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Entries / Empress Maria's Department of Institutions

Empress Maria's Department of Institutions

Categories / Capital/Imperial Court

EMPRESS MARIA'S DEPARTMENT OF INSTITUTIONS, a central public institution, which administered charitable organizations, as well as women’s and special educational institutions. The office originated from the Department of Empress Maria Fedorovna, which ran the Educational Society of Noble Ladies from 1796. Initially, its authority applied to the Smolny Institute and Alexandrovsky Institute, the Commercial School, and the Foundling Hospital and the Board of Trustees; a short time later, the department assisted with the opening of the Ekaterininsky Institute and the Pavlovsky Institute, the School for the Deaf and Dumb, the Widows' House and the Obstetrics Institute; in addition, some establishments under the Board of Public Assistance passed into the jurisdiction of the Department. Upon Maria Fedorovna's death in 1828, administration of these institutions was delegated to the Fourth Division of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery, which was renamed His Imperial Majesty's Personal Chancellery over Empress Maria's Institutions in 1880 (the original name was used from 1854). All institutions under the Department's jurisdiction were subsidized by the State Treasury, and through donations and proceeds from the sale of playing-cards. In the late 19th century, the fund was also supported by profits from public entertainment. In 1893-94, the Institutions of Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna (the Mariinsky Institute, St. Helen's School, the Elizabeth Memorial Hospital for Children) and those of the Women’s Patriotic Society were attached to Empress Maria's Department of Institutions, headed by Empress Maria Fedorovna. The department also consisted of orphanages, almshouses and hospitals, women’s gymnasiums, women’s courses, the Mariinsky Vocational Schools, and the Alexandrovsky Lyceum. Orphanages played the most important role in the department (administered by a special committee), after educational institutions. On the eve of 1917, Empress Maria's Department of Institutions included over 500 establishments of different kinds, 20% of which were maintained at the department's own expense. The annual budget of the department amounted to several tens of millions of roubles. In 1918, Empress Maria's Department of Institutions was abolished, its property and capital nationalized.

References: Ведомство учреждений имп. Марии: Крат. ист. очерк... СПб., 1912; Благотворительность и милосердие Санкт-Петербурга: Рубеж XIX-XX вв. / Авт.-сост. В. Н. Занозина, Е. А. Адаменко. СПб., 2000.

V. V. Antonov.

Elena Pavlovna, Grand Princess
Maria Fedorovna, Empress

Ведомство учреждений имп. Марии: Крат. ист. очерк... СПб., 1912
Благотворительность и милосердие Санкт-Петербурга: Рубеж XIX - XX вв. / Авт.-сост. В. Н. Занозина, Е. А. Адаменко. СПб., 2000

The subject Index
Smolny Institute
Boarding House of Education
Deaf-Mute School
Widows' House
Chancellery, His Imperial Majesty's Personal

Alms-houses (entry)

ALMS-HOUSES, boarding institutions for poor, ill and aged people. The first alms-houses set up in St. Petersburg were attached to churches, the first ones being theHoly Ascension Church in Shpalernaya Street (1713) and St

Boarding House of Education

BOARDING HOUSE OF EDUCATION, Imperial St. Petersburg, charitable establishment. Founded in 1770 on the initiative and plans of I.I. Betskoy to take care of illegitimate children, orphans and children of the poor

Bobrinsky A. A. (1852-1927), public figure

BOBRINSKY Alexey Alexandrovich (1852, St. Petersburg 1927) Count, statesman and public figure, major land-owner, businessman, archaeologist, historian, senator (1896), Arch-Hoffmeister (1916). He was a son of Count Alexander A. Bobrinsky

Cathedral of the Renewal of the Jerusalem Holy Resurrection Temple

CATHEDRAL OF THE RENEWAL OF THE JERUSALEM HOLY RESURRECTION TEMPLE, Smolny Сathedral, the Cathedral For All Educational Establishments, located at 1 Rastrelli Square. Monument of Baroque architecture

Charity (entry)

CHARITY, philanthropic activities, aimed at extending aid to the needy and carried out by social and church organisations, state establishments, as well as by private persons for religious, moral and humane reasons (public and private charity)

Deaf-Mute School

DEAF-MUTE SCHOOL is one of the oldest deaf-mute pedagogical schools in Russia. It was founded as an experimental institution by Empress Maria Fedorovna (who sponsored it until 1810) in Pavlovsk in 1806

Essen P.K., governor-general in 1830-42

ESSEN (v. Essen) Peter Kirillovich (1772-1844, St. Petersburg), count (1833), statesman and combat leader, infantry general (1819). In 1777 he was registered in the Guards, took part in the Russo-Swedish war of 1788-91, Swiss campaign of 1799-1800

Golenischev-Kutuzov P.V., Governor General 1825-30

GOLENISCHEV-KUTUZOV Pavel Vasilievich (1772-1843, St. Petersburg), Count (1832), statesman and military figure, General of Cavalry (1826), Adjunct General (1810). He was brought up in the Corps of Pages, from 1794, he served in Cavalry Guards

Kavalergardskaya Street

KAVALERGARDSKAYA STREET, running from Suvorovsky Avenue to Tavrichesky Lane. Known as Krasnoy Konnitsy Street from 1923 to 1991. In the early 19th century, the corner of Shpalernaya Street and Kavalergardskaya Street was built up with the Cavalry


LYCEUM, Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum renamed Alexandrovsky Lyceum in 1843, a privileged higher education institution providing training for state officials. It was founded in 1810 and opened on 19 October 1811

Maria Alexandrovna (1824-1880), Empress

MARIA ALEXANDROVNA (1824-1880, St. Petersburg), Empress (from 1856). Nee Maximiliane Wilhelmine Auguste Sophie, Princess of Hesse-Darmstadt. Emperor Alexander II's wife (from 1841)

Maria Fedorovna (1847-1928), the Empress

MARIA FEDOROVNA (1847-1928), Empress (since 1881). Nee Marie Sophie Frederikke Dagmar, Princess of Denmark. Wife of Emperor Alexander III (from 1866); originally engaged to his elder brother, Tsesarevitch Nicholas Alexandrovich (1843-1865)

Maria Fedorovna, (1759-1828), Empress

MARIA FEDOROVNA (1759-1828, St. Petersburg), Empress (from 1796). Nee Sophie Dorothea Auguste Louise, Princess of Wurttemberg. She was Emperor Pavel I's second wife (from 1776)

Nikolaevskaya Children’s Hospital

NIKOLAEVSKAYA CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL (13 Chapygina Street) was the first children’s hospital in Russia. It was opened in 1834 with the aid of private donations on Ekaterininsky Canal near the Alarchin Bridge; in 1842 it was relocated to a reconstructed

Public Education (entry)

PUBLIC EDUCATION. It was Peter the Great who laid the basis for public education in St. Petersburg placing the greatest emphasis on military and professional education with the Naval Academy founded in approximately 1715

Shulgin D.I. governor-general in 1848-54

SHULGIN Dmitry Ivanovich (1785-1854, St. Petersburg), statesman and combat leader, infantry general (1848). After graduating from the boarding school of Moscow university (1800) he served in the Guards, took part in the Russo-French wars of 1805

Suvorov A.A. governor-general in 1861-66

SUVOROV Alexander Arkadyevich (1804, St. Petersburg - 1882, at the same place), Gracious Prince, statesman and combat leader, infantry general (1859). The grandson of A.V. Suvorov. He studied at the universities of Sorbonne and Gettinghen

Trepov F.F. the Chief of the Police in 1866-78

TREPOV Fedor Fedorovich (1809-1889, St. Petersburg), statesman, cavalry general (1878), adjutant-general (1867). The father of D.F. Trepov. In 1826-27 he studied at the Central Engineering school in St. Petersburg

Widows' House

WIDOWS' HOUSE, charitable establishment for widows and their children. It was opened in 1803 on the initiative of Empress Maria Fedorovna on Vyborgskaya Side, in October 1809 it moved to the former Smolny Convent (today 1 Smolnogo Street)

Wilson A. Y. (1776-1866), engineer, manager of Izhorsky Plants

WILSON Alexander Yakovlevich (1776-1866), production manager, general engineer (1853). Native of Scotland, he and his father Yakov Wilson, a blacksmith, came to Russia in 1784

Women’s Institutes (Entry)

WOMEN’S INSTITUTES were boarding schools of intermediate education. They were under the oversight of the Department of Empress Maria's Establishments in 1796-1917

Women’s Pedagogical Institute

WOMEN’S Pedagogical Institute was an institution of higher education of the Department of Institutions of Empress Maria. It was established in 1903 on the basis of the Pedagogical Courses of the St. Petersburg Girls’ Gymnasia