russian nuns

Anna Alexandrovna Vyrubova (1884-1964), born Taneyeva, was a plain young woman when she was first introduced and later taken under special care of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Till this day the historians are not unified in their view of Anna. Some portray her as extremely naive and stupid, others maintain she was wickedly clever and an excellent actress. Whatever her true nature, Anna was always fiercely loyal to the last Imperial family, who all doted on her in return. After the Revolution of 1917 Anna was separated from what was left of Imperial Household and held in the St. Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. After her interrogations brought no fruit, she was released and went into semi-hiding, finally settling down in Finland near Helsinki. She took vows as a Russian Orthodox nun, but was permitted to live in a private home due to her physical disabilities (result of her injuries from a train crash during the war). She is buried at Hietaniemi cemetery, her tombstone bearing both her given name and the name she took as a nun - Maria.