The Cathedral

Interior View of the Cathedral in Mogilev

Nicholas visited this cathedral frequently during the war. During the revolution he experienced what was probably a heart attack while praying in front on a famous ikon of the Mother of God in this church.

group of soldiers

Nicholas and Aleksey with a group of officers at Stavka

Nicholas was raised to be a professional soldier as well as Tsar. He felt most comfortable in a military environment and trusted the loyalty of the Russian Army without reservation.

Stavka Gate

Nicholas walks with General Aleksiev in August 1915

Nicholas replaced his relative the Grand Duke Nicholas at the head of the Russian Army. Nicholas's move to Stavka was considered a mistake by his ministers who feared the Tsar would be blamed if the war went badly with him in charge. While the generals at Stavka were outwardly loyal and supportive, they privately complained about the Tsar's presence at General Headquarters behind his back.


Count Frederiks on Horseback

Members of the Tsar's court followed him to Stavka, among them was Count Fredericks. The Count managed most of the Tsar's affairs and his huge white handlebar mustache and reassuring face was a constant sight in the entourage of the Tsar.


Generals Gurko and Pleve

Nicholas's General Staff was a combination of career officers, professional military men and courtiers. While the atmosphere at Stavka appeared peaceful and confident of victory on the surface, beneath an artificial atmosphere of optimism and cordiality lurked intrigue and defeatism - even among the Generals.


Generals Aleksiev, Borisov and Count Kapnist

General Aleksiev (seen in front with the white mustache), was greatly respected by the Tsar. While the Tsar appeared to run things at Stavka the real work was organized and led by the General. As the war turned against Russia Aleksiev and other generals became increasing frustrated with the Imperial Government. While outwardly deferential to the Tsar, Aleksiev participated in secret plots to overthrow his sovereign. he was one of the leaders of the coup which overthrew Nicholas.


Nicholas's Study at Stavka

When the Tsar moved to Stavka he occupied the former governor's mansion. This picture shows his sparely furnished study. Nicholas made due with furniture already to be found in the mansion. On his desk are a few pictures of his family along with smoking and writing supplies. Nicholas was obsessive about the arrangement of his things and required his valet to keep everything exactly as he instructed it. This habit arose from harsh and brutal training from his tutors who required Nicholas to keep all of his things in perfect order to avoid severe physical punishment.

The Cathedral

Nicholas's Bedroom at Stavka

At Stavka Nicholas slept in a simple, nickel-plated camp bed. Alongside the bed are a pair of his slippers. The bed is placed close to the stove for warmth.


Corner of the Bedroom

Here is the opposite corner of Nicholas's bedroom. On the left is his wash-basin and to the right of the window is the Tsar's dressing table.


Nicholas and Aleksey Share a Bedroom

Nicholas's loneliness at Stavka vanished when his son was able to stay with him there. They shared the same bedroom, with Aleksey's bed being brought from the Alexander Palace. The table has been set with ikons and other personal things. Aleksey slept closest to the fireplace, his balalaika sits in its case on the chair across from his bed.


Stavka Reception Hall

Along the wall of the hall can been seen a small Christmas tree decorated with ornaments. On either side of the tree are coronation portraits of Nicholas and Alexandra. The large screen in the corner was used to show movies.


Dining Room

Meals at Stavka were important social events and followed Imperial traditions. The menus were chosen by Imperial cooks who consulted with ministers of the court to chose dishes that accorded with the Tsar's taste. This was a difficult task. In his childhood Nicholas had been taught to eat whatever he was served and there is no record of him ever requesting a specific dish to be served.


The Empress Alexandra and her Daughters at Stavka

The Tsarina and her daughters arrived on October 15th to visit Nicholas and Aleksey at Stavka. Here we see Alexandra offering her hand to be kissed, while behind her stands Count Grabbe. During her visits to Stavka Alexandra and her daughters stayed on the Imperial train, where Nicholas and Aleksey would join them. Alexandra's visits to Stavka were resented by most officers who believed that Alexandra was a negative influence over her husband. In truth, she and Nicholas held virtually identical views on most subjects, as Alexandra believed a wife should support her husband, rather than hold original opinions of her own.


The Imperial Family at Stavka, October 1915

After five days at Stavka Alexandra and her daughters returned home on the 19th of October. Here we see, from left to right, Alexandra, Aleksey, Nicholas, Olga and Tatiana.


Nicholas on Horseback with Aleksey

Nicholas was rather short - especially for a Romanov, whose men where reputed to be among the tallest royals in Europe. Nicholas was an excellent rider and looked more more imposing on horseback than afoot. His father, Alexander III, hated horses and dreaded military reviews that required him to be mounted.

The Cathedral

Nicholas and Aleksey

Nicholas was awarded the Cross of St. George, an honor he was deeply proud of. Here we see him wearing his medal in a picture taken at Stavka in November 1915

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