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HomeLatest NewsA strong friendship united Peter and his tutor Boris Golitsyn throughout his...

A strong friendship united Peter and his tutor Boris Golitsyn throughout his life.

The name of Prince Boris Alekseevich Golitsyn is sparingly mentioned in history textbooks among the teachers and educators of Tsarevich Peter. He was an “uncle” of the prince, he encouraged the boy’s passion for military affairs and introduced him to the sciences. Here, perhaps, is what little can be gleaned from traditional sources.

But Boris Golitsyn, who played, according to the prominent historian SM Solovyov, a decisive role in the fate of Peter, is a multifaceted personality.

royal appointment

Boris Golitsyn was appointed to the “uncles” of young Peter by his mother Natalya Kirillovna. The fatherless boy needed male influence. And Boris Alekseevich, who was 20 years older, became the young tsar and comrade-in-arms, adviser and friend. According to the memoirs of contemporaries and the diaries of foreigners, the prince was very well educated, educated, cultured, spoke several foreign languages, including the language of international communication of that time – Latin.

V. Vasiliev. Peter I in Dubrovitsy. Photo: Podolia Museum.

Golitsyn became one of the initiators of bringing Peter to power. When the prince’s fate was decided, the prince, risking his reputation and, of course, aware of the blood ties, tried to persuade Princess Sofia’s favorite and his brother Vasily to side with him. Peter. This could cost Boris Golitsyn not only his career, but also his life; then his heads were lopped off left and right for the slightest suspicion in connection with the warring field. An episode that characterizes the “uncle” as a very decent person…

It is worth remembering that it was Golitsyn who helped Peter meet his new foreign friends: the educated Patrick Gordon, who taught the young tsar military and political wisdom, and the audacious Franz Lefort, who became a true friend of Peter. . The king’s circle of contacts among foreigners was very wide. Golitsyn became a guide for the tsar in a new and very interesting world for Peter.

Heinrich Wilhelm Ludolf and his grammar.

The following fact speaks eloquently about the personality scale of the “uncle”: the first Russian grammar “Grammatica Russica” by Heinrich Wilhelm Ludolf, published for foreigners who decided to learn Russian, was dedicated to him:

“Most Serene and Most High Prince,

Since I myself was an eyewitness to His special mercy and enlightened benevolence towards foreigners, I decided to dedicate this textbook of the Russian language to His Highness. Having mastered the Latin language, you yourself opened access to conversations with foreigners, and already by virtue of this, I hope that you will not condemn me for what I tried. [этим начальным руководством] help those who want to start a conversation with Your People”.

Published at Oxford in 1696, “Grammar” brought Boris Golitsyn true world fame; after all, it was, in fact, the first phrasebook that helped foreigners establish communication with Russians.

The Dubrovitsy temple near Moscow is a reminder of the glorious past of the Motherland. Photo: RIA Novosti

Royal Church in Dubrovitsy

According to a legend circulating in tourist guides, in 1690 the young Peter I came to visit his “uncle” at his estate in Dubrovitsy, near Moscow. Arriving at the high bank, the tsar was so fascinated by the beauty of these places that he exclaimed: “Two rivers, the Desna and the Pakhra, join behind the hill, behind the meadow below it, in a Acute angle, forming the bow. of the ship. This ship, but the mast of these places worthy! A church like this should be built here, so that the Germans would gasp. So beautiful and in the world there would be no other.. . “.

These words were spoken or others; it is not known for sure, but Golitsyn built such a temple on his property, which is still surprising. Few people can explain how this work, worthy of the cities of Italy or the old estates of southern Germany, ended up in the desert of that time. The lost or deliberately hidden name of the architect makes it necessary to search, propose theories about the creator, but one thing is clear: Boris Alekseevich Golitsyn erected a monument that will remember him for centuries.

There have been many versions of who built the temple over the last 300 years. One thing is certain: these are foreign masters. Italians, Germans, Swedes, Poles? Or maybe all together. From the hand of Russian masters. After Peter came to power, churchmen tried to strengthen his influence, get rid of everything foreign, including visiting craftsmen who were engaged in the construction and decoration of Moscow churches.


Probably, Boris Golitsyn, who hired foreigners to build on his property, not only gave them work in difficult times, but also saved the capital’s fighters from all the strangeness of the attacks.

The tsar not only supported his master, but also took an active part: he visited Dubrovitsy during the construction, helped financially and gave away icons and rich church utensils. When Patriarch Adrian did not want to consecrate the church because of the “appearance of a heretic”, the king praised the architects. The temple was consecrated after Adrian’s death by the patriarchal throne locum tenens Stefan Yavorsky.

The celebration took place in 1704 in the presence of Peter and his son Alexei. After the celebration, which lasted a week, Peter left for St. Petersburg, taking with him the craftsmen who worked on the construction and decoration of the temple.

18th century wheelchair.

actual “carried”

Peter did not lose contact with the “uncle” even after the move. Golitsyn and Petr corresponded (perhaps, thanks to the Digital-Peter project, we will soon be able to read this correspondence). In old age, Boris Alekseevich fell ill, and his legs began to fail. Learning of this, Peter sent his mentor a “carry”: a prototype of a modern wheelchair, designed and manufactured by the king himself.

Boris Golitsyn’s grave at the Florishchev Hermitage Monastery. Vladimir region.

At the end of his life, Boris Alekseevich went to the monastery, taking with him numerous gifts from Peter. He managed to build a complete monastic building, still called Golitsyn. He died and was buried in the Florishcheva hermitage under the name of the monk Bogolep. A tombstone and chapel over his grave have recently been restored.

The author thanks Viktor Yuryevich Lukashevich, a researcher on the life and activities of Boris Alekseevich Golitsyn, for his help in preparing the material.


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