Table of contents:
- Library of Ivan the Terrible
- the Amber Room
- Vladimir's Golden Gate
- The remains of Yaroslav the Wise
- Kazan Icon of the Mother of God
I doubt very much that from all of the above it will be possible to find something, but these items will always remain in history and in the lists of treasure hunters.
Library of Ivan the Terrible
It is believed that the library of Ivan the Terrible was brought to Russia by Sophia Paleologue. Vasily III ordered to start translating these books: there is a version that for this the famous scientist Maxim the Greek was discharged to the capital.
John IV developed a special relationship with the "ancient libereya". The Tsar, as you know, was a great lover of books and tried not to part with the dowry of his Byzantine grandmother. According to legend, Ivan the Terrible, after his move to Aleksandrovskaya Sloboda, brought the library with him. Another hypothesis says that John hid it in some kind of secure Kremlin cache. But be that as it may, after the reign of Grozny, the library disappeared.
The first Russian printed book "Apostle" (1564). She certainly was in the library of Ivan the Terrible.
There are many versions of the loss. First, priceless manuscripts were burnt in one of the Moscow fires. According to the second version, during the occupation of Moscow, the "Liberea" was taken to the West by the Poles and sold there in parts. According to the third version, the Poles did find the library, but in the conditions of famine they ate it there in the Kremlin.
As you know, people create a myth. For the first time we learn about the "Liberei" from the Livonian Chronicle. It describes how Ivan IV summoned the captive pastor Johann Wettermann to him and asked him to translate his library into Russian. The pastor refused.
The next mention occurs in the time of Peter the Great. From the note of the sexton Konon Osipov, we learn that his friend, clerk Vasily Makariev discovered a room full of chests in the Kremlin dungeons, told Sophia about this, but she ordered to forget about the find. And so, in the mainstream of the classic plot, the clerk carried this secret with him … until he told the sexton about everything. Konon Osipov not only undertook an independent search for the coveted room (the passage turned out to be covered with earth), but also raised Peter I in search of himself.
In 1822, a professor at the University of Dorpat, Christopher von Dabelov, wrote an article "On the Faculty of Law in Dorpat". Among other things, he cited a document which he named "Index of an Unknown Person". It was no less than a list of manuscripts kept in the library of Ivan the Terrible. When another professor, Walter Klossius, became interested in the original list, Dabelov stated that he had sent the original to Pernov's archives. Clossius undertook a search. The document was neither in fact nor in the inventory.
Nevertheless, in 1834, after Dabelov's death, Klossius published an article "Library of Grand Duke Vasily Ioannovich and Tsar John Vasilievich", in which he spoke in detail about the professor's find and announced a list of manuscripts from the "Index" - the works of Titus Livy, Tacitus, Polybius, Suetonius, Cicero, Virgil, Aristophanes, Pindar, etc.
Searches for "libereya" were also carried out in the 20th century. As we know, in vain. However, academician Dmitry Likhachev said that the legendary library is hardly of great value. Nevertheless, the myth of the "liberei" is very tenacious. For several centuries it has acquired more and more new "details". There is also a classic legend about the "spell": Sophia Palaeologus imposed the "curse of the pharaohs" on the books, which she learned about from the ancient parchment kept in the same library.
the Amber Room
The search for this masterpiece has been going on for more than half a century. Their plot is similar to a twisted mystical and detective novel at the same time.
Let's turn to history.
In 1709, Master Schlüter created the Amber Cabinet for the King of Prussia. Frederick was delighted. But not for long. Strange things began to happen in the room: the candles themselves went out and flashed, the curtains opened and closed, and the room was regularly filled with mysterious whispers.
"We don't need such amber!" - decided the monarch. The room was dismantled and removed to the basement, and Schlüter's master was expelled from the capital. Friedrich's son and successor, Friedrich-Wilhelm, presented the amber room to Peter I.
For several decades, the dismantled office was gathering dust somewhere in the tsar's warehouse, until Empress Elizaveta Petrovna discovered it. The room was safely collected in the Winter Palace, but something went wrong.
A month later, the empress ordered the abbot of the Sestroretsk monastery to send thirteen of the most pious monks. The monks spend three days in the amber room in fasting and prayer. On the fourth night, the monks proceed to the procedure for driving out demons. The room "calmed down" for a while.
With the outbreak of World War II, the cabinet mysteriously ended up in the Royal Castle of Königsberg. After the assault of Koenigsberg by Soviet troops in April 1945, the amber room disappeared without a trace, and its further fate still remains a mystery.
Repeated searches were undertaken for the disappeared relic. Everyone who participated in them died under mysterious circumstances.
The Amber Room has been restored. From time to time, original items from the "bad old" amber room that pop up at auctions confirm the good work of Russian restorers.
Vladimir's Golden Gate
An outstanding monument of ancient Russian architecture was built during the reign of Prince Andrei Bogolyubsky in 1164. In beauty, grandeur and architectural power, it surpassed the golden gates of Kiev, Jerusalem and Constantinople.
The massive oak gates were decorated with cast gold plates. "Prince them with gold" as recorded in the Ipatiev Chronicle.
The gates disappeared in February 1238, when the Tatar-Mongol armies approached the city. Khan Batu dreamed of entering the city triumphantly through the Golden Gate. The dream didn’t come true. The public execution in front of the Golden Gate of Prince Vladimir Yuryevich, captured in Moscow, did not help Baty either.
On the fifth day of the siege, Vladimir was taken, but through a different gate. And the Golden Gate in front of Batu did not open even after the capture of the city. According to legend, the golden gate plates were removed and hidden by the townspeople in order to protect the relic from the encroachments of the Horde. They hid it so well that they still cannot find it.
They are not found either in museums or in private collections. Historians, having carefully studied the documents of those years and based on the logic of Vladimir's defenders, suggest that the gold was hidden at the bottom of the Klyazma. Needless to say, neither the search for professionals, nor the digging of black archaeologists brought any results.
Meanwhile, the shutters of the Golden Gate of Vladimir are listed in the UNESCO registers as a value lost by mankind.
The remains of Yaroslav the Wise
Yaroslav the Wise, the son of Vladimir the Baptist, was buried on February 20, 1054 in Kiev in the marble tomb of St. Clement.
In 1936, the sarcophagus was opened with surprise, and several mixed remains were found: a male, female and several bones of a child. In 1939, they were sent to Leningrad, where scientists from the Institute of Anthropology established that one of the three skeletons belonged to Yaroslav the Wise. However, it remained a mystery to whom the other remains belonged and how they got there.
Yaroslav the Wise
According to one version, the only wife of Yaroslav, the Scandinavian princess Ingegerde, rested in the tomb. But who was Yaroslav's child buried with him?
With the advent of DNA technology, the question of opening the tomb came up again. The relics of Yaroslav - the most ancient of the surviving remains of the Rurik family, had to "answer" several questions. Chief among which: the clan of Rurik - Scandinavians or are they still Slavs?
On September 10, 2009, looking at the pale anthropologist Sergei Szegeda, the staff of the Sophia Cathedral Museum realized that things were bad. The remains of Grand Duke Yaroslav the Wise disappeared, and in their place lay a completely different skeleton and the newspaper Pravda from 1964.
The riddle of the appearance of the newspaper was solved quickly. It was forgotten by the last Soviet specialists who worked with bones. But with the "self-styled" relics, the situation was more complicated. It turned out that these are female remains, and from two skeletons dating from completely different times! Who these women are, how their remains ended up in the sarcophagus, and where Yaroslav himself disappeared remains a mystery.
Faberge egg. Alexander III's gift to his wife
Emperor Alexander III presented it as a gift to his wife Maria Feodorovna for Easter in 1887. The egg was made of gold and richly decorated with precious stones; it is surrounded by wreaths of leaves and roses inlaid with diamonds, and three large sapphires complement all this brilliant splendor.
A Swiss movement from the Vacheron & Constantin manufactory is hidden inside. During the revolution, the monarch's gift was confiscated by the Bolsheviks, however, he “did not leave” Russia, as it was mentioned in the Soviet inventory of 1922. However, this was the last "trace" of the precious egg, antique dealers considered it lost.
Imagine the surprise of specialists when an American collector saw a photograph of the masterpiece in the old catalog of the auction house Parke Bernet (now Sotheby's) for 1964. According to the catalog, the rarity went under the hammer as a simple piece of jewelry, the manufacturer of which was listed as a certain "Clark".
The royal gift was sold for ridiculous money - $ 2,450. Experts took heart, as it became known that the egg was in the UK at that time, and is unlikely to have been exported abroad. Most likely, the current owners are not even aware of the true value of the egg. According to experts, its cost is now about 20 million pounds.
Kazan Icon of the Mother of God
The holy image was found on July 8, 1579 through the appearance of the Mother of God to the young Matrona, on the ashes of the house of the Kazan archer. The icon, wrapped in a shabby sleeve, was not in the least damaged by the fire. The fact that the image was miraculous became clear at once. During the first religious procession, two blind men from Kazan gained sight. In 1612, the icon became famous as the patroness of Dmitry Pozharsky during the battle with the Poles.
Before the Battle of Poltava, Peter the Great with his army prayed in front of the icon of the Kazan Mother of God. The Kazan Icon of the Mother of God overshadowed Russian soldiers in 1812. Even under Ivan the Terrible, the icon was dressed in a robe of red gold, and Catherine II in 1767, when visiting the Mother of God Monastery, put a diamond crown on the icon.
On June 29, 1904, the icon disappeared. Two shrines were stolen from the church: the icons of Our Lady of Kazan and the Savior Not Made by Hands. The thief quickly showed up, the peasant Bartholomew Chaikin, the church thief. The defendant argued that he had sold the precious salary and burned the icon itself in the oven. In 1909, there were rumors that the icon was found among the Old Believers. And it began …
Several prisoners in different prisons admitted that they knew the location of the shrine. Active searches were carried out until 1915, but none of the versions led to the acquisition of a miraculous image. Was the icon burned? And where did her precious robe go? Until now, this is one of the greatest mysteries of our history.
Cross of Euphrosyne of Polotsk
The name of this princess-abbess is associated with the creation in 1161 by the master jeweler Lazar Bogsha of the famous cross. The masterpiece of ancient Russian jewelry art also served as an ark for keeping Christian relics received from Constantinople and Jerusalem.
The six-pointed cross was richly decorated with precious stones, ornamental compositions and twenty enamel miniatures depicting saints. In five square nests, located in the middle of the cross, there were relics: drops of the blood of Jesus Christ, a particle of the Lord's cross, a piece of stone from the tomb of the Mother of God, parts of the relics of Saints Stephen and Panteleimon and the blood of Saint Demetrius. On the sides, the shrine was lined with twenty silver plates with gilding and an inscription warning the one who steals, gives or sells the shrine, a terrible punishment awaits.
Despite this, the fear of God's punishment stopped few people. At the turn of the XII-XIII centuries, the cross was taken out of Polotsk by the Smolensk princes. In 1514 he passed to Vasily III, who captured Smolensk. In 1579, after the capture of Polotsk by the Poles, the shrine went to the Jesuits. In 1812, the cross was walled up in the wall of St. Sophia Cathedral, away from the eyes of the French. During the revolution, the relic became a museum exhibit in the city of Mogilev.
Museum staff, of course, began to celebrate the massive pilgrimage to the shrine. The cross was transferred to the vault. He was missed only in the 1960s. It turned out that the cross had disappeared …
More than ten versions of the disappearance of an ancient relic have been developed. There is a version that it should be looked for in the museum archive of some provincial Russian town. Or maybe the cross went to some of the top military officials of that time … It is also assumed that the cross of Efrosinya of Polotsk ended up in the United States along with other valuables transferred as payment for American military aid. And there is an assumption that the cross did not leave Polotsk at all, and in 1812, the shrine was simply forgotten to "unfurl", mistaking for a real cross one of the many forgeries.