March 11, 2023

Favorites of the rulers of the Russian Empire

Today we want to tell you about the most famous pets of Russian emperors.

A famous pet lover was Peter I. The Persian-bred Lizette horse, bought by the emperor in the early 1700s, was a faithful companion of the ruler from the Northern War with Sweden (1700-1721) to the Persian Campaign (1722-1723). Contemporaries said that once Lisette saved the emperor's life on the battlefield: July 8, 1709 in During the Battle of Poltava, Peter I was surrounded, but thanks to a sharp jerk of the horse, the bullets passed the emperor, hitting his hat and saddle. The effigy of Lisette, made after her death, has been on display in the Kunstkammer since 1741, and is currently in the Zoological Museum.
In addition to the pet Lizette, Peter I had other pets. One of them was the wayward cat Vaska, brought from Holland. The Emperor also loved dogs, among the pets were: a massive bullenbaser dog named Tyrant and a smooth-haired terrier named after his favorite horse.

Have you ever heard of honorary cat guards? In 1745, by decree of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, 30 cats from Kazan arrived in St. Petersburg. The fact was that rodents bred in the royal chambers, and Kazan cats were famous for their dexterity and skill in catching mice. Cats were registered in the Life Guards service, that is, they were officially considered defenders of the monarch and her places of residence.
When Catherine II founded the Imperial Hermitage in the Winter Palace, Kazan cats became "guards of art galleries". Unfortunately, during the Great Patriotic War, all the cats of the Winter Palace died. In the post-war period, several wagons of Yaroslavl smoky cats and cats were brought to Leningrad, as well as about five thousand mustachioed cats from Siberia. To this day, their descendants serve in the Hermitage: the "big cat cellar" occupies almost 20 kilometers, in which 50 woolen guards live. Every year in St. Petersburg, a holiday is held called "Hermitage Cat Day".

But still the most popular in the Russian Empire were dogs. One of the most famous dogs at the court was the Hussar poodle of Nicholas I. According to the memoirs of contemporaries, the Hussar was extremely quick-witted and understanding, and on weekdays even performed the role of the valet of Nicholas I: when the dog approached any of the employees or household in the palace and grabbed his clothes, everyone knew that this was an invitation to a conversation with the ruler. In "Travel Impressions in Russia" Alexander Dumas described the attitude of Nicholas I to his friend: "When Nicholas wanted to reward one of his sons for something, he put him to sleep with his dog Hussar on the floor next to his bed, laying the same old overcoat." In the ruler's accounting, records of expenses for his beloved dog often flashed, and even a record of a reward of 500 rubles to Prince Trubetskoy "for the capture of His Majesty's Hussar dog."
One of the many favorite dogs of the Romanov house was Alexander III's husky named Kamchatka. The husky was picked up in the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and presented to the tsar. The Kamchatka dog accompanied the owner everywhere and even spent the night in the imperial chambers of Alexander III in the Gatchina Palace, contrary to the recommendations of the doctors. Kamchatka was killed in a train accident. Even many years after the death of a faithful friend, the emperor wrote: "I will never forget this wonderful and unique dog! I have tears in my eyes again, remembering Kamchatka, because it's stupid, cowardice, and what to do — it's still so! Unless I have at least one disinterested friend among people, there can't be, and maybe Kamchatka was like that."
From ancient times to this day, one thing has always been the same: a person's sincere love for pets.


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March 4, 2023

Development of ecological tourism

"Awareness of foreigners about specially protected natural territories (protected areas) Russia exceeds the knowledge of Russians about these places, the development of ecological tourism and educational work should correct the situation," said Irina Makanova, director of the Department of State Policy and Regulation in the field of development of specially Protected Natural Territories of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation.

The project of our Foundation "Donbass Extraordinary", which received the support of the Presidential Grants Fund, is aimed at solving exactly this problem, which was stated by Irina Makanova.

Popularizing the historical, cultural and natural heritage of the Russian Federation among the population is simply necessary. We must preserve and multiply for the future what we have inherited. After all, as the famous quote says: “We did not inherit the Land from our ancestors. We borrowed it from our children”.

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