Category Archives: Russia

Ivan Grozny

Ivan Grozny, was the first ruler of Russia to call himself Tsar. The research into this complex man for my podcast is coming along having just received a book entitled Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff (a grand nephew of Nicholas II). Originally published in 1975, it looks like an excellent piece of work. Will have to balance it off with other works on their way though.

One interesting thing about Ivan’s name, is that Grozny, the name given to him by fellow Russian’s does not mean Terrible as many think. Its meaning is closer to the word powerful than Terrible. More on that in the Ivan IV podcast series starting in two weeks.

St. Sergius of Radonezh

A fascinating man, St. Sergius, born Bartholomew, was to change the size and shape of Russia for centuries to come. The spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox people, he inspired men to go into the forests of Russia and to build small churches and monasteries far from the horrors that beset the Russian people. With the plague running rampant and people fed up with the constant bickering amongst the princes of Russia, they enthusiastically took up the task.

Within a few hundred years, the Russian Orthodox Church owned fully 1/3rd of the land of the Rus. They caused one of the largest expansions the country had yet seen. Join me in today’s podcast on the man of God, St. Sergius of Radonezh.

The First Stone Church in Moscow

Ivan I, aka Ivan Kalita or Ivan Moneybags along with Metropolitan Peter wanted to build churches and monastaries throughout Russia during his reign. The Dormition Cathedral aka The Church of the Assumption was the first stone church in Moscow. Finished in 1327 it fell into disrepair and was completely rebuilt by 1479  by Italian architect Aristotele Fioravanti at the behest of Ivan III (the Great). The photo is of the rebuilt church with the drawing being the sketch of the original.