Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Revolution in Russia


This was a story in the Daily Graphic on March 25, 1905. The report beneath the illustration read:
"The bomb explosion at the hotel here shook the building to its very foundation. Windows were smashed, and some of the walls were cracked. The man who carried the bomb is supposed to have carelessly dropped it, and he paid for his blundering with his own life. At first he was reported to be an Englishman, but it has since been established that he was a revolutionist. A number of people in the hotel were injured by the explosion, and many passers by were hurled to the ground."

The St Petersburg hotel survived, and on the eve of the Revolution 11 years later, "The Bristol, a four-ruble-a-night hotel on an avenue of leafless chestnuts, had been commandeered for the Stavka, the supreme army headquarters. The tsar took his daily walks by the River Moika with his English setters. In the evening he watched movies. His favourite was a 22-reel detective serial called "The Secrets of New York." This come from Brian Moynahan's biography of Rasputin.

The Bristol is no longer there. Other smart hotels like the Kempinski and the Pushkin have taken its place. But in 2012 a new Bristol opened on Ulitsa Rasstanaya in St Petersburg (see New Bristol in St Petersburg).

Before the Revolution there were a number of Bristols in Russia, and in any shtetl you might find a four-rouble-a-night Bristol. The handsome Bristol in Odessa, built in 1899 by the Italian architect Alexander Bernardazzi, changed its name during Soviet times to the Krasnaya, meaning red or beautiful, as in Krasnaya ploschad, Red Square. Recalling its former glory, this grand hotel in the Black Sea resort has now become the Bristol again.

Back to the latest news

No comments:

Post a Comment