Initial inspiration for new Cathedral, Nicholas got from the icon Fyodorovskaya Mother of God.
Known story of the icon begins from 1164 at the church St Theodore Stratilat. Russians always had a hard time pronouncing foreign names like Theodore, and icon, become Fyodorovskaya.
Later 1239 icon was moved to Kostroma, and acquired alias - Kostromskaya.
In front of the icon, 17-years-old Michael Romanoff agreed to the throne, and this icon become guardian angel for the Romanoff’s family.
Icon was stored at the Monastery of St. Hypatius. 1910 by Imperial request was made copy for Fyodorovsky Cathedrial.
Following photos Monastery of St. Hypatius done before 1914 in color, by Prokudin-Gorsky's
more photos can be found:http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/prokhtml/prokcolor.htmlhttp://www.prokudin-gorsky.ru/collection.htm
or some of the restored:http://www.prok.uniyar.ac.ru/photo/index.php