Tuesday, June 21, 2011

St. Petersburg, Russia, June 20

Monday, June 20. Petersburg, Russia. Day two of our tour. Czar Peter the Great had the Peterhof Summer Palace built to rival Versailles, with a 300-acre park, and fountains that function on gravity.

Czar Alexander I and his wife had four daughters, but needed a son to continue the family dynasty. Their fifth child was a son, but he had hemophilia. Czar Alexander I and his wife were desperate to find medical help for their son, who was very ill. They heard about Rasputin, a monk who had a reputation for healing people. Rasputin was asked to heal the hemophiliac son, and Rasputin did help the son. Rasputin was admired by Czar Alexander I and his wife and he started having influence in the governing of Russia. This was not approved by several wealthy and influential men that were relatives of the Czar, so they secretly plotted to kill Rasputin. The poison-laced drink did not kill Rasputin, so he was shot several times and was thrown into the Neva River, hoping his body would be washed out into the Baltic Sea. It was December and Rasputin's body stayed in the icy area it was thrown into. Czar Alexander I and his wife were devastated by the death of Rasputin. It was discovered that Yusupov shot Rasputin, so Yusupov's palace and riches were taken away and Yusupov was sent to Siberia. We toured the Yusupov Palace and saw where Rasputin was poisoned.

The Church of the Spilled Blood is very ornate inside and out. It is a memorial for Czar Alexander II at the place where he was assassinated.

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