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Emperor Alexander II

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Alexander II Nikolaevich (1818-1881) - Emperor from 1855.

Eldest son of Emperor Nicholas I (1796-1855) and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna (1798-1860). Activist, reformer, diplomat. Married to German Princess Maximiliana Wilhelmina Augusta Sophia Maria of Hesse-Darmstadt (1824-1880), who, following her conversion to Russian Orthodoxy, became Maria Alexandrovna. There were 8 children from this marirage, including the future Emperor Alexander III (1845-1894). Following the death of his wife, Maria Alexandrovna, entered into a morganatic union in 1880 with Princess Ekaterina Mikhailovna Dolgorukaya (1849-1922), who, following her marriage to the Emperor, was granted the title of Princess Yurievskaya. Alexander II had 3 children from Princess Dolgorukaya who inherited the surname and title of their mother.

Emperor Alexander II died in 1881 when a bomb was throne at his carriage by Revolutionary terrorist I. I. Grinevitsky. No significant changes in the Tzarskoje Selo imperial residence were made during his reign. New interiors were created in the Catherine Palace and part of the Catherine Park underwent re-planning.

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