Imperial Crown of Russia
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The Imperial Crown of Russia is the crown that was used to crown Emperors of Russia until the abolition of the monarchy in 1917. The imperial crown was first used by Emperor Peter I of Russia and last used in 1896 to crown Emperor Nicholas II of Russia. It is currently on display in the Moscow Kremlin Armoury.
In 1719, Tsar Peter I "the Great" founded the earliest version of what we now know as the State Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation. The crown replaced the Monomakh's Cap used by earlier Russian Tsars and Grand Princes of Muscovy, as a symbol of the adoption of the title of Emperor.
Peter I had visited other European nations, and introduced many innovations to Russia, one of which was the creation of a permanent fund to house a collection of jewels which belonged not to the Romanov family, but to the Russian State.
The Great Imperial Crown made in 1762 for the coronation of Catherine the Great by the court jeweller, J.Pauzie, represents the beauty and skilled workmanship. It is adorned with five thousand diamonds arranged in a splendid pattern of laurel wreaths and oak branches (some Russian sources state this number as 4,836) with a number of fine, large white pearls. The crown is also decorated with one of the seven historic stones of the Russia's Diamond Collection - a large precious red spinel weighing 398.72 carats (79.744 g) which was brought to Russia by Nicholas Spafary, the Russian envoy to China from 1675 to 1678.The crown is based upon a medieval Byzantine design - two half spheres representing the eastern and western empires of Rome, connected by a full arch in the form of a garland of oak leaves and acorns which represent the temporal power of the monarchy, surmounted by a large spinel. Cross, representing the Christian Faith of the Sovereign, the God-given power of the monarchy and also the supremacy of the Divine order over earthly power.
The glitter of the diamonds is enhanced by two rows of gleaming pearls and the crown is topped by a huge red spinel, the second largest in the world, which weighs almost 400 carats (80 g).
Following the tradition of the Byzantine Emperors, the Tsar of Russia placed the crown on his own head. This left no doubt that, in the Russian system, the imperial power came directly from God. The prayer of the metropolitan, similar to that of the Patriarch of Constantinople for the Byzantine Emperor, confirmed the imperial supremacy.
He would take it and place it on his head himself, while the metropolitan recited:
"In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."
The metropolitan would then make the following short address:
- "Most God-fearing, absolute and mighty Lord, Tsar of all the Russias, this visible and tangible adornment of thy head is an eloquent symbol that thou as the head of the whole Russian people art invisibly crowned by the King of kings, Christ, with a most ample blessing, seeing that He bestows upon thee entire authority over His people."
bg:Руска императорска корона