The Nicholas Triumphal Gates
The Nicholas Triumphal Gates are called one of the most beautiful and magnificent buildings in Vladivostok. They were built in 1891 to commemorate the heir’s to the Tsar’s throne Nicholas Alexandrovich’s – later he became Russian Imperator Nicholas II – visit to Vladivostok. He visited the Primorsky Krai’s capital within the framework of his round-the-world trip, which - according to his father Imperator Alexander III - was necessary for broadening Tsesarevich’s horizons because he was due to rule over the huge empire.
Marine stage of prospective Russian Imperator’s journey was to end in Vladivostok. When they found out about this, local authorities decided to meet the high guest on the proper level and to emphasize the solemnity of this event by building the Triumphal Arch. It was done in almost all cities, where the heir to the throne was coming. The place for the arch was chosen very thoroughly: considering that Nicholas Alexandrovich was going to arrive by the sea, it was determined to build the Triumphal Gates at the Admiral’s Wharf. This place is also notable for the fact that the coast of the Zolotoy Rog Bay is located nearby. Vladivostok’s first founders landed on this coast and later the city developed from here.
During his visit, the heir to the Tsar’s throne laid the railway with stone train station, dry dock for ships’ repairs and the Monument to Admiral Nevelsky. All these constructions survived until now. Many historians believe that Imperator’s to be visit favoured Vladivostok’s rapid development in the pre-revolutionary times.
However, the Nicholas Triumphal Gates, or the Tsesarevich’s Arch, were not only the token construction for Vladivostok, whose locals nicknamed them Russian State’s Eastern Gates, but served as city’s true adornment. The arch, built of stone and brick, is sustained in the strict Russian and Byzantine style and, despite visual monumentality, attracts with its lightness and elegance. The Gates are four stone foundations that support grey-and-yellow walls adorned with Old Russian colored patterns. They are covered with light blue roof with blue combs, reminiscent of the high octahedral pyramid with gilt two-headed eagle on its top.
The image of the seamen’s patron Saint Nicholas the Miracle-Worker is located in the large semi-arch, directed to the sea. Coats of arms from different times are placed in the other three semi-arches: Arms of the Primorsky District (from the times of Vladivostok post’s foundation), Arms of the Fortress and Arms of the modern Vladivostok.
In the year 1930, when Bolsheviks took over the power, the Tsesarevich’s Arch – as the symbol of the hated Tsar’s regime – was blown up. It was restored only in 2003. Since then, the Nicholas Triumphal Gates are considered one of Vladivostok’s many trademarks. As local residents say, the one who passes under the Arch will be happy. And they assure that this omen always comes true!