Born in 1868 in Tsarskoe Selo, Nicolas spent his childhood in Gatchina, studied a lot, particularly economics, law, political history, warfare and languages.
In April 1894 he married the future Russian Empress Aleksandra Feodorovna, who was actually a grand-daughter of the English queen Victoria. Their coronation took place on May 26th 1896 in the Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin. Despite the festive spirit of the event, on Sunday the same week the Khodynka Tragedy happened – during which 1389 people got killed and 1300 people got inquired.
The reign of Nicolas was accompanied by the rising revolutionary movement and complications of the international policy, i.e. Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905, Bloody Sunday 1905, Russian Revolution 1905-1907, World War I, February Revolution 1917.
Under the pressure of the strong public movement he signed the famous October Manifesto on the Improvement of the State Order, according to which people got the freedom of speech, press, personality, conscious and meetings.
World War I was the breakeven point in Nicolas’s faith. He took the command and spent most of his time in Mogilev. In the end of February 1917, Petrograd became unstable, having constant mass meetings against the government and the dinasty. Being away from the city, Nicolas tried to restore order by force. But understanding the scale of possible outcomes decided to decline this idea.
At midnight on March 15th, 1917 staying in the coach of the Emperors train at Pskov railway station, Nicolas signed the abdication document and transferred the power to his brother Mikhail who didn’t accept the crown. 7 days later Nicolas and his family were arrested. They spent time in captivity first in Tsarskoe Selo, then in Tobolsk. Later – the Romanovs were moved to Ekaterinburg and were fiercely murdered there.
Their remains found in 1991 were buried in Peter and Paul Cathedral six years later. In 2000 Nicolas II and his family members were canonized. The Last Emperor of Russia and his family were considered the victims of illegal political repressions.
Related city sights
There are several places in St Petersburg that are related to the personality of Nicolas II:
- Alexandrovsky Palace in Tsarskoe Selo was Nicolas’s favorite place where he spent most of his time.
- Monument to Alexander III, Nicolas’s father. The monument is currently in the yard of Marble Palace, interestingly stood on the former place of a revolutionary armed car.
- Winter Palace – that’s where citizens went to as a part of peaceful demonstration on January 9th, 1905. That’s where lots of people were shot, and Nicolas got its sobriquet “Nicolas the Bloody”. From the balcony of the same palace, Nicolas later announced the war against Germany.
- Rasputin’s House at Gorokhovaya Street 64. Rasputin was a very special person to Nicolas II, as he was also to the whole Russia at the time. His mysterious personality rose fear and excitement that deserves special attention.
- Monument to Nicolas II at Ligovsky Prospekt 128
- Peter and Paul Cathedral where 80 years after the actual death, the relics of Nicolas and his family were buried.
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