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Tales of Imperial RussiaThe Life and Times of Sergei Witte, 1849-1915$
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Francis W. Wcislo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199543564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199543564.001.0001

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Conclusion: From the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, 1915

Conclusion: From the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, 1915

(p.241) Conclusion: From the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, 1915
Tales of Imperial Russia

Francis Wcislo (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The view from the Alexander Nevsky Lavra looks up the broad expanse of avenue that leads toward the Admiralty Spire at the center of imperial St Petersburg, the capital that the first All-Russian Emperor, Peter the Great, erected on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. Following Nevsky Prospect from there back to the monastery, whose baroque architecture tied Peter's new European culture to Russia's Orthodox and medieval past, the visitor finds its cemetery, where St Petersburg's city elite honored itself. There, tucked in a small, enclosed courtyard expanse, is to be found a large, granite grey tombstone, which marks the site where Witte was laid to rest on 2 March 1915, seven months after the outbreak of what was becoming the Great War. This chapter considers what can be said about Witte's life story from the perspective of its own end time, only some two years removed from the destruction of the empire that had shaped it.

Keywords:   Sergei Witte, Russian empire, imperial history, death, life story, St Petersburg

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