Shooting tsars: See the Romanovs as never before (PHOTOS)

Press photo
Pictures taken by the last tsar’s family capture some vivid moments of his turbulent reign that saw the Russia-Japan War, the carnage of WWI, and mass riots and rallies, before ending tragically in the Russian Revolution.

The reign of Nicholas II started badly and ended worse — but no one can say it wasn’t interesting. An exhibition center in St. Petersburg has gathered 150 rare and mesmerizing archive photos of the early 20th century taken by royal photographers and the Romanov family themselves. Some of these photos you’ve never seen before, trust us.  

1. Crown Prince Alexei Nikolaevich, 1911. 

Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

2. Grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. Tsarskoye Selo, 1903. 

Photography K. E. von Ghan & Co. Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

3. Emperor Nicholas II and grand dukes carry a casket with the holy relics of Seraphim of Sarov,

July 17–20, 1903. 

Photography K. E. von Ghan & Co. Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

4. Crown Prince Nicholas Alexandrovich with fiancee Princess Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt

Coburg, April 20 , 1894. 

Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

5. Empress Maria Feodorovna with children, St. Petersburg, early 1890. 

S. L. Levitsky. Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

6. Imperial family and their inner circle on the bridge deck of the yacht Standart watch the crew sail racing. Finnish skerries, [1907]. 

Photography K. E. von Ghan & Co.Russian State Archive of the Navy.

7. Imperial cutter Peterhof with Emperor Nicholas II and his family on board at the Palace Pier. Nicholas receives a report from Naval Minister I. K. Grigorovich, 1914. 

K. K. Bulla. Russian State Archive of the Navy.

8. Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna on the rooftop of the Grand Kremlin Palace

Moscow, 1903.

Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

9. Playing Fox and Geese, Finnish skerries, 1911.  

Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

10. Rope pulling. Finnish skerries, 1911.  

Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

11. Nicholas II in his study, 1900.  

Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

12. Moscow garrison military parade, Moscow, 1903.  

M. Grebnev. Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

13. Outdoor rest. Finnish skerries, 1911.  

Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

14. Emperor Nicholas II, 1900s. 

Russian State Film and Photo Archive.

See more rare photos of the Romanov family at the Rosphoto Exhibition Center in St. Petersburg. The pictures will be on display until mid-September. 

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