Yusupov palace

Walking from the Isaac’s Square to Teatralnaya Ploschad (Theater Square) along river Moika you will pass the old Yusupov Palace (94 Moika emb.). This palace, belonging to the one of the wealthiest families in pre-Soviet Russia, is best known for the story of the Grigory Rasputin’s death. Rasputin was a failed monk and a “holy peasant”, who gained a significant influence in the court early in the XX century, not least thanks to his doctrine that promiscuity could bring redemption. He also endeared himself to Nicholas II and Alexandra by somehow treating their son Alexey for haemophilia. Apparently his influence on the royal family was threatening the position of other political forces, who were willing to dispose of this lecherous figure; on the night of 16 December 1916 Rasputin was invited to dinner at this palace by Prince Felix Yusupov and his friends (the alleged attraction being Yusupov’s wife), and a long story of murder began. First Rasputin was fed poisoned food; but upon the meal he was still alive, and then Yusupov shot at him several times. And yet the mystic refused to die and even grabbed his murderer by the throat. Yusupov ran away to bring help, and when reinforcements arrived, the “holy man” already managed to drag himself outside. They shot him a few more times, beat him with sticks and finally stuffed him through the ice of the frozen river. It is reported that he did not die until he was submerged: water was found in his lungs. This was the end of one of the most scandalous stories of that time.

 

 


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