"Prince Vladimir of Kiev ...in 987 brought orthodoxy to Russia from Byzantium intact. Vladimir had examined all the great religions of the world, sending emissaries out...in order to determine what Russia's religion should be. He rejected the Muslims because the Russians could not live without drink, and he rejected Judiasm because he could not accept the condemnation to wander. He rejected European Christianity because he saw 'no glory there.' But when his emissaries returned with word of Byzantium and its churches with thousands of shining light, the richness of its ornaments and vestments, its mosaics and jewels, he determined that Eastern Orthodoxy should be the religion of Russia, because God dwells in beauty."1.
(Morris, Mary, Wall to Wall: A Woman's Travels from Beijing to Berlin. Flamingo, London, 1993)
The Alexander Palace Website
This is a wonderful website and very interesting forum. It focuses on Imperial Russia with a large selection of free online books, websites and articles. The forum includes topics on all aspects of Russian history and sections on most of the European monarchies.
A collection of links about Russia, including news, an illustrated history and tips for travellers.
This is a webring with lots of excellent sites, mainly about Nicholas and Alexandra.
Another excellent site about the Romanovs.