Let’s get weird. Today’s Photo & 5 features Moika Palace, which is the place where Rasputin was murdered. If you don’t know who Rasputin is, I’ve included a bit (a very small bit) of information about him below. Let me just tell you that of all the historical characters I’ve researched, there are a few that stand out. One of them is Rasputin.
Grigori Rasputin was an oddball to the max, and his story is very interesting. Very creepy. Very entertaining. He lived from January 9, 1869 – December 17, 1916. He was born a peasant in in the small village of Pokrovskoe, Siberia. He became known as a spiritual mystic, a religious wanderer, some thought he possessed mysterious abilities. He was well versed in religious scriptures and the interpretation of them, which attracted attention among the educated, noble, and elite. Through a series of relationships and connections, Rasputin was introduced to Tsar Nicholas and his wife, the Tsarina Alexandra at Peterhof Palace in November 1905. The relationship between Rasputin, Tsar Nicholas, and Alexandra became tight and strange. They believed that Rasputin could heal their son, Alexei who suffered from Hemophilia, using his mystical abilities. Over time, the relationship between Rasputin and the Tsarina Alexandra became so close, that the ruling class and the rest of the Romonov family became concerned and suspicious. Tsar Nicholas was known as a weak ruler, easily persuaded in politics and religion by his wife, and therefore by Rasputin, also known as the “Mad Monk”. By 1916, some of those concerned decided that the time had come to act.
On December 16/17, at Moika Palace, Rasputin was murdered.
Now, in the interest of factual representation of the event, I have to let you know that the murder was not properly investigated because the police were not allowed to conduct a proper investigation or an in depth search of the Mokai Palace after the murder. According to The Murder of Grigorii Rasputin. A Conspiracy That Brought Down the Russian Empire. Nelipa, Margarita (2010) Gilbert’s Books, “after the Soviets came to power, many of the documents that formed part of the official secret investigation have either been destroyed, or have disappeared.” As such, the murder of Rasputin has become, like the man himself, somewhat mystical. The “facts” below are what is said to have happened on the night that Rasputin was murdered. And so, if you’re ready, I’ll say it again: let’s get weird. Here’s your photo (okay, another photo, there are 3 in all today):
And here are your five facts about how it is said to have gone down.
1. At around midnight on December 16, 1916, Rasputin was invited to the Moika Palace by Prince Felix Yusupov, along with Vladimir Purishkevich (a prominent politicain), and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich under the pretense of Rasputin meeting Yusupov’s wife, Princess Irina.
2. He was taken to a recently renovated, soundproof room in the Palace (above photo) where a delicious spread of wine and pastries poisoned with cyanide were laid out for him. So hospitable.
3.Rasputin consumed the poisoned refreshments, and….kept right on living.
“I stood watching him drink, expecting any moment to see him collapse. But he continued slowly to sip his wine like a connoisseur. His face did not change, only from time to time he put his band to his throat as though he had some difficulty in swallowing. He rose and took a few steps. When I asked him what was the matter, he answered: ‘Why, nothing, just a tickling in my throat ‘The Madeira’s good,’ he remarked; ‘give me some more.'” – Prince Felix Yusupov, recalling the night he murdered Rasputin.
4. Patience exhausted, Yusupov decided to wrap things up and shot Rasputin in the back. No dice. Rasputin was still alive. In the end, Rasputin was shot 3 more times (which still didn’t kill him), after which he tried to escape the palace. He made it outside, but was caught, taken back inside, beaten, castrated (just for good measure), and then wrapped in a carpet and dumped in the freezing Malaya Nevka River. When his body was found, the cause of death was determined to be drowning and hypothermia, meaning that the poison, gunshots, and beatings weren’t enough to do the job by themselves.
5. There had been a prior assassination attempt on Rasputin’s life in July 1914, when he was suddenly attacked on the street by a woman named Khionia Guseva. She stabbed him in the stomach, and although he required surgery, he survived.
Today, there is a Rasputin Museum in the Moika Palace. In the basement room where he was killed, you will find wax figures recreated to display the fatal evening.