(1) Box | A set of pictures from this very regularly looking cottage. Well…at least on the outside. Chalet Brickell by Pure Concept is a masterpiece located in French Alps. Inside it’s a pure luxury, combined with the classical wooden pattern so typical for local buildings. It’s available for rent ranging from 25 000 to 135 000 EUR!!! I would really like to know what you think? Do you like it or do you think it’s already too much (not the money, the luxurious style inside).
◦ Father and Son: Emperor Alexander III of Russia and Tsarevich Nicholas, future Emperor Nicholas II.
Alexander and Nicholas were different. They were almost exactly opposite. Alexander was a huge and bear-like man, while his oldest son was small, gentle and affectionate. An account from the memoirs of the artist Alexander Benois gives one impression of Alexander III:
“After a performance of the ballet ‘Tsar Kandavl’ at the Mariinsky Theatre, I first caught sight of the Emperor. I was struck by the size of the man, and although cumbersome and heavy, he was still a mighty figure. There was indeed something of the muzhik [Russian peasant] about him. The look of his bright eyes made quite an impression on me. As he passed where I was standing, he raised his head for a second, and to this day I can remember what I felt as our eyes met. It was a look as cold as steel, in which there was something threatening, even frightening, and it struck me like a blow. The Tsar’s gaze! The look of a man who stood above all others, but who carried a monstrous burden and who every minute had to fear for his life and the lives of those closest to him. In later years I came into contact with the Emperor on several occasions, and I felt not the slightest bit timid. In more ordinary cases Tsar Alexander III could be at once kind, simple, and even almost homely.”
Many people who have met Nicholas remarked how his eyes alone spoke kindness (though the picture above doesn’t do him justice). Alexander had no real confidence in Nicholas’ ability. When his minister Sergei Witte proposed that Nicholas should chair a committee to build the Trans-Siberian railway, Alexander is reported to have said to Witte, “But do you know the Grand Duke, my heir? Have you ever had a serious conversation with him? He is a child. His reasoning is childish. How could he preside over this committee?” Alexander first allowed Nicholas tag along to his official duties in 1893, the year before Nicholas became Tsar. This was one of few mistakes made by Alexander according to Nicholas’ sister Olga, because Nicholas was not ready for his new difficult job by the time he succeed the throne. Nicholas was aware of his unpreparedness and would never do the same thing to his own son. So often when Nicholas went on official events, his only son and heir Alexei would often accompany him. This was to prepare Alexei for when he would someday become Tsar. But this was never tested as the monarchy was abolished and the family was murdered.