Thank you very much for all these fascinating postings. It is amazing to see the Church in the Kazan Cemetery, Tsarskoe Selo restored. When I was there - searching for the grave of Orlov - the chapel was not much more than a ruin. You know Alexandra Feodorovna and Anya Vyroubova visisted this cemetery regularly to lay flowers on Orlov's grave. I even stopped to buy a bunch of fresh, vivid blue cornflowers, but alas we could not find the grave of Orlov.
The seige was fought on this ground. It was explained to me as a result it is almost impossible to find graves pre-dating WWII. The Director of the cemetery has old maps with all the burial plots numbered and marked. Some day when I have time I'll try to examine these.
The most remarkable thing to happen to me the day I visited the Kazan cemetery was to be caught up in a 'mafia' funeral. Boy was that scary. I have never witnessed anything quite like it. Rival gangs were there in shiny, dark Italian suits, wearing dark designer sun glasses and driving black Mercedes and four wheel monsters, all with blacked out windows. There must have been upwards of forty vehicles, parked haphazrdly, almost blocking the narrow road. The men fell into two groups complete with bodyguards with and their, indispensible, 'blonde' molls. The too were dressed in black - Armani, Versace and etc. all wearing sunglasses. In the 'procession' of wreathes, I don't think there was one measuring less than five feet by three.
The bristling tension was palpable. The corpse was a murder victim - both sides of the 'family' were represented. We were really frightened as we waited for the local service bus. We agreed, should any shooting begin, we would hit the floor and pray. Fortunately the bus arrived. The battle to get on board was even worse than usual - 80+ year olds, five feet tall, 12 stone heavy babushki were lashing out with their shopping bags pushing us aside to secure a place as fast as they could.
My visit to Orlov's grave could not have been more different than those of Alexandra Feodorovna and Anya Vyroubova.