Москва в восприятии старших сыновей Александра Второго
This article examines the attitude to Moscow of Grand Princes Nicholas Alexandrovich and Alexander Alexandrovich; the latter became Emperor Alexander III afterwards. The opinion has taken root in historiography and become self-evident that the peacemaker tsar loved the ancient capital like no other ruler of the Russian Empire. The article aims to reconstruct the attitude of Alexander III and his elder brother to Moscow and understand why it arose and how it changed over time. The research methodology considers the achievements of the new political history, the history of everyday life, and the history of emotions. The article refers to unpublished letters, diaries, and memoirs of contemporaries, the grand princes’ diaries, and their correspondence with Alexander II, Empress Maria Alexandrovna, Grand Princes Mikhail Nikolaevich, and Vladimir Alexandrovich, which have not been introduced into scholarly circulation previously. The analysis makes it possible to assert that warm feelings for Mother See did not arise in the tsar-liberator’s eldest sons immediately. The formation of their attitude toward the ancient capital was influenced by professors of Moscow University invited to teach the Grand Princes, such as statistician I. K. Babst, lawyer K. P. Pobedonostsev, and historian S. M. Solovyov. Also, the princes were influenced by the conservative Moscow periodicals they read and Empress Maria Alexandrovna. Unlike the Tsarina, Alexander II was suspicious of the Moscow public, which seemed insufficiently loyal to him. Therefore, his sons’ positive attitude towards Moscow and its society was not something taken for granted. At the same time, attempts to influence the sympathies of the grand princes to the ancient capital pursued the goal not so much to stimulate the tsarevichs’ interest in Moscow antiquities as to make them supporters of “people’s autocracy”, as well as adherents of the “national policy”. In conclusion, the author analyzes the phrase attributed to Alexander III that “Moscow is the temple of Russia, and the Kremlin is its altar” providing arguments about the doubtfulness of its authorship.