the Growth of the Tsardom of Russia


In 1547 the 16 year old Ivan the Terrible, son to the Grand Duke of Muscowy, was wed to the Tsardom of Russia. This notion he borrowed from the Rus state which was destroyed by the Tatar Invasion of 1237. He would proceed to annex the Khanates of Astrakhan, Kazan and Sibir leaving only Crimea of what was left from the Golden Horde.

In 1721 Peter the Great proclaimed himself the Emperor of Russia to celebrate his victory in the Great Northern War. The Russian Empire thus entered European politics at the expense of the Kingdom of Sweden.

The last date on this map, 1725, is the year of his death.

The ivory throne of Tsar Ivan IV of Russia
Ivan IV Vasilyevich (Russian: Ива́н Васи́льевич; 25 August 1530 – 28 March [O.S. 18 March] 1584), commonly known as Ivan the Terrible, was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and Tsar of All the Russias from 1547 until his death. His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multiethnic and multiconfessional state spanning almost one billion acres, approximately 4,046,856 km2 (1,562,500 sq mi). Ivan managed countless changes in the progression from a medieval state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first ruler to be crowned as Tsar of All the Russias.

Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan’s complex personality: he was described as intelligent and devout, yet given to rages and prone to episodic outbreaks of mental illness. In one such outburst he killed his groomed and chosen heir Ivan Ivanovich. This left the Tsardom to be passed to Ivan’s younger son, the weak and intellectually disabled Feodor Ivanovich. Ivan’s legacy is complex: he was an able diplomat, a patron of arts and trade, founder of Russia’s first Print Yard, a leader highly popular among the common people of Russia, but he is also remembered for his paranoia and arguably harsh treatment of the nobility.


The three-hundred-year-old Romanov Dynasty was easily the wealthiest royal family at the beginning of the twentieth century. Despite the majestic flamboyance of their clothes and the never-ending parade of diamonds, gold, pearls, and ermines, many members of the family turned out to be very grounded. Some even disliked the idea of their sometimes suffocating life at the court, preferring a quiet life in the country with modest means.

Regardless of many political faults, the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and his immediate family were kind, thoughtful, compassionate, and gentle people who just happened to be born to inherit the most important positions and ranks of the largest country in the world without even wanting them. Like the young and shy teenage Michael Romanov who was given the Tsardom in 1613, Nicholas was a reluctant but dutiful ruler. Nicholas’s children hated to be called their rank, Imperial Highness, and instead preferred their first and patronymic names. The children cared so much about the Russian people that they gave up much of their allowances and even downtime to help the sick and poor. Yet, it was because of their rank and position, even their last name alone, that they were mercilessly murdered.

Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia, the youngest child of Tsar Alexander III, had said that even though she was exiled from her beloved home country after the Russian Revolution, she was at her happiest when she was creating art and living humbly with her commoner husband and children in Canada. When Olga was invited to see the British Queen and her husband, she went shopping in Toronto, buying a new dress and hat for the occasion, joking, “All this fuss, just to go see Lilibet and Philip!”


EXH: "The Romanovs. My History"  Moscow Manege

An exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty has opened at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow.

Visitors to the exhibition will travel through the centuries to visualise the history of the dynasty with very modern technologies; 3D animated collages and installations, touch tables and panels, lightboxes and a giant plasma screen.

In addition to the heavy focus on interaction, there will also be personal belongings of the first and the last ruler of the Romanov dynasty on display. Theotokos Feodorovskaya, the patron icon of the dynasty, has been brought from Kostroma. 


Marina Mniszech was a Polish noblewoman, a Russian Tsaritsa and a prominent warlord during Russia’s Time of Troubles. She was also known as “Marinka the witch” in Russian forklore. She was the wife of the first and second False Dmitriys, the claimants of the long murdered Tsarevich Dmitri Ivanovich of Russia. 

The portrait below shows the newly crowned Tsaritsa Marina in her coronation robes in 1606. The coronation took place in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow and the crown of the Rurikid dynasty, the house of Tsarevich Dmitri Ivanovich, was placed on her (and her imposter husband’s) head. Marina’s husband, False Dmitri I, was shot to death after he tried to flee. Her reign as Tsaritsa lasted a mere ten months. After rejecting her title, her life was spared and sent back to Poland in 1608.

Her marriage to another imposter, False Dmitri II, was done in secret. This marriage would soon share the fate as her previous one. After the death of her second husband in December 1610, Marina Mniszech found herself a protector in the person of a Cossack leader and Marina’s third and last husband, Ivan Zarutsky, who would try to support the nomination of her son Ivan (born in January 1611) for the Russian throne. However, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia at the time, would later dub him a “little thief”.

In the summer of 1613, after having lost their supporters, Marina and Zarutsky fled to Astrakhan but with the election of Michael Romanov as Tsar, the citizens of Astrakhan wanted the pretender and his family gone from their city. In 1614 an uprising of townspeople was aimed solely at capturing the family. They fled into the steppes, to escape. The drawing is shown above of Marina and her three-year-old son battling the frigid weather while being on the run.

Near the Yaik River in May 1614, after failing to gather a support for a Cossack uprising, they would be captured by the Cossacks a month later and handed over to the new government. The little toddler was executed by hanging and one account even stated that due to the young boy’s light weight, his neck did not break during the drop but instead was slowly strangled to death. Marina died in prison shortly afterward.

"I will not see the destruction of the Christian converts who are loyal to me, and to my last breath I will fight for the Orthodox faith." -Ivan IV Vasilyevich

January 16, 1547- Ivan IV is crowned the first Tsar of All the Russias, a reflection of his commanding and authoritarian policies. Better known as Ivan the Terrible, he would transform Russia from a backward, medieval nation to an empire spanning one billion acres. He threw back and conquered the Tartar and Mongol hordes that had plagued Russia for three centuries. Despite Ivan’s effective policies, his line died with him due to his rage-induced murder of his heir, Ivan Ivanovich. The problems that plagued Russia during his reign would explode after his death, leading to the Time of Troubles.

Picture- Tsar Ivan IV, Viktor Vasnetsov, 1897

"… The next poor idiot to hit the Russian throne was Michael Romanov, whose descendants held onto it with an iron fist until the Communists shot them.  The Romanov dynasty was uneventful until Peter the Great, who decided to copy the west and forced all the nobles to shave and learn French.  He also pwned the Church.  Everybody hated him.  His grandson was a drunk and let his wife Catherine rule the country.  She was called ‘The Great,’ too.  This is because Russian historieans aren’t very imaginative.  They could have called her ‘Catherine the Slut.’"


Romanov Birthdays Tsar Alexei of Russia, March 19

Born in Moscow on 19 March 1629, the son of Michael, the first Romanov monarch of Russia (reigned 1613–45), Alexis received a superficial education from his tutor Boris Ivanovich Morozov before acceding to the throne at the age of 16. An enthusiast of the Western culture, Morozov encouraged the young boy to wear German clothing and provided him with German toys. However, Morozov became unpopular to the public and after an uprising in Moscow, Alexei was forced to exile him.

Virtually all the sources agree that Alexis was a gentle, warmhearted, and popular ruler. His main fault was weakness; throughout most of his reign, matters of state were handled by favourites, some of whom were incompetent or outright fools. He was known as Tsar Alexei “the Quiet.” Many years later, the last tsar, Nicholas II, who was very much alike to Alexei’s personality, dressed as him in 1903 during the Ball in the Winter Palace. A year later, Nicholas named his youngest and only son after him.

Alexei was married twice, first to Mariya Ilinichna Miloslavskaya (with whom he had two sons, the future tsars Fyodor III and Ivan V, as well as several daughters), then to Natalya Kirillovna Naryshkina, whose son became Peter I the Great.

On This Day In History~ February 22nd

1700; The Great Northern War begins

The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Central, Northern, and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of Denmark–Norway and Augustus II the Strong of Saxony-Poland-Lithuania. Charles XII led the Swedish army. On the Swedish side were Holstein-Gottorp, several Polish and Lithuanian magnates and Cossacks

The war started when an alliance of Denmark–Norway, Saxony and Russia declared war on the Swedish Empire, sensing an opportunity as Sweden was ruled by the young Charles XII, who was eighteen years old and inexperienced. Sweden parried the Danish and Russian attacks at Travendal and Narva, and in a counter-offensive pushed August II’s forces through Lithuania and Poland to Saxony. Peter I had meanwhile recovered and gained ground in Sweden’s Baltic provinces, where he cemented Russia’s access to the Baltic Sea by founding Saint Petersburg in 1703. Charles XII moved from Saxony into Russia to confront Peter, but the campaign ended with the destruction of the main Swedish army at the decisive 1709 Battle of Poltava (in present-day Ukraine), and Charles’ exile in Ottoman Bender. 

The war ended with Sweden’s defeat, leaving Russia as the new dominant power in the Baltic region and a major force in European politics. In Sweden, the absolute monarchy had come to an end with the death of Charles XII, and the Age of Liberty began.


Real Name…Tsarevich Steven Mikhailovich

Title(s)…Tsarevich of Russia, Tsarevich Steven, Tsarevich Steven of Russia, Tsarevich Steven Mikhailovich, Tsarevich Steven of Russia, Prince Steven, The Black Prince.

Born…July 21, 1533 in Moscow, Russia



Family…Michael I of Russia (father), Eudoxia Streshneva of Russia (mother), Tsarevna Anastasia of Russia (sister)

Affiliations…Tsardom of Russia, House of Romanov, House of Streshnev




Hair…Dark Chocolate


Skin…Olive Tone

Personality…Steven is a flirt, a philanderer, and likes to conquer young women in between the sheets, he is a lusty prince and flirts with every woman he comes into contact with and his sister Anastasia often has to pull him back in line.

On This Day In History~ February 21st

1598; Boris Godunov chosen tsar of Russia

Boris Fyodorovich Godunov (c. 1551 – 23 April 1605) was de facto regent of Russia from c. 1585 to 1598 and then the first non-Rurikid tsar from 1598 to 1605. The end of his reign saw Russia descend into the Time of Troubles.

  • Godunov encouraged English merchants to trade with Russia by exempting them from duties. He built towns and fortresses along the north-eastern and south-eastern borders of Russia to keep the Tatar and Finnic tribes in order.

  • He colonized Siberia with scores of new settlements, including Tobolsk.

  • During his rule, the Russian Orthodox Church received its patriarchate, placing it on an equal footing with the ancient Eastern churches and freeing it from the influence of the Patriarch of Constantinople.


Real Name…Tsarevna Anastasia Mikhailovna

Title(s)…Tsarevna of Russia, Tsarevna Anastasia, Tsarevna Anastasia of Russia, Princess Anastasia, Princess Anastasia of Russia, The White Princess, The Snow Princess, The Vila Princess.

Born…October 20, 1543 in Moscow, Russia



Family…Michael I of Russia (father), Eudoxia Streshneva of Russia (mother), Tsarevich Steven Mikhailovich (brother).

Affiliations… Tsardom of Russia, House of Romanov, House of Streshnev




Hair…Golden Wheat


Skin…Porcelain Rose

Personality…Anastasia is outgoing but keeps to herself at the same time, she is intelligent and observant and talented with many skills, she is aware and can be ruthless when necessary,but she has charm and excellent conversation skills, she is also quite mysterious and can relate to anyone in anyway.