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A Royal Friendship.

Czar Alexander of Russia and King Friedrich III of Prussia...

were bound by far more than just the family relationships between the Romanov and Hohenzollern houses: a warm bond of friendship, which both remained faithful to until their deaths. A relic of this special friendship is the Russian colony of Alexandrowka in Potsdam, which still stands today. It was created in 1826 by order of King “Fritz” in memory of his friend “Sash”, who had passed away a year before. In 1812, Prussia, which had been defeated by Napoleon, was forced to enter into an alliance with France and wage war against Russia. This led to 62 captured Russian soldiers being brought to Potsdam for the first time in October 1812. The king wanted to form a “Russian singer choir”, which was assigned to the 1st Guard Regiment. More than 1000 Russian soldiers were interned in Potsdam at this time as prisoners of war.

SASH  Alexander I. Pawlowitsch Romanow (1777 - 1825) was the czar of Russian from 1801 to 1825
FRITZ  Friedrich Wilhelm III. (1770 - 1840) was a member of the noble house of Hohenzollern, was the King of Prussia since 1797

Immediately after the neutrality agreement was signed in December 1812, Russia and Prussia formed an alliance against the French occupiers in the spring of 1813. At the request of the Prussian King, the former Russian prisoners of war were incorporated into a separate Russian Regiment under the Prussian flag. They now fought against Napoleon alongside Prussian troops. After Friedrich’s troops suffered losses, Csar Alexander dispatched even more soldiers to the King’s Guard Regiment in 1815. The choir of former Russian prisoners of war still provided entertainment in the king’s army camp. The Russian musicians thus came to the French capital with the Prussian army. They entertained the Prussian army with “singing and tambourine and little bells”. They ultimately remained at the royal court in Potsdam as a gift from the Csar. When his friend Alexander I died in 1825, only 12 of the Russian singers still lived in Potsdam.

Today the town of Alexandrovka is part of the Unesco global cultural heritage.