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Entries / Alexander Nevsky, Prince (1220 or 1221-1263)

Alexander Nevsky, Prince (1220 or 1221-1263)

Categories / Religion. Church/Personalia

ALEXANDER NEVSKY (1220 or 1221-63), Prince of Novgorod (1236-51, not continously), of Tver (1247-52), Grand Prince of Kiev (1249-52) and Vladimir (1252-63), from the Rurikid Dynasty (11th generation), son of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, prince of Pereyaslavl. Alexander Nevsky defeated the Swedish detachment in the Neva Battle of 1240; in the spring of 1241 he assailed and destroyed the fortress of Koporye, and freed the town of Pskov captured by German knights. In 1242, he defeated the knights of the Livonian Order on the ice of Chudskoe Lake ("The Ice Battle"). In 1245, he repulsed attacks by the Lithuanians on North-Western Rus. In 1253, Alexander Nevsky repulsed the German attack on Pskov, and concluded a treaty with the Livonian Order. In 1256, he undertook a successful campaign in Finland. He rejected the proposal of the Roman Pope to adopt Catholicism. Alexander tried to keep peaceful relations with Mongolian-Tatar khans; to achieve this he undertook five journeys to the capitals of the Horde, Karakorum and Saray. He was buried in the cathedral of the Nativity Monastery in Vladimir. In the 15th century people of Novgorod nicknamed him "courageous," in the 16th century he was first referred to as "Nevsky". In 1547, he was canonized by the Russian Orthodox church; hagiographies represent him as an ideal warrior king, protector of the Russian land. By order of Emperor Peter the Great, in 1724 the holy relics of Alexander Nevsky were transferred from Vladimir to St. Petersburg, to the monastery (later Lavra) dedicated to Alexander Nevsky where they are kept to the present day. In memory of Alexander Nevsky a church in Ust-Izhora was erected, and there are a number of chapels in state institutions, military units, educational and charitable institutions named after him. In St. Petersburg the square where in 2002 the monument to the prince was unveiled (sculptors V. G. Kozenyuk, A. A. Palmin, A. S. Charkin), a street and a bridge across the Neva River (see Alexander Nevsky Bridge) are named after Alexander Nevsky. In June 2003, the monument to Alexander Nevsky was opened in Ust-Izhora. The day of memory of Alexander Nevsky is celebrated annually on September 12 in St. Petersburg.

Reference: Князь Александр Невский и его эпоха: исслед. и материалы. СПб., 1995; Пашуто В. Т. Александр Невский. М.; Екатеринбург, 1995.

A. I. Razdorsky.

Alexander Nevsky, Duke
Charkin Albert Serafimovich
Kozenyuk Valentin Grigorievich
Palmin Alexander Anatolievich
Pashuto Vladimir Terentyevich
Peter I, Emperor
Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, Duke

Alexander Nevsky Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Alexander Nevsky St./Saint Petersburg, city

Пашуто В. Т. Александр Невский. М.; Екатеринбург, 1995
Князь Александр Невский и его эпоха: Исслед. и материалы. СПб., 1995

The subject Index
Neva Battle (1240)
Alexander Nevsky Lavra
St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Ust-Izhora
Alexander Nevsky Bridge