a lock of his hair was sealed in wax and kept in the cathedral. This would help ward off suffering for the new heir.

The young Czarevich actually slept in a cradle for a number of years. It is said that Czarevich Feodor Alexeevich slept in his until he was twelve years old.

10. Icons: Birth of Christ (KP-51690) Harrowing into Hell- (ZH-540/1-2)

Timothy Dalton: These two objects are excellent examples of traditional Russian icon painting. Icons adorned churches, but they were also displayed at home. They were a spiritual presence, bringing comfort and inspiration to believers. Saint John Damascene said,
CHARACTER VOICE: The icon is an image of a mysterious and heavenly vision, a hymn of praise, a manifestation.

Timothy Dalton: Look at the icon on the right [direction TBD], titled the Nativity. * Although IT WAS painted at the end of the 19th century, it uses icon techniques perfected in the 17th century. The picture is crowded with sacred scenes. Look at the top center. * Here is the Nativity, with Mary and the Christ child in the manger. The scenes below include the Magi presenting gifts, the flight to Egypt, and the massacre of the innocents. *

Now, look at the painting on the left [direction TBD]. * This icon, from the first half of the 17th century, captures Christ's triumph over evil. Christ rises in the center, surrounded by light. At his feet, the chain and locks of hell are shattered. He holds the hands of Adam and Eve, bringing them to redemption and banishing original sin.

This icon was part of the iconostasis in the Archangel Cathedral of the Kremlin where many Romanov family members were buried.

11. Two Tankards & Ship Table Ornament (F-122, MZ-345, MZ-1679)

Timothy Dalton: Every object used by the Czar and his family and court was expensive, refined, and often ornate. Look over these tankards.

The largest silver one, with the detailed filigree, belonged to the Czarevich Ivan, the eldest son of Ivan the Terrible. Unfortunately, young Ivan never made it to Czar. His father killed him during what seemed to be a trivial dispute over his wife's attire.

To the left [direction TBD], the smaller tankard was made almost a hundred years later, in the mid-17th century. The medallion on top was added in the early 19th century, when the country was in a patriotic fervor. Russia had just driven back Napoleon the First's invading forces. The tankard commemorates the historic marriage of Czar Alexei Mikhailovich and Czarina Natalia Krillovna. Look for the Czar and his bride joining hands before the Patriarch, who holds an open book.

The fanciful ship was a table decoration from the end of the 17th century. This was a time when Russia had no navy or fleet of ships. Seafaring was a dream of distant lands and romance. This ship is on wheels because of the prevailing myth that English monarchs sailed the land in ships.

12. Helmet (Erikhonskaya Shapka) of Boyar Prince Feodor Ivanovich Mstislavsky (OR-118)

Timothy Dalton: The military helmet you see here is a valuable royal possession of the Kremlin Armory Collection. Its use was purely ceremonial -- so ceremonial it was not even worn. The oruzhnichii, who was the head of the Kremlin Armory, respectfully carried the helmet as he rode in military processions behind the Czar.

The 17th- century helmet is from Turkey. The vertical fluting of the Damascus steel accentuates the helmet's elegant, pointed shape. The tip is studded with rubies and turquoise, and a large sapphire adorns the teardrop plaque beneath the tip. This plaque is attached to a sliding nose bar.

Military reviews were grand occasions that lasted days. Often they'd take place before a military campaign or after a victory. In parade processions, regiments carried precious armor and banners from the Kremlin Armory. This type of helmet is called an erikhonskaya shapka -- erikonitsia means to stand out or impress with one's beauty.

13. Broadsword and Scabbard & Saber and Scabbard of Czar Ivan Alexeevich (OR-4445/1-2, Or-4567/1-2)

SFX: Russian traditional heraldic music, horses on parade:

Timothy DaltonCeremonial processions and parades were a big part of Russian royal life. These swords were worn during military reviews or receptions for foreign ambassadors. Imagine battalions lined up in lavish uniforms with swords and scabbards glistening with jewels. [SFX: many church bells.] After successful military campaigns, the bells of every Moscow church rang out triumphantly.

Take a look at the broad sword on the left [direction TBD]. It was worn by someone from the wealthiest class of the military. It was made in the Kremlin workshops, and probably fashioned after a trophy or gift from an ambassador. At the tip of the hilt is a dragon's head. * Two more dragon heads curve down from the other end of the hilt. The dragon was a symbol of war in countries like Turkey and Persia.

To your right [direction TBD], the long thin saber and its scabbard belonged to Czar Ivan Alexeevich. It was probably a gift from an Eastern ambassador. A ceremonial saber like this was usually worn on the sovereign's belt, or attached to his horse's saddle. An inscription near the head of the blade says: Immaculate Mary Help Your Slave.

14. Ceremonial Horse Trappings -- Saddle, Stirrups, Bridle, Breast Ornament, Bridle Chain, Neck Tassel, Head Band, Horse Cloth (K-230,K-407/1-2, K-235, K-414, K-107/15, K-685, K-1087, TK-2620)

Timothy Dalton: SFX: Horses on parade, the clanking of large silver chains…

For ceremonial processions, the royal assemblage were not the only ones dressed in ornate uniforms -- so were their horses. As many as twenty-four horses were decked out in the kind of elaborate finery you see here.

The saddle comes from the Treasury of Czar Alexei Mikhailovich. It's covered in red velvet with embroidered tulips, carnations, and pomegranate flowers. Notice the horse cloth, or caparison -- it's studded with rubies and pearls. Both were gifts from Turkey.

The other glittering horse gear is also Turkish. There are decorations for the horse's head, neck, and chest. They're covered in silver gilt with rubies, turquoise, emeralds or nephrite stones.

Do you see the ornate silver chain? It's almost ten feet long, and was used as a reign to lead the horse in parade. One foreign observer remarked…

CHARACTER VOICE: Instead of reins, the horses wore enormous silver chains. The links of the chain were more than two inches in width, but the silver was no thicker than the blunt edge of a knife…these chains made a mighty noise when the horses moved.

Timothy Dalton: Another onlooker said…

CHARACTER VOICE: ..the attire was of the grandest, with clanking chains, reins, and nauzy…

Timothy Dalton: Nauzy are long silken tassels that hung from the horse's neck -- like the one displayed here. All this equestrian finery served to show off the wealth of the sovereign.

15. Snow Leopard Wine Vessel (MZ-693)

Timothy Dalton: This snow leopard was presented to the Russian court in 1629. It's a gilded silver sculpture from England that is also a wine vessel. The leopard's head comes off, but is attached by chains that hang from lion heads on the leopard's shoulders. *

By the end of the 15th century, many foreign emissaries began visiting the Russian capital, and Russian ambassadors began traveling abroad. These meetings created relationships and alliances for Russia, especially with Europe and the Eastern countries.

It was the custom for visiting ambassadors to bring the Czar precious and often unusual gifts, like this snow leopard. Each country tried to show off its wealth and taste by presenting the most lavish gifts possible -- not to do so would have been an embarrassment.

There's a story about an ambassador from a Western country who was robbed during his journey to Moscow. The only gift he had left to bring the Czar was a chiming clock. Well, even the Russian court knew this would make a pitiful offering. So the Russian Treasury loaned the foreign ambassador precious gifts to present to the Czar.

16. Riding Caftan (Tyerlik) & Ambassadorial Axe (TK-2616, OR-2235)

Timothy Dalton: When foreign diplomats were in Moscow, the height of their visit was an audience with the Czar. For the reception, Russian court officials wore luxurious caftans like these. Some carried a ceremonial axe like the one you see here.

The audience with the Czar was a public event. Royal officials in these crimson robes made an impressive display. The robe, called a tyerlik, is made from velvet, damask, and gold thread. The two-headed eagle is embroidered on the front and back.

The large axe was probably made in Turkey, and it also has a two-headed eagle emblem. * The axe was held by the Czar's bodyguard, known as the ryndy.

The event was an opportunity for the Czar to show off the refinement of his court. One foreign envoy at a reception had this to say…

CHARACTER VOICE: His Tsarist was seated on the throne attired in a robe set with all sorts of precious stones…His crown was encrusted with large diamonds, as was the golden scepter, which, probably because of its weight, he transferred now and then from one hand to the other.

17. Two Drinking Ladles, Three Drinking Cups, Wine Vessel, Small Pitcher (K-4142, MR-4156, MR-4133/1-2, DK-21, MR-5167, MR-4169, MR-4189)

SFX: hubbub of a grand banquet, crescendos of many people toasting

Timothy Dalton: These objects of varying shapes and size are all types of drinking vessels -- some for private use and others for royal public feasts. The flat shallow cups are called drinking ladles. * Some drinking cups were made of precious materials like crystal, agate, or jasper. Look for the red cup here that's made of transparent red cornelian. *

To welcome ambassadors to Moscow, a grand banquet was held in Granovitaya Hall at the Kremlin. Sitting at the royal table was a great privilege, and the closer you sat to the Czar the more important you were. The feast lasted for hours, several courses were served, and there were numerous toasts. For each toast, guests would stand, bow, and then sit down again. One ambassador remembered…

CHARACTER VOICE: We stood so often that from hour to hour the movement increased my appetite.

Timothy Dalton: Plenty of food and drink were also sent from the royal kitchens to an ambassador's Moscow residence. One ambassador kept a record of deliveries for his 30-man staff on a 16-week stay…

CHARACTER VOICE: …48 bulls, 336 rams, 1,680 chickens, 112 geese, 224 ducks, 11, 200 eggs, 10 deer, and 336 pounds of butter.

18. Throne and Footstool of Emperor Paul I (R-36)

Royal Throne

Throne of Emperor Paul I made of birch and gold-embroidered velvet. Copyright ©2002 WONDERS.

Timothy Dalton: This throne and footstool belonged to Emperor Paul the First. Paul ruled from 1796-1801 -- just after Catherine the Great, who was his mother.

The throne has the Russian State emblem embroidered on the seat back -- a double-headed eagle. In the center of the eagle is a Maltese cross -- a symbol that Paul the First added to the state emblem.

Paul sat on this throne during official ceremonies with foreign heads of state. Benjamin Franklin, in his role as American Ambassador, said this of Paul…

CHARACTER VOICE (BENJAMIN FRANKLIN): He appears lively and active, with a sensible, spirited countenance.

Timothy Dalton: And Paul had this to say on the subject of government…

CHARACTER VOICE (PAUL I): The object of every society is the happiness of each and all. Society cannot exist unless the will of everyone is directed to a common goal.

Timothy Dalton: Paul mandated many changes, especially limiting the power of the nobility and reforming conditions for peasants. These changes disgruntled the aristocracy and resulted in a successful plot to kill the monarch. Ironically, after Paul's death, subsequent Emperors expanded and solidified the very changes he had initiated.

19. Pieces from the Kremlin Service

Timothy Dalton: Emperor Nicholas the First commissioned this Kremlin porcelain service in the last half of the 19th century. Its design is based on 17th-century Russian decorative art. The gold and jewel-like motif imitates the look of precious stones.

At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great had revolutionized Russian society. He had traveled widely, and he insisted that the Russian court adopt European customs -- which resulted in many extravagant parties. (SFX: sounds of a large banquet, Russian or European court music for dancing…)

This porcelain service was used for elaborate banquets that were a mainstay of Russian court life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Party-goers marveled over the festivities…

CHARACTER VOICE:…a buffet was laid with antique vessels of gold, silver and porcelain…

CHARACTER VOICE: …after several dishes had been served…[we were] suddenly presented a magnificent dessert with all manner of moving figures, fountains, floating vessels, and other curiosities…

Timothy Dalton: Peter the Great moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg, where he built a new city based on European architecture. Within these palaces, two centuries of dazzling receptions took place. One attendee exclaimed…

CHARACTER VOICE: …We were struck by the beauty and richness of these apartments. Our surprise however soon gave way to delight at the sight of so many ladies…in magnificent diamond-studded costumes…as the orchestra of eighty musicians struck up a thunderous noise…

20. Garden Carriage of Empress Anna Ivanovna - (K-3)


I am not sure if this is the actual Garden Carriage that belonged to Empress Anna Ivanovna, but if not it would have been like this one.

SFX: garden sounds, birds singing, etc.

Timothy Dalton: This delicate carriage belonged to the Empress Anna Ivanovna. There's a box for the driver and two seats for passengers. Can you picture the Empress touring the palace garden in her carriage? On the front seat panel is a portrait of her.

Anna Ivanovna ruled between 1730-1740. Her reign was known as the reign of terror. She dealt harshly with dissenters, and despite years of crop failures, she insisted that officials collect tax revenues -- sometimes in a brutal fashion. She sent almost 30,000 people to exile in Siberia. Yet a Mrs. Vigor, who was an Englishwoman living in St. Petersburg, had this to say of her…

CHARACTER VOICE (MRS. VIGOR):...She has an awfulness in her countenance that strikes you at first sight, but when she speaks, she has a smile about her mouth that is inexpressibly sweet…

Timothy Dalton: Anna was also known for her cruel sense of humor. She picked on one prince in particular who displeased her by marrying an Italian and becoming a Roman Catholic. She made him imitate a hen laying eggs.

CHARACTER VOICE (MRS. VIGOR):…Were I speaking of a private person I should say she has rather strong good sense than wit…[though] she has a way of saying a short satirical sentence…that is truly witty…

21. Nicholas II Masquerade Caftan & Hat (TK-2914)

SFX: ambient sounds of a grand ball

Timothy Dalton: Nicholas the Second, the last Czar, wore this caftan, coat and hat made of silk brocade as a costume for a masquerade ball in 1903. The large mural shows Nicholas the Second and his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, as they appeared at the ball. *

The custom of masquerade balls began during the 18th century. They were so popular that they took place almost weekly. The receptions were the height of extravagance. An attendee at one party said…

CHARACTER VOICE: …A multitude of bodies wandered around in masks and rich costumes, they gathered in groups or danced quadrilles…no fewer than one thousand candles burned, and the whole effect was as magnificent and opulent as could be…

Timothy Dalton: Nicholas the Second reigned from to 1894 to 1917. During this time -- and during the reign of his father, Alexander the Third -- masquerade balls emphasized Russian culture and heritage. This costume is a replica of the parade dress worn by the second Romanov czar -- Alexei Mikhailovich. The jeweled adornments were from royal clothing of the 16th and 17th centuries.

The ball where Nicholas wore this costume was held at the Imperial Theatre of the Hermitage in Moscow -- the perfect place for the aristocracy to dress up in the costumes of their ancestors.

22. The Almighty Savior Icon and Frame (MR-1214/1-3)

MUSIC: reverent hymns sung without accompaniment

Timothy Dalton: This sacred icon of Jesus Christ is set in a frame case that serves as a portable shrine. It echoes the style of icons made in the Middle Ages, mixed with traditional folk art techniques. Brocade, silver, enamel, cloisonné, tempera, and lacquer all combine to make this striking image. It was created near the end of the 19th century by the company Porfiry Ivanovich Olovianishnikov, which was famous for religious art.

The structure that towers above you is a replica of a ciborium -- a kind of canopy that was placed over the altar of a church. In the Russian Orthodox religion, the beauty of the church itself was a reflection of the splendor of God. St. Simeon of Thessalonika said…

CHARACTER VOICE: The church represents the whole Universe: the Sanctuary is the Throne of God, the nave with its dome is the visible heaven, the entrance is the Earth and all together they symbolize the Holy Trinity embracing the visible and invisible world.

23. Mitre of Archbishop Arseny CROWN(TK-95)

Timothy Dalton: This gold brocade mitre, or crown, was worn by an Archbishop in 1744. It's studded throughout with diamonds and rubies, and pearls are sewn into intricate, fluid patterns. Three of the round enamel portraits depict Russian saints -- Zachary, Elizabeth, and Sergei of Radonezh. The mitre was presented to Archbishop Arsenii by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna.

Empress Elizabeth reigned during the mid-18th century, after the church's power in Russia had changed drastically. Her father, Peter the Great, had abolished the post of Patriarch in 1721, and established instead an ecclesiastical college, called the Synod. No longer were the Patriarch and the Sovereign equal partners in governing the civic and spiritual lives of the people.

The church became an arm of the government and dependent on the state treasury. The Czar was considered the head of the church. Yet the ideals of Orthodoxy remained the foundation of the Russian State. Emperors and Empresses of the 18th and 19th centuries were loyal believers, and publicly showed their devotion.

24. Priestly Vestments -- Sakkos of Metropolitan Filaret, Liturgical Vestment of Metropolitan Filaret (TK-436), Liturgical Vestment of Metropolitan Filaret (TK-437)

Timothy Dalton: The Metropolitan Filaret of Moscow, who was head of the Russian Orthodox church for forty years, wore these priestly vestments. They were especially made for the coronation of Emperor Alexander the Second in August of 1856.

The brocade robe of gold and silver, called a sakkos, represented the robe Christ wore during his desecration. It was considered the garment of salvation. The brocade has a ribbon motif that flows into the sign of the cross. Sequin stars decorate the shoulders.

The long, narrow red velvet band, called an omofor, was worn over the robe. It, too, is decorated with stars and crosses. The omofor symbolized the lost sheep -- the Archbishop raised it to his shoulders, symbolically bearing the weight of the flock.

The smaller, diamond-shaped vestment is called a palista. It represented the spiritual sword with which the Archbishop warded off acts of heresy.

The Metropolitan Filaret had a great influence over politics during Alexander the Second's reign. He may have been instrumental in Alexander's decision to emancipate the serfs in 1861.

25. Portrait Emperor Alexander II (ZH-1992), Coronation Robe Empress Maria Alexandrovna (TK-2597), Coronation Uniform & Helmet Emperor Alexander II (TK-1988,1558)

SFX: church bells ringing

Timothy Dalton: On August 26, 1856, Alexander the Second was crowned Emperor of Russia. For his coronation, he wore this uniform of dark green broadcloth. It has elaborate epaulettes with the monogram of his father, Emperor Nicholas the First. * Nearby is a portrait of Alexander wearing the coronation uniform. *

The Emperor's wife, Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wore this exquisite robe edged with a wide band of ermine fur. * The gold brocade is decorated with insignias of the Russian State emblem -- the double-headed eagle.

(SFX: gun salute, trumpets, kettle drums…)

The coronation took place, as always, at the Assumption Cathedral in the Kremlin. The royal entourage traveled from the new capital in St. Petersburg to Moscow. When they arrived, they were met with a gun salute, trumpets, kettle drums, and church bells ringing.

During his 26 years of reign, Alexander instituted many reforms, including the abolishment of serfdom. Yet a sergeant in the Imperial Corps of Pages had this to say about the first couple….

CHARACTER VOICE (SARGEANT): Alexander the Second…easily lost his temper, and often treated his courtiers in the most contemptuous way…Of all the Imperial family, undoubtedly the most sympathetic was the Empress Marie Alexandrovna…She was certainly not happy in her home life…

Timothy Dalton: Not happy, undoubtedly, because the Emperor led a double life -- one at home, and one with his mistress, Katia Dolgorukaya, with whom he had four children.

Toward the end of the 19th century, dissent against czarism was on the rise. In 1881, Alexander the Second was killed with a bomb thrown by an anarchist.

26. Maltese Crown (MP-9792)

Timothy Dalton: This impressive Maltese crown is one of the most historic objects in the Kremlin Armory. It's made of silver and gold, velvet and silk, and was acquired by Emperor Paul the First. The crown connected him to the Knights of Malta.

The Order of the Knights of Malta grew from an eleventh-century hospital that treated Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. The order was later established on the island of Malta.

Even as a child, Paul was impressed with the Knights of Malta. When the French occupied the island in 1798, Paul was selected as Grand Master of the Order. He became its Protector and supplier of badly needed funds.

Paul incorporated the Maltese cross into the Russian State emblem -- a practice that only lasted during his reign. After his death, subsequent Emperors abolished it and ceased all activities connected to the Order.

27. Knightly Cross & Chain of Order of St. John (OM-2562,2565) Shrine for The Emperor's Statute for the Order of Decorated Russians (MR-9793 1-2) Cross & Ribbon of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (OM-2570,TK-3150/2) Cross, Star, Chain of the Order of St. Andrew I (OM-2419, 2420, 2421) Cross & Ribbon of the Order of St. Catherine (OM-1261/1-2) Star of the Order of St. Catherine (OM-1264) Cross & Ribbon of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky (OM-2311, 2312) Star of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky (OM-2324)

Timothy Dalton: These splendid awards and decorations honor different Knight's Orders named for important saints. They are political as well as religious awards, and they became popular in 18th-century Russia. Take particular note of the necklace-like decoration with many medallions of blue and red, chained together. * This was a rare award of the Order of Saint Andrew the First Called. Andrew was named for the Apostle Andrew, and was patron saint of the Russian lands. This decoration was mainly given to royal family members.

Another medal is of the Order of St. Catherine -- look for the silver star with red enamel and a silver cross [direction TBD]. This was the highest female order and an award rarely given. Dames of the Order wore specifically prescribed dress during the solemn ceremonies when Empresses Catherine the First, Elizabeth Petrovna, or Catherine the Great conferred the award.

Catherine the Great also established the Order of St. George to award the very noblest of deeds. She was very passionate about giving these decorations. One St. George feast day she was very ill, but she refused to be absent from the festivities.

CHARACTER VOICE (CATHERINE THE GREAT): I would rather be carried to the reception on a bed than to allow myself to incur the displeasure of these people who have dedicated their lives to receive their honor.

28. Easter Egg -- Three Centuries of the House of Romanovs (MR-651/1-2)

Timothy Dalton: In the Russian Orthodox Church, Easter is the highest holiday -- the celebration of Christ's resurrection. In Russia, Easter eggs were given as gifts. They symbolized the world reborn in Christ. Most people exchanged hand painted eggs. But for the Romanov royal family, much more lavish gifts were created.

This Easter egg commemorates the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty. The world-famous firm of jewelers, Fabergé, created the egg in 1913. Mini-portraits of every Romanov ruler decorate its surface. * Each portrait sits in a circle of diamonds. *

The Fabergé Company had been creating elegant Easter eggs for the Romanov family since 1885, when Alexander the Third began the tradition. The eggs took a year to create and often had moving parts and clever mechanisms. Inside this egg is a tiny globe. On one half is a map of Russia in 1613 and on the other, the Russian map of 1913.

Nicholas the Second -- the last Russian Emperor -- presented this egg to his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. It emphasized the legacy of the Romanov monarchy, despite the growing opposition to the monarchy in Russia. Nicholas said…

CHARACTR VOICE (NICHOLAS II): Let everyone know that, devoting all my strength to the good of my people, I will preserve the autocracy as firmly and as undeviatingly as did my unforgettable late father.

29. Easter Egg on Pedestal of Four Artillery Shells with Miniature Painting on Easel (MR-652/1-2)


Timothy Dalton: This Easter egg, made by the firm of Fabergé, has a strikingly different character than the decorative eggs made for the Czars in earlier years. This one was created in 1916, during World War One. The hard steel egg resting on four artillery shells has a gravity and austerity that seem incompatible with the Easter egg tradition. Instead, it faithfully echoes the severe atmosphere of the time.

In 1915, Emperor Nicholas the Second, with his son Czarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, visited the soldiers on the western and southern fronts. Inside this egg is a portrait on a gold easel depicting their visit, as they spoke with the commanding staff of the army.

This was a time of great strain and upheaval for the Romanovs. Empress Alexandrovna wrote to her husband in December 1916:

CHARACTER VOICE (EMPRESS ALEXANDROVNA): My own dearest angel, …it's all getting calmer and better, only one wants to feel your hand…forgive this letter but I could not sleep this night, worrying over you…I love you too deeply and cry over your faults and rejoice over every right step. God bless and protect, guard and guide you. Kisses without end, Your truest, Wify…

Timothy Dalton: The Empress Alexandra had presented this egg to Nicholas.

During the war, strikes and mutinies spread throughout the country and erupted into a revolution. Nicholas had to abdicate the throne in 1917. His abdication marked the end of Russian imperial rule-and the end of the illustrious dynasty of the Romanovs Czars. ***

We hope you've enjoyed this exhibition of Czars: 400 Years of Imperial Grandeur. I'm Timothy Dalton. Thank you for joining me.


Please remember to return your player as you leave. This has been an Antenna Audio production.

(c) Copyright 2002 WONDERS

I was not sent any pictures to go with the above script, so apart from one picture on this page, which I was given permission to have from the Wonders website, I have found all the rest by searching the internet and I have tried to match them as closely as possible to the text, that Timothy narrates - Deb.