Equestrian Portrait of Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich (detail)
Tsar of All Russia (1)
Tsar of All Russia (2)
Fitted Kaftan of Tsar Peter the Great
Staff of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich
Sakkos of Patriarch Philaret
Sakkos of Patriarch Philaret (detail)
‘The Mother of God’, ‘The Savior’ and St John the Baptist’ Icons from a Deisis
Details of Gospels Cover
Plate
Set of Liturgical Veils
Tsar of All Russia (3)
Yushman (Plated Chain Mail)
Pendant in the shape of an Eagle
‘The Worship of the Cross’ Icon (detail)
‘Vladimir Mother of God’ icon in a Cover and Case
Table Decoration
Chessmen
Mitre
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Exquisite court treasures show the holiness and splendour of the sovereign rulers

In an expansive exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Tsar of All Russia. Holiness and Splendour of Power, items on display present the wealth and power of the Romanov dynasty. This was a seldom discussed period of Russian history – a time when the interplay between politics and religion was forged by the tsars who were at the pinnacle of their power and authority.

The Romanov dynasty, the rulers of Russia from 1613 until the Russian Revolution, is remembered by their tragic end in 1917 and a fictional romanticised story of a young girl called Anastasia. What is not well known, is that there was another beautiful Anastasia by the side of the man who became the very first Tsar of all Russia.   

Ivan IV Vasilyevich became “Tsar of All Russia” when he was crowned in January 1547. Two weeks later he married Anastasia Romanovna, who was chosen from a pool of at least 500 eligible daughters of noble descent. All went well until she died. He blamed the boyars and began a process of usurping their powers in the most brutal way possible. “Ivan the Terrible” ruled until 1584.

Text Martin Wray / Photos Cammy Yiu & Martin Wray