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Messages - M_Breheny

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Thanks, Sarushka, for your vote of confidence on behalf of libraries and librarians.  I agree that the library system in Annie's former city appears to be somewhat antiquated, and that is a real shame.  As for me, I am a reference librarian at a community college about 40 miles south of the cities of Chesapeake/Norfolk/Portsmouth/Virginia Beach.  True, I am in a different state (North Carolina), but our State Community College System provides free inter-library loan service throughout the state, as long as the patron is a community college student or has acquired a non-student, community-resident library card from our library.  On the other hand, I don't think it is that easy at our public library.   It is unfortunate that library service in the United States is not more unified.

The Imperial Family / Re: Romanovs and Faith/Orthodox Religion
« on: December 12, 2005, 06:48:56 PM »
When I was in Russia and the Ukraine in July, I was amazed at the number of people - both young and old - I saw worshipping in the Orthodox churches.  This was a far cry from what I had encountered when I visited the Soviet Union in the late 1970s.  

There are two church visits that are especially memorable for me.  The first was the Church of Our Savior in Moscow.  This magnificent cathedral has been lovingly rebuilt, thanks to contributions from all over the world.  Stalin had the original church blown up to make way for a special Hall of Soviets, or something similar, which, incidentally, never was built.  When I was in Moscow in the 1970s, this site contained a huge swimming pool!  Today, however, the the Church of Our Savior is full of the faithful (and we happened to be there on a Wednesday afternoon, not a Sunday or a holy day).  

The other church visit that impressed me was in Kiev at the Caves/Monasteries.  Granted it was a Sunday morning as well as July 17, the date of the Romanov's murders, but the lines of worshippers waiting to get into the several churches of the complex were astonishingly long.  There must have been over 1,000 worshippers waiting outside of the churches that morning.  A very moving experience, especially seeing many of the faithful carrying ikons of the Imperial Family.  

I came home with the distinct feeling that Orthodoxy is alive and on the come-back in Russia and the Ukraine.


Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Olga Breaking Windows
« on: November 22, 2005, 07:18:56 PM »
This is just a thought, but could Katya have been Catherine Schneider's maid?

Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Olga Breaking Windows
« on: November 21, 2005, 05:23:43 PM »
Besides being curious about Olga breaking windows, the following entry from her diary has perplexed me.
October 9, 1915
"...I am sitting in Mr. Gilliard's rooms near the door to his water-closet where Trina's little nasty girl Katya is sitting locked in by Anastasia and myself.  We've just drawn her along the dark passage and pushed her in...Katya is still locked in the W. C.  She is knocking and wailing behind the door but we are implacable..."

Incidentally, I originally found this diary entry on the Alexander Palace Main Page under Diaries and Letters.  The link for Diaries of Olga N., however, has been removed from the home page.  Any idea why?   Any comments on the above entry?

Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Olga Pictures III
« on: November 10, 2005, 05:34:15 PM »
Regarding the size of baby Olga's head, she did have a rather large one at first (although that stage of development quickly changed and she turned into the beautiful child that we are familiar with).  I read somewhere that Queen Victoria, after seeing baby Olga for the first time when her parents visited England in 1896, wrote that the baby was very nice but did have an enormous head.  I am sure, howeve, that the queen  did not share her views with Nicholas and Alexandra.

Forum Announcements / Re: Where do you come from?
« on: November 03, 2005, 06:58:50 PM »
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Born in New York, educated at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Any other Tarheels on the board?

I just came across your post tonight.  I, too, went to UNC at Chapel Hill and, after living all along the eastern seaboard, currently live in Elizabeth City, NC.  I am totally addicted to all things Russian, especially the Romonovs.  I spent almost three weeks in Russia in July.

Go, Tarheels!

Forum Announcements / Re: NEW RUSSIAN JOURNAL for AP MEMBERS
« on: November 01, 2005, 06:53:53 PM »
I just discovered this site this evening and look forward to exploring it.  Great job!


Forum Announcements / Re: Trip to Russia in June
« on: October 25, 2005, 05:50:02 PM »

You will love St. Petersburg.  As the others have said, there is no need to be afraid of being arrested, etc.  One thing, however, that was pointed out to us: watch your wallet -- there are pick-pockets.  But the same can be said about New York or London.  Otherwise S. P. is a beautiful, safe and fascinating city.  

Travelers' checks probably are not a good idea, but ATM machines and money exchanges are plentiful.  And many street vendors will accept dollars.  Better restaurants and shops usually will take credit cards.

If possible, visit the Yussopov Palace on the Moika.  It was one of my favorite places.  While I highly recommend going to the Alexander Palace, be prepared for the condition of the building and the exhibits.  Still though, I loved being able to stand in the same rooms  that the I.F. lived in.  We did not try public transportation to go to Tsarskoe Selo.  Instead, we hired one of our local tour guides and a driver who took us out to the Alexander Palace (since it was not our regular tour.)  

Enjoy your visit!


Olga Nicholaievna / Re: Olga Breaking Windows
« on: October 18, 2005, 04:37:12 PM »
This letter can be found by returning the the Alexander Palace Main Menu and scrolling down to "Letters of the Grand Duchess Maria."  Look under "September 5, 1915."  

Hope this helps.


Olga Nicholaievna / Olga Breaking Windows
« on: October 17, 2005, 08:09:48 PM »
I have always been puzzled by this entry in one of Maria's letters:  (Sept. 5, 1915) "We went as far as the 'caprice' and climbed the stairs, do you know?  And as soon as we reached it Olga took her umbrella and rushed furiously at one of the windows and broke three glasses with her umbrella and I broke another window, then Anastasia did the same thing."

Where exactly was the "caprice" and why did the girls apparently vandalize the place? Surely, this behavior would not have been encouraged.  

This topic may have been covered in other postings, but, if so, I missed it.


When I toured the Yussupov Palace in July 2005, we were shown a large portrait of Xenia Sfiris.  It is in the room with the two beautiful stained glass windows.  We were told that Xenia, the granddaughter of Felix and Irina, now has a granddaughter, presumably Marilia, and that she is the latest in the Yussopov line.  I found it interesting that they had displayed this modern painting, which, by the way, is quite lovely.


The Alexander Palace / Re: Empress Alexandra's Dressing Room
« on: September 21, 2005, 03:53:02 PM »
When I visited the Alexander Palace in July, the first room we were taken into (to the left of the entrance foyer) was just that: a large room.  In other words, the area that had been Alexandra's dressing room, bathroom, etc. is now just another big room about the same size as her bedroom, mauve room,  and the other rooms on the left side of the hallway (with the exception of the large reception room.)  I was disappointed but not surprised.  


Tsarskoe Selo Palaces / Re: The Amber Room of the Catherine Palace
« on: September 19, 2005, 04:10:09 PM »
When I visited the Catherine Palace in July we were allowed to take photographs, for a fee, or everything except the Amber Room. No pictures, with or without flash, were permitted in that room.   I had to make do with a beautiful postcard.  The Amber Room truly is magnificent and I loved viewing it.  As for size, I think it did seem a bit smaller than I had originally thought it would be -- but it still was spectacular.


The Alexander Palace / Re: July 2005 Visit to the Alexander Palace
« on: September 19, 2005, 03:54:27 PM »

I am looking forward to viewing your travelogue of the Alexander Palace.  I wish I could have spent more time exploring the exterior of the palace.  Can't wait to see your pictures.

One note of interest: The day I was there was a beautiful day with a bright blue sky, warm breezes, and lots of sunshine.  Because this kind of weather is rather rare in St. Petersburg at that time of year, the field just beyond the front of the palace (near the lake) was full of families who were sun-bathing and picnicking.  It was nice to see the grounds being enjoyed by the people.  


The Alexander Palace / Re: July 2005 Visit to the Alexander Palace
« on: September 08, 2005, 03:09:36 PM »
I want to thank Laura for posting my pictures taken at the Alexander Palace.  Actually, I have other pictures from my trip, but I thought these would be interesting for the Discussion Forum, at least for now.

While in St. Petersburg, we also visited the Yussopov Palace, The Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, The Catherine Palace, Peterhof, the Hermitage, Smolny Cathedral and Institute, St. Isaacs Cathedral, as well as other fascinating places.  My picture of the people at the church holding the ikon of the IF was taken in Kiev (The Ukraine) on July 17, 2005.  I had forgotten what day it was until we began seeing many people with the IF ikons.  Then it dawned on me.  Very moving.

Our trip started in St. Petersburg where we boarded a riverboat that took us up the Neva River, into Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega (where we visited Kishi Island with it beautiful wooden churches), down rivers, canals, and lakes until we reached the Volga River.  We also toured the old river fortress cities of Yaraslavl and Uglich before ending up in Moscow.  (Moscow is a fascinating city -- almost as fascinating as St. Petersburg.)  Finally, we ended our tour with three days in Kiev, Ukraine.  

Without a doubt, the trip of a lifetime


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