The Cathedral of the Dormition and the Chrysler Imperial Touring

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The Cathedral of the Dormition, Copyright Татьяна Чеп (Tatyana Chep)

The Cathedral of the Dormition, also called Assumption Cathedral (Russian name Uspenskiy Sobor), is on the northern side of Cathedral Square in Moskvá’s Kreml. It’s surrounded on all sides by the Palace of Facets, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, and the Church of the Twelve Apostles. This beautiful, imposing cathedral is Muscovite Russia’s mother church.

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Northern door, Copyright Alvesgaspar

Tsar Ivan III, the Great, the first Russian ruler to call himself Tsar, ordered its construction in the 15th century. Architect Aristotele Fioravanti built it from 1475–79. Under the reign of Ivan I (Ivan Kalita [Moneybag]), a cathedral dedicated to Theotokos (the Virgin Mary) had been built and dedicated, but this cathedral had fallen into disrepair by the end of the 15th century. A new cathedral was built from 1472–74, but as it neared completion, the placement of the drum of the main cupola caused it to collapse, and they had to start all over again. The new cathedral combined Russian traditions with Renaissance style.

Assumption_Cathedral_in_Moscow_02_by_shakko

Copyright user:shakko

In 1547, the coronation of Tsar Ivan IV (Ivan Grozniy, whose title truly translates as “fearsome,” “awe-inspiring,” and “dreadsome,” NOT “terrible”) took place in the cathedral. Starting in 1721, with Peter the Great, it became the location for all coronations. The installation of patriarchs and metropolitans of the Russian Orthodox Church also took place here, and this is where most of those religious leaders’ tombs are.

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Copyright Elenak1211

Sadly, this beautiful cathedral has suffered much through the ages, with fires in 1518, 1547, 1682, and 1737; looting by Polish–Lithuanian forces during the Smutnoye Vremya (Time of Troubles) in 1612; and more looting and being used as a stable by the occupying French in 1812. In 1894–95, it underwent a thorough restoration. Its final religious service was held on Easter 1918, with special permission from Lenin. Following this, it became a museum. A story claims Stalin held a secret service here in the winter of 1941, when the Nazis were at the threshold of Moskvá, to pray for the country’s salvation.

It underwent repairs in 1949–50, 1960, and 1978. In 1990, it reopened for sporadic religious services, and since 1991, has been fully restored to the Russian Orthodox Church.

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Holy Doors and part of the ikonostasis, Copyright user:shakko

During the coronation ceremony, the Tsar would enter the Holy Doors to take Communion with the priests for the first and only time in his life, taking the bread and wine separately instead of mixed together in a special spoon. In my alternative history, a new tradition is started when the Tsaritsa, Arkadiya, also goes inside the Holy Doors to receive Communion. Prior to this fantasy coronation in 1931, the Tsaritsa always remained outside to take Communion like everyone else. Not only does the Tsaritsa come inside, but the baby Tsesarevich, Yaroslav (Yarik), also comes inside for Communion. In Eastern Orthodoxy, infants take Communion. Hey, it’s the 20th century, and Russia has become a constitutional monarchy.

Chrysler Imperial Touring

Copyright Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden

The Chrysler Imperial Touring is probably my third-most desired antique car, after the sweet, sweet Duesenberg and Rochet-Schneider. This was Chrysler’s top of the line vehicle for much of its existence, starting with its début in 1926. It was initially manufactured until 1954, and then brought back from 1990–1993. In my alternative history, this is one of the cars in Tsar Aleksey II’s garage. He’s not allowed to drive, for fear the worst might happen, but there’s nothing the matter with being a passenger.

Déjà Vu Blogfest 2012

Deja Vu

D.L. Hammons of Cruising Altitute 2.0 is hosting the 2012 Déjà Vu Blogfest, in which participants repost a favorite blog post from 2012, perhaps one that never got enough attention the first time round. For most of this year, I was still learning the art of getting my average post down to under 1,000 words, so it was a bit of a challenge.

“My Dream Hobby” was originally published on 8 May, and paid tribute to some of my favorite antique cars. I’ve liked cars since I was a little kid and had toy cars. I’m so grateful that my parents raised me and my little brother as people, not stereotypes erroneously based on biological sex. It never occurred to me that being interested in cars was a “guy” hobby. I just happen to like old cars.

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For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by antique cars, Brass Age cars in particular. They just have such interesting shapes and colors, and call to mind a simpler time. And since I write 20th century historical, I get to incorporate my love of antique cars into my writing. I’ve seen some classic cars I like, but I far prefer the shapes of antique cars. If I ever have enough money, space, and time, my dream hobby is to own, repair, drive, and show antique cars.

These are a couple of the antique cars I’ve featured or mentioned in my books, which are also among my favorites:

The Duesenberg was a luxury automobile owned by royalty and celebrities. It stopped manufacturing in 1937, and today the cars can go for several million dollars. This is my dream antique car, particularly in red. My villain Boris Aleksandrovich Malenkov and semi-antagonist Mr. Seward (Max’s dad), one of my favorite adult characters in my Atlantic City books, both have red Duesenbergs. There’s also a scene with a blue Duesenberg in my recently-completed first volume about Jakob DeJonghe.

The Rochet-Schneider, another luxury car, was like the French version of Rolls-Royce. Ivan’s maternal aunt Valeriya and her second husband Grigoriy Golitsyn, a deposed prince, buy a sea-green Rochet-Schneider after they come to America in 1920.

The French Delahaye, a high-end car that was produced till 1954 and which was a big symbol of French patriotism during WWII. It won the 1937 Monte Carlo Rally, the Million Franc Race, and humiliated the Nazis in the 1938 Pau Grand Prix when Jewish driver René Dreyfus beat their Mercedes-Benz. Jakob DeJonghe is going to buy this particular model, in that color, as his first American car in 1946.

The Peugeot, an upscale French car. This 1935 model, in that color, is owned by Kees (Cornelius) and Gusta (Augusta) ter Avest, the older couple whom Jakob and his mother Luisa move in with after his father’s murder at the start of the book. Jakob later risks very serious consequences to drive the car (loaded with his beloved bicycle and some other important possessions) to a sympathetic Christian family in the nearby Jordaan neighborhood for safekeeping, after an edict forbidding Jewish ownership of cars and bicycles.

The 1926 Chrysler Imperial Touring. Ivan and Lyuba come into the possession of this beauty after they and their friends Aleksey and Nikolas mete out appropriate justice to some scumbag who did something awful to Lyuba and Ivan’s daughter Darya, their third child and their first blood daughter together. He confesses that he never committed any of his crimes in the car, so they don’t feel wrong about taking it for themselves.

The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, a 1920s limo. This car is driven by Mr. Glazov, the Russian Uncle Tom who runs the iron factory Ivan, Aleksey, and Nikolas work at.

Not all Model Ts were black. The Model T (1921 version) is owned by Ivan as his first American car, and by Lyuba’s uncle Mikhail.

The Model A, which debuted in 1927 as the new, improved version of the old Model T. Lyuba’s mother and stepfather acquire one in 1929.

The Russo-Baltique, Russia’s very own car manufacturing company in the early 20th century. It was recently revived with modern models. In my first Russian novel, this car is owned by Ivan’s father, and is the car where Lyuba and Ivan have their first kiss in March of 1917. It’s also owned by their dear friend Pyotr, who risks his life by double-crossing his Bolshevik father and older brothers to get his friends out of the Soviet Union.

My dream hobby

Words on Paper

Tuesdays in the Blog Me MAYbe Blogfest are themed “May I tell you something about myself?” For almost as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by antique cars, Brass Age cars in particular. They just have such interesting shapes and colors, and call to mind a simpler time. And since I write 20th century historical, I get to incorporate my love of antique cars into my writing. I’ve seen some classic cars I like, but I far prefer the shapes of antique cars. If I ever have enough money, space, and time, my dream hobby is to own, repair, drive, and show antique cars.

These are a couple of the antique cars I’ve featured or mentioned in my books, which are also among my favorites:

The Duesenberg was a luxury automobile owned by royalty and celebrities. It stopped manufacturing in 1937, and today the cars can go for several million dollars. This is my dream antique car, particularly in red. My villain Boris Aleksandrovich Malenkov and semi-antagonist Mr. Seward (Max’s dad), one of my favorite adult characters in my Atlantic City books, both have red Duesenbergs. There’s also a scene with a blue Duesenberg in my recently-completed first volume about Jakob DeJonghe.

The Rochet-Schneider, another luxury car, was like the French version of Rolls-Royce. Ivan’s maternal aunt Valeriya and her second husband Grigoriy Golitsyn, a deposed prince, buy a sea-green Rochet-Scheider after they come to America in 1920.

The French Delahaye, a high-end car that was produced till 1954 and which was a big symbol of French patriotism during WWII. It won the 1937 Monte Carlo Rally, the Million Franc Race, and humiliated the Nazis in the 1938 Pau Grand Prix when Jewish driver René Dreyfus beat their Mercedes-Benz. Jakob DeJonghe is going to buy this particular model, in that color, as his first American car in 1946.

The Peugeot, an upscale French car. This 1935 model, in that color, is owned by Kees (Cornelius) and Gusta (Augusta) ter Avest, the older couple whom Jakob and his mother Luisa move in with after his father’s murder at the start of the book. Jakob later risks very serious consequences to drive the car (loaded with his beloved bicycle and some other important possessions) to a sympathetic Christian family in the nearby Jordaan neighborhood for safekeeping, after an edict forbidding Jewish ownership of cars and bicycles.

The 1926 Chrysler Imperial Touring. Ivan and Lyuba come into the possession of this beauty after they and their friends Aleksey and Nikolas mete out appropriate justice to some scumbag who did something awful to Lyuba and Ivan’s daughter Darya, their third child and their first blood daughter together. He confesses that he never committed any of his crimes in the car, so they don’t feel wrong about taking it for themselves.

The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, a 1920s limo. This car is driven by Mr. Glazov, the Russian Uncle Tom who runs the iron factory Ivan, Aleksey, and Nikolas work at.

Not all Model Ts were black. The Model T (1921 version) is owned by Ivan as his first American car, and by Lyuba’s uncle Mikhail.

The Model A, which debuted in 1927 as the new, improved version of the old Model T. Lyuba’s mother and stepfather acquire one in 1929.

The Russo-Baltique, Russia’s very own car manufacturing company in the early 20th century. It was recently revived with modern models. In my first Russian novel, this car is owned by Ivan’s father, and is the car where Lyuba and Ivan have their first kiss in March of 1917. It’s also owned by their dear friend Pyotr, who risks his life by double-crossing his Bolshevik father and older brothers to get his friends out of the Soviet Union.