The Princess of the house of Hesse, the Russian Empress, wife of Emperor Alexander II. To be active in charity. It marked the beginning of a new period of women's education in Russia: all-female gymnasiums, diocesan schools, shelters and boarding schools were opened.

With the support of his wife Alexander II founded the largest in St. Petersburg and all Russia theater (Mariinsky) and ballet school, which are fully supported by the Imperial family, personally Empress, and, at the insistence of Emperor Alexander II, bore her name. On the stage of the theater staged such famous works as "Boris Godunov" Musorgsky, "Queen of spades" Tchaikovsky, " May daughter" and "Snow maiden" Rimsky-Korsakov, etc. in the repertoire of the theater was the famous theater of Wagner "Ring of the Nibelung", "ELEKTRA" Richard Strauss, "Khovanshchina" Musorgsky.  Ballet did not lag behind the Opera. On the stage were not only classics ("Corsair","Giselle" and "Esmeralda"), but also "La Bayadere", "Sleeping beauty", "Nutcracker and "Swan lake". Tchaikovsky's famous Swan lake choreography owes its work to the creative Union of choreographers Ivanov and Petipa.

"Portrait of Empress

Maria Alexandrovna"

Artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Bust of Empress Maria Alexandrovna in the foyer of the Mariinsky theatre

Lithograph. The auditorium

of the Bolshoi theater. 1856

The auditorium of the Mariinsky theatre

Royal box. Mariinsky theatre