In May 1896, Moscow was preparing for the solemn ceremony of the wedding to the throne of Emperor Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna. By tradition, this event took place in the Assumption Cathedral, although the capital of the Russian Empire has long been St. Petersburg. No one could have guessed that this would be the last wedding of the emperor of Russia; in two decades the autocracy would collapse.
The ceremony itself took place on May 26 (new style). Then a solemn banquet took place, 7, 000 guests were invited, in front of each lay a scroll - the menu of the festive dinner. The colorfully decorated sheet was made according to the drawing of the famous painter V.M. Vasnetsov.
The banquet participants were offered: steam sterlet, pheasant aspic, fruit in wine, ice cream and other delicacies that the common people had no idea about. However, the common people were not forgotten either; festivities on the Khodynskoye field were scheduled for May 30, with the distribution of gifts "from the tsar."
This hotel included: a commemorative coronation mug, a cake made in the bakery of the famous baker Filippov, half a pound of sausage, a gingerbread with a coat of arms, a set of sweets (caramel, nuts, raisins, prunes). Tsar's gifts and became the cause of the tragedy, called the Khodynskaya catastrophe.
The Khodynskoye field was used for the exercises of the troops of the Moscow garrison; there were numerous trenches and trenches on it, which were covered with boards during the festivities. Already in the morning, about 500, 000 people gathered here, waiting for the distribution of holiday bags. There were rumors among the people that there were not enough gifts prepared, and that there would not be enough for everyone.
When there were shouts about the start of distribution, the crowd rushed to the distribution points. The fallen were trampled underfoot, the boards covering the trenches broke, people fell to the bottom and found themselves buried under an avalanche of bodies falling from above. According to official data alone, there were 1389 people killed, hundreds were seriously injured. The dead were taken to the Vagankovskoye cemetery, where identification and burial took place. A monument to the victims of the tragedy was soon erected on the mass grave.
At the time when the corpses of the dead were being transported across Moscow, a solemn ball was being held in the Kremlin. The organizers explained that it was impossible to cancel the event, a huge number of foreign guests arrived in Moscow, the change in the festive program could be perceived negatively. Nicholas II noted only in his diary that "a great sin had happened" in Moscow. The emperor donated 90, 000 rubles to the victims.
Many superstitious people considered this tragedy a bad omen. Moreover, in the Assumption Cathedral with Nicholas II there was a nuisance - during the ceremony he was given the chain of the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called, the highest award of Russia. The assistants straightened the Emperor's robes so diligently that the chain collapsed to the floor. Nikolai himself was greatly upset.
According to the results of the investigation, the chief police chief of Moscow A.A.Vlasovsky with an assistant was recognized as the culprit of the Khodyan catastrophe. Vlasovsky was dismissed from his post and dismissed, with the appointment of a life pension of 15, 000 rubles a year.
The well-known Moscow reporter V. Gilyarovsky, a witness to the tragedy, recalled that the old typesetter in the printing house, upon learning of the catastrophe, shook his head and said: "There will be no use in this reign!"