Catherine the Great

Empresses of All Russia – Catherine II

The future Empress Catherine II of Russia was born as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg as the daughter of Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst and Princess Johanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp on 2 May 1729. She arrived in Russia in 1744 as the prospective bride of the future Peter III of Russia. At the time Russia [read more]

elizabeth
Elizabeth of Russia

Empresses of All Russia – Elizabeth

The future Empress Elizabeth of Russia was born on 29 December 1709 as the daughter of Peter the Great and Catherine I of Russia. She and her sister Anna were the only two children of their parents to survive to adulthood. They had one half-sibling, Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich, born from their father’s first marriage to [read more]

anna
Anna of Russia

Empresses of All Russia – Anna

The future empress Anna was born in Moscow as the daughter of Tsar Ivan V and Praskovia Saltykova. Her father was the elder half-brother of Peter the Great, who was his co-ruler as he was considered mentally disabled. She had four other sisters, of which only two others survived to adulthood. Anna was the second [read more]

catherine i
Catherine I of Russia

Empresses of All Russia – Catherine I

The origins of the future Catherine I of Russia are rather obscure. She was probably born as Marta Helena Skowrońska on 15 April 1684. Her parents died of the plague when she was still quite young and she was raised by a pastor, in whose household she was probably a servant. She received little education and could not [read more]