Many people have hobbies that have nothing to do with their main profession. Called by the overseas word hobby (from the English hobby), such a pastime was no exception among the rulers of our country, the autocrats of the Russian state sometimes had very interesting and unusual activities "for the soul."
For example, Ivan the Terrible was seriously interested in astrology. It is not surprising that the English astrologer Elisey Bomeli was at the king's court, not only compiling horoscopes for Ivan IV, but also teaching him the wisdom of his craft. True, the Englishman was involved in palace intrigues, and was executed on August 2, 1575.
Chess was another passion of the ruler. Ivan the Terrible even died at the chessboard, placing pieces. According to the recollections of eyewitnesses, the king could not succeed in putting the king in his place, who fell several times.
The favorite pastime of Alexei Mikhailovich was falconry. At that time, the position of the royal falconer was very honorable. Alexei Mikhailovich personally drew up a special charter - "The commander of the falconer way", which contained the rules of hunting.
It is not easy to list all the hobbies of the great reformer Peter the Great. What the sovereign did not do: he built ships, sewed boots, tore teeth of courtiers. I even tried to learn how to weave bast shoes, though unsuccessfully. With annoyance, Peter threw away the unfinished bast shoe, declaring “that there is no wiser craft”.
But Emperor Peter III loved to play soldiers. Once the sovereign even ordered the execution of a rat, which made its way into his chambers and ate two soldiers made of starch. The treacherous animal was hanged.
Nicholas the First took a break from state affairs, developing sketches of uniforms for the Russian army. The emperor was so keen on this occupation that he could sit for days over drawings of military uniforms.
Alexander the Third was passionate about fishing and hunting. As a 20-year-old boy, he had already hunted bears. In 1894, the autocrat caught a bad cold while hunting in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and developed nephritis - an acute inflammation of the kidneys. At the insistence of the doctors, the emperor went to the Crimea for treatment, where he died on October 20, 1894.
Nicholas II loved to play tennis, the violin and chop wood. Even in 1918, being in custody with his family in Yekaterinburg, Nikolai was very sorry that he was deprived of the opportunity to do what he loved.