Российская Империя: Пётр I, часть 2. [02/16] [Eng Sub]

Uploaded by TheComradeRussia on 26.04.2012

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To the 300th anniversary of the Russian Federation and St. Petersburg.
The capital was founded a gun - shot away from the border.
The first to be built was the Petropavlovskaya fortress,
but its bastions never had to hold out against an enemy attack.
The Cannon fired heralding the beginning of Peter's Assemblies.
But the most famous tradition
was the cannon - shot at noon.
Now they fire it, checking the time by the radio.
Another day in the 300 - year - old history of Empire and capital.
As any major construction site of the new world,
the North Capital starts with penal servitude.
Every yearthey drive here 40 men from around the country.
They live in the open and carry earth in the hems of their robes.
They know one remedy against scurvy and dysentery - Vodka,
infused with pine - cones. Now they call it Gin.
100 thousand men left their bones beneath the city pavement.
- They die out? - They sure do.
Even free people are forcibly resettled to St. Petersburg.
Artisans, merchants, the nobility.
ln Finnish the word 'Neva' means 'swamp'.
Life here is equaled with 'Czar service'.
One can't leave here on his own free will.
Even ambitious Menshikov wasn't too eagerto get the post of
governor. But he is appointed, builds a palace in a
designated place, and in it holds regular Assemblies.
At that time Neva used to wash the steps of the front entrance.
An orchestra played on the balcony,
all the guests arrived by water only.
Not to impede navigation, no bridges are allowed on the Neva.
The first bridge will be built only afterthe Emperor's death.
lt will connect Menshikov's palace and the Admiralty bank.
Of all the arts in the Empire the foremost is architecture.
With its help the supreme power immortalizes its epoch.
3 ltalians especially contributed to the city's looks.
Trezzini, Rastrelli, Rossi.
They transferred the golden section of their southern
palaces to Northern Palmira, and became Russian architects.
A Polish traveler about St. Petersburg, 1720:
'To build a foundation on a quagmire - is a torture.
'The houses shake whenever a streetcar passes by.
Dwelling construction is categorized.
The city's chief architect Domenico Trezzini
designed standard projects:
One - storeyed houses - for commoners, ones with the
mezzanines - forthe rich, two - storeyed - for VlPs. Every
owner draws a line in front of his house marking the sidewalk.
Trezzini erects the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.
This tourist site is called 'Angel view'.
With the steeple of the Petropavlovsky Cathedral the new
capital in its way shows its superiority overthe old one.
Forthe first time in 100 years they break the ban on building
structures tallerthan the Kremlin bell - tower of lvan the Great.
The Petropavlovsky Cathedral remains the tallest structure in
the Empire until they build the lsakievsky Cathedral.
Then too you could only get a glimpse of the city
guardian - angel through a telescope from the opposite bank.
Trezzini's 'Building of 12 Collegiums' houses the first
Council of Ministers.
lnitially it was to accommodate all government institutions -
all the 12 Collegiums.
But there was not enough space.
Trezzini, or as they called him Andrei Trezin, designs
the project of the Alexandro - Nevsky monastery.
To this monastery on the outskirts of St.Petersburg
by boat Petertransfers the holy remains
of Alexander Nevsky, delivered from Vladimir.
The ceremony has a special meaning.
Legend has it that here in 1241 Prince Alexander Yaroslavovich
crushed the Swedes, and became Alexander Nevsky.
Just the right place to remind of the words of our glorious
ancestor: 'Who comes with a sword - shall die of a sword'.
The Empire demonstrates the continuity of its historic goals.
lt wins back the historic lands - Ochich and Dedich.
Sweden is there, Poltava - here.
The Swedes have never gone that far south.
The Russians lure the enemy into the depths of the huge country,
leaving behind devastated towns and villages. The Swedes
are exhausted by the hunger and hardships of the long campaign.
The Russians retreat still further back, until they finally
chose a position - extremely inconvenient forthe enemy.
Hence when we want to say 'Worse than worse', -
we say: 'Like a Swede under Poltava'.
Karl was all set for a decisive battle, but was skeptical.
lt seemed, the Russians would avoid it again.
Pushkin: 'lt seemed Karl was
'in bewilderment in the face of the long - desired battle.
'With a weak motion of his hand he ordered his troops to attack.
Peter was more anxious.
The two armies are fighting as equals, but forthe first
time afterthe crushing defeat at Narva the Russians confront
the main enemy forces under the command of the king himself.
'Soldiers! This crucial battle will decide the fate of Russian!
And decide it did. ln the Poltava field,
amid these hollows, Russia became a ' Great Power' .
And Sweden ceased to be one.
At first feelings of revenge were strong.
Revenge forthe embarrassment and the shame.
But then the Swedes lost Finland and Norway, settled down,
concentrated on their domestic affairs, and in the end Sweden
turned into a wonderfully prosperous second - rank country.
Swedish historian Peter Englung: 'One of the roads that
'led to the flourishing of Sweden, started at Poltava.
The day before the decisive battle Karl was wounded
in the leg. He is transported on stretches. The cavalry is late
to get to the assembly point, the attack doesn't start on time.
The Russian redoubts are like small impenetrable fortresses -
they can't be stormed without special equipment.
Luck turned its back on the Swedes. The Russians didn't make
one wrong move, of which the enemy could've taken advantage.
ln terms of strategy it was a model victory,
and the organization of fire was beyond all praise.
From here it is 200 m to the Russian redoubt. The obelisk.
From a distance the Russians fired iron shells. From
200 m they fired grape - shot - the 'weapon of mass destruction'.
A case, and inside a lead bullet and slashed iron.
The effect was that of a machine - gun.
The redoubts were positioned in a way that enabled
the troops to open cross - fire.
And at 50 m the infantry fired their muskets.
Before the Russian army was more like the home guard.
lt was the army of an Eastern country.
The Poltava battle contributed to making it
a Western - type army. And forthe next 250 years
this army will take part in all major European wars.
The turning point: the Swedes manage to break through,
and the Russians launch a counter - offensive.
'Hurrah! We'll break them! Bend the Swedes!'
This was unseen. The Swedes retreat in disorder,
then they start fleeing.
A Russian shell hits the king's stretcher.
Karl struggles on horseback. Two horses under him are killed.
The King is nearly taken captive.
The Russians capture the top brass of Swedish generals,
prince Maximilian Emanuil, prime - minister Pipper.
lnstead of pursuing what's left of the enemy army,
Peter arranges a 'feast of the victors'.
'Help yourselves to the table! Everyone!
Two merged villages, Petrovka and Semenovka.
The fields behind them - the scene of the Poltava battle.
Now here is a cafe - bar, with a view of the historic monument.
They serve 'Slavutich' - local beer.
Then, feasting in the field, amid scattered corpses,
Peter poured everyone Vodka with his own hand.
Guests of honor at Peter's table
were the captured Swedish generals.
Petertoasted them as his teachers in warfare.
'For his teachers did he raise his festive cup...'
Field - marshal Reinshild muttered gloomily:
'ln a fine way you repaid us forthe teaching'.
The Northern war dragged on for another 12 years.
Peter, having developed a taste for European politics,
entangles himself in all sorts of useless coalitions,
and the Russians fight mostly forthe allies' interests.
This postpones the final victory.
But Sweden as a powerful enemy is finished.
Swedish historian Peter Englund:
'The Swedes left the stage of world history,
and took their seats in the audience'.
'Go on!
Before the war Russia imported iron from Sweden.
The war demanded more metal.
They found high - quality iron ore in the Urals,
built factories, but the work wouldn't start.
Peter resolves the problem of an efficient manager by
turning the state property overto Nikita Demidov -
one of Tula's best gunsmiths,
and just about the only Russian among industrialists.
The Empire clenched a major privatization deal.
State unitary enterprise 'The Nevyansky mechanical plant'.
Now once again state property.
Unlike the one in Pisa, this tower was actually designed as
a leaning one. The chimes, brought from England, -
the factory hooter. Today they still strike every 15 minutes.
The building of the factory administration stands as
the monument to betrayal of the cause of the bourgeoisie.
This tower commemorates the transition of Demidov - merchant
to Demidov - the nobleman. Even though the betrayal was
involuntary, forthere wasn't a workforce market in the country.
Only serf labor. That meant that
every industrialist had to be a nobleman - landlord.
And no guarantee of the inviolability of private
property. lt can be confiscated any moment.
But still the rights of the privileged class - the nobility
- are better secured than of the merchants, who are called
the 'commons'. A little upgrade than the peasants.
Talk about class pride!
Not only did Demidov have to give up the high rank of
'bourgeois', but he was forced to change his name.
His real name was Nikita Demidovich Antufyev, but
Peter affectionately called him 'Demidych' - by the patronymic.
And forthe convenience of the Czar he became Nikita Demidov.
The first oligarch in the Empire.
Peter's protectionism has no limits. Demidov is the virtual
owner of the Urals, exempt from taxes and duties, he has the
right to employ fugitive serfs and schismatics.
ln terms of the scale of using forced labor
to solve strategic objectives, the case of Demodov can be
compared to the war enterprises of the GULAG.
The state wouldn't have developed the Urals as quickly.
The Czar's bureaucrats still thought it was 'Siberia'.
Demidov founded city - plants: Nevyansk, Zlatoust, Nizhni Tagil.
ln the 18 century local blast - furnaces were considered
the best in the world.
They produced more than half of the country's metal. The produce
was branded 'Sable': pliable and soft like a sable skin.
Metallurgy, arms production - are heavy industry.
The Demidovs are not dependent on mass consumers,
but on the military state order.
This may be the starting point in the biography of
a popular joke about the national industry: 'No matter
what we try to manufacture, it always turns out to be a tank.'
The Demidovs, with their notorious iron grip,
could be equally good at producing anything.
They won Russia the first place in the world in metal production.
Just like during Soviet power, - when they set similar goals,
and didn't spare the resources.
And likewise, industry swelled and capitalism shrunk.
Many factories were fictitious, their owners - nominal.
They kept the job to get special privileges.
State monopoly covers one merchandise after another,
bringing the merchants on the verge of bankruptcy.
- Talk to the merchants! - l went out my skin to persuade them!
Atwofold raise in the price on salt led to mass starvation
and caused the 'salt riots'.
Peter sees no crime in counterfeiting, minting
silver coins of lesser weight, or even copper coins instead.
Leaving the face value.
There's not enough money forthe war anyway,
and there's only one thing left: to raise taxes.
A reporter - to the Senate:
'lf we continue to raise taxes,
we may be left with the land without the people'.
To ease tax - collecting, Peter divides Russia into subjects -
provinces - and sends out 8 plenipotentiaries.
They invent unbelievable taxes: on fur hats, on boots, on beards,
on weddings, beehives, stoves, bathhouses, watermelons,
cucumbers and nuts.
The main tax being the poll - tax, - collected from every man.
They didn't count live people,
but those registered in the last census.
The registers didn't include the newborns, and didn't
cross out the dead. Hence the famous 'dead souls'.
And the totally absurd: 1/8 person, one person and a quarter.
Radischev: 'Peter could've won
'himself more fame, if he'd established private freedoms.
Afeudal with a state whip,
personally Peterfavored private business.
Like in his model city Amsterdam, he ordered to cut the
Vasilyevsky lsland with canals - for better communication. He
thought wealthy merchants would faster grow on these patches.
They issued 16 decrees on the resettlement on the lsland.
This is the second line of the Vasilyevsky lsland.
And this is the third line, a different street.
Right here they were supposed to be separated by a canal.
But the truth is, even if you mince the island with numerous
canals, it still won't be Amsterdam.
And neither economic liberalism, northe third class can emerge
on a government's decree. Nor anything else, forthat matter:
a favorable investment climate, small and medium business.
All that's left of the attempt to create a capitalist world
on the isolated Vasilyevsky lsland, - are these 'lines'.
Their opposite sides - are like two banks of one river.
The plan was to cut as many as 259 canals. But afterthe first
few it became clearthere was no one and nothing to transport.
No merchants, no merchandise. And they filled them up.
One of the first Russian victories in the Northern War
was the seizure of fortress Marienburg.
lt was a small fortress of no particular strategic interest,
but it was the birthplace of Peter's second wife.
An island on the lake - here stood fortress Marienburg.
Now it is the Latvian town Aluksne.
They say this mound was put up by Russian soldiers.
They carried the earth in their hats. From here it was
easierto shell the fortress on the other side.
This decided the fate of Marienburg.
The fortress fell, and the Russian commanderfield - marshal
Sheremetyev, among othertrophies,
got the beautiful 18 - year - old Martha Skavronska.
ln Russia they will call her Catherine,
and will give herthe family name Trubacheva:
before she'd been captured by the Russians, in Marienburg
she was married to a trumpeter (in Russian 'trubach').
And much - much laterthey will address her as 'Your Majesty'.
At Sheremetyev's Martha served as - as they called it -
'pants - washer'. ln other words, she was a laundress.
Then Menshikov takes herfor himself.
'Alexander Danilovich, you're robbing me of my last joy.
When staying the night at Menshikov's, Peter asks Martha
to light a candle in his bedroom, gives her 2 Rubles and keeps her.
'Tell herto take a candle and light it in my bedroom.
Peter kept a 'staff' of mistresses, but Martha - Catherine
was his favorite. Only her children he recognized
as his own. 10 years after she had been captured - a wedding.
The Czar hasn't divorced his first wife Yevdokia Lopukhina,
immured in a monastery.
Therefore Ekaterina Skavronska weds admiral Petr Mikhailov.
But in 12 years he crowns her at the Assumption Cathedral.
These oak - trees in Marienburg were planted by pastor Gluk,
when he finished translating the Bible into Latvian.
Martha, future Catherine, was the pastor's adopted daughter.
She was his ward and his house - maid.
However her patron Gluk hadn't even bothered to teach herto
read and write, and the first Russian Empress
remained illiterate to the end of her life.
Forthe first time a Russian Czar married a foreigner.
What nationality? Who was Martha Skavronska?
A Livlandian? A Swede? True, she did speak Swedish.
Some called her a German, and there was a popular legend that
Peter bequeathed to future emperors to marry German women.
lf that is so, his will was obeyed rigorously.
Catherine gave birth 12 times. Only two daughters survived.
Both were born still out of wedlock.
Anna Petrovna married a German prince.
Later her son returns to Russia and becomes Peter lll.
Elizaveta Petrovna will rule Russia for 20 years.
The usual address of Peter to his wife:
'Catherine, my dearest, my heart!
A Czarina - laundress was a good match for a Czar - workman.
She could drink as much as a man, could lift the rod,
that was too heavy even forthe Austrian ambassador.
She was the only one who knew how to quiet Peter's terrible
fits of anger. She would hold his head in her arms, the
nervous convulsions would cease, and Peter would go to sleep.
Peter, the founding father,
wasn't able to inculcate his ideas upon his son,
Czarevitch Alexei, born in the marriage with Lopukhina.
Petertook his son with him to Narva and Poltava.
Alexei studied in Germany, then lived in St. Petersburg.
But he hadn't developed a taste for power, norfor his father's
innovations. He was popular with adherents to the old tradition.
'Czarevitch, our only hope is that you will ascend the throne.
Alexei himself wished to seclude himself in a monastery.
Peter demands a final decision of his son.
Taking with him his lover, peasant girl Evfrosinya,
the Czarevich flees abroad.
For six months he travels about Europe, farther and farther away
from Russia. Vienna, then the Alps, then the south of ltaly.
Here, in Naples, he spends another six months.
His last days at large.
Alexei doesn't know that his location had been established,
- he was followed by Russian agents -
and that an experienced diplomat Petr Tolstoy in on his way to
Naples with a mission to bring Alexei back home.
'The Czarevich has to come home on his free will.
Already an elderly man, Petr Tolstoy traveled to Europe,
mastered foreign languages and was the first Russian ambassador
in lstanbul. He was an ideal choice forthis delicate matter.
The heirto the throne seeks political asylum in the West.
Tolstoy is 72,
but the 'cunning fox' is still dexterous and smart.
'From the Star, awarded to me,
he picked out diamonds, and sold them to get the letters.
ln those days the high awards were not only signs of esteem,
but also valuables. Precious jewelry.
ln case of emergency one could pluck out a stone and sell it.
This was common practice.
But the highest award in his life, the highest order
in Russia, the order of Andrei Pervozvanny,
Tolstoy gets for bringing Alexei back from Naples to Russia.
For Russia's first foreign 'special operation'.
Tolstoy bribes the secretary of the Naples vice - king, Veingart,
with 160 gold pieces.
On the second day after his arrival to Naples,
here, in the royal palace, secret counsellor Tolstoy
and guards - captain Rumyantsev meet with Czarevich Alexei.
Alexei is terrified.
He begs the vice - king not to hand him overto the Russians.
'Tolstoy's here again!
Three meetings in 6 days.
Tolstoy threatens, then romises expensive presents,
then announces that Peter is on his way to Naples.
Alexei is crushed. He agrees to go back on one condition: that
they let him marry Evfrosinya and settle in a village.
The return of Alexei to Russia - is but a prologue
to the loudest political scandal of Peter's time. To investigate
the case they set up the famous Secret Office -
the first real special service, - headed by Tolstoy.
Tostoy is the first Russian with 'a cold head,
a hot heart, and clean hands.'
- Your neck is so - so white. - lt's not foryou.
How would you like if they hacked it with an axe?
What's considered a great virtue with the Special Services, -
Tolstoy managed to avoid a major European scandal.
He presented the matter not as a political, but as a private one.
Strictly a family affair.
Prodigal son comes home to his loving father.
''Carabineri'' - ''Police''.
For his service in political intelligence and
counter - intelligence Tolstoy is granted the title of count.
the author Leo Tolstoy is his great - great - great - grandson,
heir in the sixth generation.
And count Alexei Tolstoy - is the heir
in the 7th generation. The 'Red' count Tolstoy
gave a detailed description of his great ancestor.
The North Gate of the royal palace in Naples. ln that
direction lies Russia. The horses on the gate are the work
of Klodt - the exact copy of those on the Anichkov Bridge
in St. Petersburg. The horses were the present of the
great - grandson, Peter's heir in the 4th generation, Nikolas l.
Things were very much entangled.
At home Peter conducts a thorough inquiry, and is enraged with the
results. lt appears, many can't wait until the crown passes on
to Alexei, and things get back to how they used to be.
Petergof, or Peter's court.
Peter himself did the architectural design of his
summer residence on the shore of the Finnish Gulf.
The famous fountains haven't been set up yet, it's quiet.
There's only 'mon plesier' - Peter's favorite dacha.
lt is a fact that Peter interrogated his son. But
that he did that in 'mon plesier', in the room with the
checkered floor - is a legend, invented by artist N. Ge.
The famous scene in the Soviet film was also based on Ge's
painting. And that was not the only distortion of facts.
ln reality there wasn't any conspiracy. Only talks.
And letters - that weren't even sent to the addressees.
There was no plan of action, and Alexei by nature
was hardly even capable of acting at all.
Of course then they executed for intent. Peter couldn't
bearto think that he will be succeeded by - if even a passive
- but an opponent of his cause.
The Czarevich is tortured. Peter
didn't even touch Sofia, the instigator of the soldiers' riot.
Evfrosinya testifies against Alexei,
Alexei himself gives away the names.
The inside opposition is done away with.
There are no more influential people, who want a change
of system. But to be on the safe side and secure the future,
Peter decided to eliminate his son.
Being the bloodsuckerthat he was, even lvan the Terrible
killed his son in affect, and repented it afterwards.
But to pass sentence!
The Senate of course wouldn't dare to do that on its own.
Alexei dies two days before the execution.
Either he dies of apoplexy,
or is smothered.
Peter signs a decree on the succession to the throne.
The Czar appoints the successor, not necessarily a member of the
royal family. But he may change his mind and appoint another.
True to the spirit of the era of naturalists most valued is
a Dutch collection of little corpses, preserved in alcohol.
The first exhibit of the future Museum of Curiosities.
Peter was advised to sell tickets at 1 Ruble each.
He, on the contrary, ordered to treat the visitors to free Vodka.
Some 'curiosities' outlived many centuries.
A man's skeleton dubbed 'bourgeois'. 6 ft 17 in tall.
And' of course, cans with preserved embryos.
Today the 'Museum of Curiosities' houses a million exhibits.
There are finer collections, and you can find them on the lnternet.
But Peter's 'freaks in alcohol' is by far
the most famous in Russia.
He issued the museum decree 'On collecting freaks and unusual items'
Peter knew people would come here to satisfy their curiosity
and marvel at 'nature's jokes'.
Those were the most gratifying visitors.
Peter knew about the freaks and the people.
Peter introduces a new system of chronology: now it starts not
from the creation of the world, but from the birth of Christ.
Year 7208 becomes 1700.
And New Year celebrations shift from September 1 to January 1.
The figures also change: from Cyrillic letters to Arabic.
Peter's first Russian newspaper 'Vedomosty'
is of pocket size.
From the first issue of 'Vedomosty' :
'Founded - 400 howitzers and mortars.
'The lndian Czar sent an elephant as a present to our Emperor.
'News from Kazan: they found deposits of oil and copper ore.
Peter introduces civic alphabet. The clerical is too difficult.
He personally chooses the writing style.
This was how they wrote 'year 703' before Peter. - The year
he launched his first newspaper.
The alphabet is being simplified.
The old letter 'sch' - the new one.
'The old 'Ya' - the new one.
With the new civic alphabet they write like they speak. Before
written and articulated words were like two different languages.
Peter starts the 300 - year - long process of reducing them to a
common denominator. They finally merged in contemporary time,
when oral speech became printed. Even swear - words.
ln Peter's days obscene expressions and foul words were
just the same, but even the word 'devil' was unprintable.
Nowadays not only spoken language, but the written too,
can be foul. Like here on this boulevard.
Or on that square overthere.
The new capital - the political, cultural
and trading centre - develops at a slow pace. At the expense
of the treasury they resettle 15 thousand workmen with families.
For St. Petersburg they limit foreign trade through Archangel.
They ban stone construction all over Russia,
to build stone structures exclusively in St. Petersburg.
Peter moves from the summerto the winter palace, made of stone.
Here Fontanka flows out of Neva. ln Peter's time Neva flowed in
close proximity to the building, and the corner of the Summer
palace was like the nose of a ship, cleaving the water.
There even were navigation devices - 3 dial - pieces.
Even though, of course, the palace stood still.
But every day Petertakes readings.
Time: 13:07, wind direction: 'south - west'.
Today the wind is medium - strong, but the hand swings to the side,
indicating strong gusts.
Peter's passion forthe sea was like a mania.
For Peter, unpretentious by nature, the Summer palace is
very spacious, and he surrounds himself with a 'likeness' of
what they call an 'Emperor's court'.
The Summer palace is situated in the Summer Garden.
Peter himself bought the trees to be planted here.
The rooms are small and cramped,
and the Czar's Assemblies are convened in the open air. After
the guests arrive, they lock the gate, so that no one sneaks away.
The smell of Vodka spreads around the alleys - it is
brought out in giant vats. Peter enjoys making everyone,
drunk, including pregnant women. He finds it amusing.
By the sculptures, arranged in the alleys of the park,
he tries the guests in their knowledge of ancient mythology.
The end of the Northern War was delayed by he catastrophic
Prut campaign - to the present border of Moldova and Rumania.
The Turkish sultan, Sweden's ally, gave refuge to Karl Xll.
He is planning a new war against Russia. But Peter acts first.
He counted on the support of the Moldovan Czar, and - an
argument forthe next 300 years - of the 'Slav brothers'.
'The Serbs and the Bulgarians will rise against the Turks
'and will join ourtroops.
Conceited after Poltava, they hadn't even bothered about provision.
Moldova didn't help much, the 'brothers' didn't lift a finger.
ln June Peter's troops approach the Dniestr.
A month to the Prust catastrophe, but the situation is desperate.
Here, on this position,
for whole 5 days the soldiers didn't have bread or meet.
There's a shortage of drinking water and fodder.
Everything that grows is parched by the Sun or eaten by locust.
The Turks don't even have to fight. All they have to do
is wait until the Russians die of starvation.
The Russian army marches forward, until it confronts Turkish troops
and the Crimean cavalry, that surpass the Russians by four.
The Russians answers the janissary attack with heavy shelling.
Then there's a day's lull. Peter sends truce envoys to the Turks.
Peter will agree to any peace arrangement, except captivity,
and to any territorial concessions except St. Petersburg.
For Peter and Catherine the Russian campaign was a honeymoon.
The day before the troops started out, they secretly wed in church.
The terms of the peace agreement, so unburdensome for Russia, can
be explained by the fact that Catherine, through truce envoys,
sent her jewels to the Grand Vizier.
When they come back, they arrange a grand wedding.
ln recognition of the worthy conduct of his wife at war,
Peter institutes the women's Order of St. Catherine.
Peter, awarding his wife:
'ln troubled times on river Prut he conducted herself not like
'a wife, but like a man, for everyone to see.
Sobered by the failure in the south, Peter concentrates on
the Northern war. Now the Swedes have to be crushed at sea.
The Gangut Peninsula in the Finnish Gulf.
The Swedish fleet blocks the way of Russian ships.
Peter orders to throw a wooden flooring across the
narrow isthmus, and drag the ships overto the other side.
The Swedes get the info, and a part of theirfleet hurries
around the peninsula to meet the Russians. Peter expected that.
He never intended to use the flooring.
The Russians break through the first Swedish group, they
double the peninsula and lock the second group in the bay.
An artillery duel follows, Peter takes part in the boarding.
They capture 10 enemy ships, the remaining part of the
Swedish fleet recedes to the Aland lslands.
The Russian victory terrifies the Swedes. Now the country is
absolutely exposed. The court starts evacuation from Stockholm.
ln St. Petersburg they erect triumphal arches with eagles on
elephants' backs. The eagles are the Russians, and the elephants -
the Swedes - by association with the Swedish flagship 'Elephant'.
7 years to Peace. Peter, who measures the Northern war by
7 - year - periods, thinks, he dragged it out 3 times too long.
On the 21 year of warring, on September 15, 1721, the Czar
declared peace with Sweden - from a brigantine on the Neva.
Lieutenant Berhgolts:
'The Czar personally beat the drum,
'and did that expertly.
Peter had a good reason for celebrating his triumph.
When he started the war, he began to build his country. After
the victorious finale he could considerthe cause of his life
accomplished. Nevertoo keen about awards, Peter accepts the
titles 'Great' and 'Father of the Nation' from the Senate.
He is officially proclaimed Emperor, and Russia - an Empire.
Would anyone dare to call it an 'Asian' Empire?
The Russians not only cut a 'window into Europe',
but one with a wide window - sill and a huge ledge.
Vyborg, Narva and Revel - today's Tallinn and Riga.
They feasted for several weeks on end, declared an amnesty,
forgave arrears, wore jester masks at the Senate sittings.
Peter l died not after he'd been saving sailors in ice - cold water,
as goes the popular legend.
He died of illnesses, that were getting on to him in the last
10 - 15 years. Presumably kidney stones and chronic prostatitis.
His health was severely undermined
by his licentious life, especially in the younger days.
The palace built forthe Czar's favorite Lefort in the German
Settlement, and these courts - witnessed the wild feasts.
Young Peter proclaimed drinking an almost formal institution,
the Collegium of Drinking.
A blasphemous parody of the Church. The 'Alcoholics Ministry'
was headed by the Prince - Pope, the All-Jesters Patriarch of
Moscow and all Yauza.
Drinking was a religion. The first question: 'Do you drink?'
And the first commandment: 'Get drunk every day'. Teetotallers
were excommunicated and anathematized.
Professor Klyuchevsky:
'There was a conclave of 12 cardinals, all inveterate drunks,
'with a boosted staff of drinking bishops who were given nicknames,
'that can not be printed - not under any censorship.
ln 20 years afterthe Great Russian Embassy, Peter once
again travels to Europe, to his beloved Holland. Only this time -
he goes to the southern resort Spa for medical treatment.
Now it is Belgium. Here they call spas 'pukhons',
and the biggest in the centre of Spa - 'Pukhon of Peterthe Great'.
The Belgians are very grateful to Peter.
For it was he who made the local mineral waterfamous.
They put up a bust to the Russian monarch.
Beneath it - a memorial plaque with a thanksgiving inscription.
Rumors of the alcoholism of Alexander lll were exaggerated,
and Peter appears to be the most drinking of all Russian emperors.
Here, in Spa, at the age of 45, the doctors put a ban
on his drinking. They say, he'd drank his full. ln his
letters to his wife Peter calls them 'the all - prohibiting people'.
Peter knew no restraint in anything, including treatment.
lt says here: 'Table of Peter the Great, Pukhon, 1717'.
One morning at the spa
Peter managed to consume 21 glasses of mineral water.
Of all his favorite pastimes now Peter is allowed only turning.
The doctors strictly prohibit sexual intercourse.
Peter - to his wife Catherine:
'During the treatment the doctors do not allow any
'home entertainment', therefore l let my mistress go: l'd find
'it difficult to restrain myself, if she were with me.
Catherine tolerated the 'staff' of Peter's concubines, for she
was sure, her husband's heart belonged to her alone.
The Spa mineral water is sold all around Northern Europe.
But they advise to drink the waterfrom the
Geranstaire spa fresh from the spring,
because it loses part of its medicinal values
during transportation.
Peter came here every day, walking nearly 5 km in one
direction, drank the water, compared it with the bottled,
and said this one helped him better. lf you compare them,
spring water contains hydrogen sulfide, and smells of it.
Otherwise it's nothing special.
Leisurely walks to the spring and back, a strict regime -
Peter was the first Russian holiday - maker.
He started the lordly tradition of 'going out to the spas'.
Peter himself never came to live 'like a lord'. He
borrowed carriages for grand appearances from wealthy
associates. But for his wife he creates truly imperial
conditions, making up for her poor common background.
ln St. Petersburg they built the first Winder Palace -
approximately in the place where now stands the third one.
The earth had subsided, and the remaining part of the ground
floor of Peter's Palace is now the basement of the Hermitage.
Catherine enjoys the spacious halls, and Peter leaves himself
small rooms for strictly business purposes.
His favorite turnery. Peter was a cult figure in his time, and
many of his tools and objects that he'd made with his own hands,
have been preserved.
This plate made of palm tree,
thin as a sheet of paper, was turned on this lathe.
The lathe was - as one would say now - 'automatically controlled'.
This is a copper copier, made afterthe model of Rastrelli Sr.
The cutter cuts out its smaller copy of wood or bone.
Peter often works in the presence of guests, especially
foreign. He gives out souvenirs, that spread around the world,
multiplying Peter's reputation of an industrious monarch.
Rare luck for a reformer: Peter saw the fruits of his labor.
He changed the course of Russia's history. 'Pre - Peter' Russia was
the Old Russia, 'post - Peter' Russia became the New Russia.
Neplyuev, Russia's ambassador in Turkey, - about Peter:
'Whateveryou look at in Russia - He started it all, and
'whatever new things are to come, they will come from that source.
4 peaceful years for Peter after the end of the war with Sweden.
The mature statesman writes in his notebook every week. Example:
work in Senate. Saturday - editing the book on war history.
Sunday - reports of diplomats.'
On January 17, 1725, he suddenly collapses in this study.
ln 11 days he dies in terrible agony in a little room
on the second floor.
Peter bequeathed the Empire to his beloved wife Catherine.
But shortly before his death he found out, she was having
an affair with William Mons, the brother of his one - time lover.
Peter orders to execute Mons, tears the will, and dies before
he writes a new one. But the crowned widow is the logical
choice. She is supported by the Guard and Peter's adherents.
They send out the Decree on Catherine's accession.
Contemporaries are in shock and confusion.
Bishop Feofan Prokopovich in his sermon:
'What have we come to, Russians! What are we seeing?
'What are we doing? Burying Peterthe Great!
Nikitin's painting 'Peter on his death - bed' was drawn from life.
They had to carry the very long coffin out through the window.
lt wouldn't fit into any door. They transport it to the
Petropavlovskaya fortress over a bridge, built forthe occasion.
Rastrelli, not yet the son - architect,
but the father - sculptor, makes Peter's death - mask.
Shemyakin used it when working on his monument to Peter.
Everyone thinks it's a caricature. The truth is,
it is the only monument that looks more or less like the
original. Lean, huge, a very small head.
The tall bell - tower of the Petropavlovskaya fortress with
the spire and the chimes by that time had already been built.
But the Cathedral walls haven't yet reached a man's height.
lnside the huge unfinished construction they put up a
temporary wooden church. They nail up the coffin and leave it
standing there. Peter will be properly buried after 8 years.
At last, in 1733, when the construction of the Cathedral
is completed, Peterfinds his last refuge.
With his grave he will found the Romanov family vault.
Even after his death Peter stays true to himself.
The founder of all things big and small, principles and details.
To be followed by:
The reign of Empress Anna loanovna. Kurzeme and Russia.
The terrible Biron - the founder of horse - breeding in Russia.
Fountains in honor of uncle Peter's victories. The lce House.
The reign of Elizaveta Petrovna. The merry Queen.
Rastrelli - the royal splendor of baroque. 15 thousand dresses.
The ascent of Lomonosov.
The seven - year war. First seizure of Berlin by the Russians.
The Russian Empire. Episode three.