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ALEXANDER III (ALEXANDER ALEXANDROVICH)

1845-1894
EMPEROR OF ALL RUSSIA 1881-1894

The second son of Alexander II was born in St. Petersburg on February 26, 1845. Alexander III became official heir to the throne after the death of his elder brother, Nicholas, in 1865.

He came to the throne on March 1, 1881, at the age 36 after the assassination of his father and was crowned in the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin on May 15, 1883.

Alexander III's reign coincided with an industrial revolution in Russia and the strengthening of capitalism. His domestic policy was particularly harsh, directed not only against revolutionaries but other liberal movements. Fearing an attempt on his life, he refused to live in the Winter Palace; instead, he lived away from St. Petersburg in Gatchina, the palace of his great-grandfather, Paul I, which was designed like a medieval fortress surrounded by ditches and watchtowers.

He married the Danish Princess Dagmar (Maria Feodorovna) and had six children. Alexander III died on October 20, 1894, in Livadia, Crimea, and was buried in the Cathedral of the St. Peter and St. Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg.

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Text compiled by Alexei K. Levykin
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