This day in 1725 marked the death of Russian emperor Peter the Great. He was the first Russian ruler to beat the title “Emperor of All Russia” (Императоръ Всероссійскій). This title made him equal to the Holy Roman Emperor, and it was quickly recognized by other European states.
Incidentally, Peter the Great was around 203 centimeters tall, much taller than most of his contemporaries. It is interesting that, although the emperor had 14 children, he outlived all his sons. He was succeeded by his wife Catherine I, from the Skavronski (Skowroński) family.
At the time of Peter the Great, the Russian Empire became a great power. Peter defeated the Swedes and secured Russia access to the Baltic Sea, and also to the Black Sea (through the Sea of Azov). All in all, Peter’s state stretched from Poland to the Pacific Ocean.
Indeed, it was precisely Peter the Great who sent an expedition led by Vitus Bering to explore the area on the border of Asia and North America (the area of Alaska). Of course, the Bering Strait was named after the man who explored the region between these two continents.
Peter the Great’s remains are today interred in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in the former Russian capital of St. Petersburg. That cathedral also has the tallest bell tower in the entire Orthodox world, and is located within the Peter and Paul Fortress, on an island in the Neva River, approximately opposite the famous Winter Palace.