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Peter the Great

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Russian Tsar Peter the Great and the Netherlands

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Peter the Great

  1. 1. Peter thePeter the GreatGreat and theand the NetherlandsNetherlands
  2. 2. Devoted to the Year ofDevoted to the Year of the Russian Federationthe Russian Federation in the Netherlandsin the Netherlands
  3. 3. RussiaRussia The Netherlands Peter the Great
  4. 4. • The central theme for the year 2013 will be the special relationship between Russia, the Netherlands and Amsterdam. The two countries have been major trading partners since the Golden Age, and Amsterdam’s canal ring inspired Peter the Great to found the city of St Petersburg. In the centuries that followed, this relationship grew stronger. In 1813, when Napoleon was defeated, Russian Cossacks advanced as far as the gates of Amsterdam, and a Dutch king married the sister of the tsar. The year 2009 saw a crowning moment in relations between the Netherlands and Russia: the opening of the Hermitage Amsterdam, the only European satellite of the famous St Petersburg museum.
  5. 5. • Born on May 30 1672, Peter was named Peter Alexowitz, meaning 'Peter the son of Alexis'. His father, Tsar Alexis, had married twice, and Peter was the first child of his second marriage. There were already six daughters and two rather unhealthy sons, named Feodor and Ivan, from the first marriage.
  6. 6. • When Alexis died very suddenly in 1676, Feodor ruled until his own death in 1682, when the ten year-old Peter became tsar jointly with his half- brother Ivan. At first Peter's older half-sister Sophia held power as regent, but in 1696 he began to rule alone.
  7. 7. • The young tzar was determined to modernize Russia - that archaic, isolated backwater which had missed out on the European Renaissance. To achieve this, he turned his sights on the West. The Dutch Republic was at that time a leading European power, this was Holland’s Golden Age: the perfect model for Russia.
  8. 8. • Peter was interested in practical activities such as carpentry, and sailing and building ships. In his first years as tsar, he was not very interested in government and stayed away from Moscow, the capital city of Russia.
  9. 9. Russia in the XVII centuryRussia in the XVII century At that time Russia was a huge landlocked country, much less developed than other countries in Europe.
  10. 10. • At war with either Turkey or Sweden for most of his reign, Peter took a particular interest in ships and arms. He wanted Russia to be able to compete with European countries in war and technology.
  11. 11. • So he decided to visit as he had thought the most developed European countries to use their experience in shipbuilding as without strong navie Russia couldn’t be considered a strong country capable to defend itself from any enemy.
  12. 12. • Peter spent some time in the Netherlands in 1697-98 and returned for a visit in 1717. He had learned to know Dutch business people in Russia and through these contacts he came to the Netherlands.
  13. 13. • During his trip to Western Europe, he looked for ideas from countries like Holland and England, which already had strong navies. • Though there had been contact with western Europe for more than 100 years, no other tsar had left Russia in peace-time before.
  14. 14. • Still aged only 25, the Russian ruler undertook his first Great Embassy in 1697: a journey to various European countries, including the Netherlands, to study and learn. Amsterdam burgomaster Joan Huydekoper, who had previously met Peter’s father Alexis in 1664, arranged for Peter to work at a shipyard.
  15. 15. • Under the pseudonym Pyotr Mikhailov, he was able to see how the windmills and the shipbuilding industry of Zaandam operated, working incognito at a shipyard. The tsar planned to spend an entire winter here.
  16. 16. • He hoped to investigate and learn about all types of technology and science, especially the latest techniques of shipbuilding and seamanship, particularly navigation.
  17. 17. • He also wanted to study the way navies were organised, and recruit specialists to travel home with him. If they advised and trained others, Russia too could have a strong navy.
  18. 18. • During his stay in Holland he spent about a week in Zaandam to learn shipbuilding. After this he went to Amsterdam to study the same trade on the docks of the East India Company.
  19. 19. • While in Amsterdam, Peter worked and lived at the Dutch East India Company shipyard. Besides shipbuilding, he also learned about watch- making, about making coffins, etchings, post- mortems, paper making and silk spinning. He investigated the art of gardening and book printing.
  20. 20. • On coming back to Russia Peter the Great started thinking of building a new European town in Russia which could be a large port and a new capital.
  21. 21. Planning the building of St’ Petersburg
  22. 22. St. Petersburg in the XVII century with the Monument to Peter the Great.
  23. 23. Equestrian Statue to Peter the Great in St’ Petersburg
  24. 24. Some Pictures of the City
  25. 25. • On May 16 1703 (May, 27 by the modern calendar) St. Petersburg's fortress (the Peter and Paul Fortress) was founded and that day became the official birthday of the city. Several days later a wooden Cabin of Peter the Great was built, and became the first residential building in the new city.
  26. 26. • During the first few years of St. Petersburg's history, the banks of the Neva saw an amazing transition from a swampy, scarcely populated area to a fine European capital.
  27. 27. • The heart of the city was originally intended to be the area between the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Cabin of Peter the Great, which later became known as Trinity Square where a Gostiny Dvor (a market for local and visiting merchants) and several inns and bars were built.
  28. 28. • Most of the city's prestigious social events (receptions, balls, etc.) took place either in the Summer Gardens or in the residence of the Governor General of St. Petersburg - the luxurious Menshikov Palace.
  29. 29. During the reign of Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, St. Petersburg developed into a fine European capital to rival those of any in the West.
  30. 30. • Elizabeth tried to adopt and adhere to many of her father's public policies. Elizabeth was also a very social personality and organized regular balls, receptions, masquerades and firework displays in Anichkov Palace.
  31. 31. • The Yekaterininsky (Catherine's) Palace in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), which originally belonged to Peter the Great's wife Catherine, was turned into a magnificent royal residence with a vast and elaborate Baroque garden.
  32. 32. • Catherine the Great assumed power in 1762 after a coup d' etat, which she engineered together with the officers of the Royal Guard. Catherine enjoyed an extremely luxurious and decadent court life and was the first monarch to move into the newly built Winter Palace.
  33. 33. • The Mikhailovsky Castle.
  34. 34. • The city of St. Petersburg gradually became more and more majestic. The Palace Square ensemble was completed with the construction of the General Staff building in 1829, the Alexander Column in 1834 and the Royal Guards Staff building in 1843.
  35. 35. • Between 1839 and 1844 the Mariinsky Palace (today home to City Hall) was built for Nicholas' beloved daughter Maria.
  36. 36. St. Isaac's Cathedral, the main church of the Russian Empire, was finally completed in 1858, after the death of Nicholas I and after his son Alexander II had acceded to the throne.
  37. 37. • During this period the famous Mariinsky theater was built along with a number of palaces for the country's Grand Dukes, Liteiny bridge was constructed and monuments to Catherine the Great, Nicholas I and the poet Alexander Pushkin were erected.