1903 ball in the Winter Palace

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Tsar Nicholas II and Tsaritsa Alexandra posed in 17th-century Russian court dress.

The 1903 ball in the Winter Palace (Russian: Костюмированный бал 1903 года) was a luxurious ball during the reign of the emperor Nicholas II of Russia. It was held in the Winter Palace, Saint Petersburg, in two stages, on February 11 and 13. All the visitors were in bejeweled 17th-century style costumes, made from designs by the artist Sergey Solomko, in collaboration with historical experts.

Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovitch recalled the occasion as "the last spectacular ball in the history of the empire ... [but] a new and hostile Russia glared through the large windows of the palace ... while we danced, the workers were striking and the clouds in the Far East were hanging dangerously low."[1]

The entire Imperial family posed in rich 17th-century costumes, Tsar Nicholas as Alexei I, the Tsaritsa as Maria Miloslavskaya, in the Hermitage Theatre, many wearing priceless original items brought specially from the Kremlin,[2] for what was to be their final photograph together.[3]

Photographs from the souvenir album[edit]


  1. ^ Andrei Maylunas, Segei Mironenko (1996). A Lifelong Passion. London: Orian Publishing Group Ltd. ISBN 0-297-81520-2., p. 226
  2. ^ Maylunas, p. 227
  3. ^ Kurth, Peter (1995). Tsar: The Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra. London: Little, Brown and Company (UK) Ltd. ISBN 0-316-50787-3., p. 64