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Golitsyn dukes v1 p2.png
Parent houseHouse of Gediminas
CountryGrand Duchy of Moscow
Tsardom of Russia
Imperial Russia
Founded15th century
FounderMikhail Bulgakov-Golitsa
TitlesPrince and Princess
Cadet branchesKurakins, Khovansky, Koretsky
Peter I of Russia permitted the Golitsyns to incorporate the emblem of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into their coat of arms

The Golitsyn (sometimes transcribed Golitzin; Russian: , tr. Golitsyn, IPA: ['l?its?n]) family, one of the largest princely of the noble houses of Russia, originated in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

After the extinction of the Korecki family in the 17th century, the Golitsyns claimed dynastic seniority in the House of Gediminas. Notable members include Vasily Vasilyevich Golitsyn (1643-1714), Boris Alexeyevich Golitsyn (1654-1714) and Dmitry Mikhaylovich Golitsyn (1665-1737), Nikolai Golitsyn (1850-1925), the last prime-minister of Imperial Russia, Anatoliy Golitsyn, KGB officer.

Alternative transliterations of the name include: Galitzine, Galizyn, Galitsyn, Galitsin, Golitsin and Golitsyn.


The family descends from a Lithuanian prince George, son of Patrikas and grandson of Narimantas. He immigrated to the court of Vasily I and married Vasily's sister. His children and grandchildren, Vassian Patrikeyev, were considered premier Russian boyars.

One of them, Prince Mikhail Bulgakov-Golitsa [ru], earned the nickname Golitsa (glove, gele?ìs in Old Lithuanian) for an iron glove he wore in the Battle of Orsha in 1514. His son Yuri Bulgakov-Golytsin continued with the family line and his great-grandson Prince Vasily Golitsyn (+1619) was active during the Time of Troubles and went as an ambassador to Poland to offer the Russian crown to Prince W?adys?aw.[1]

Notable Golitsyns

Field-Marshal Alexander M. Golitsyn (1718-1783)
Golitsyn family by Vladimir Borovikovsky (1810), National Museum in Warsaw

Vasily Vasilyevich Galitzin (1643-1714) was one of the Greatest Russian statesmen of the 17th century, principal minister of state during the Regency of Sophia Alekseyevna (1682-1689)

Boris Alexeyevich Galitzin (1654-1714), was a cousin and the chief political opponent of Vasily Vasilyevich and thereafter influential minister of Peter the Great.

Dmitry Mikhailovich Galitzin (1665-1737), another cousin of Vasily Vasilyevich, was noted for his attempt to turn Russia into a constitutional monarchy.

Dmitry's brother Mikhail Mikhailovich (c.1674-1730) was a field marshal and is best known for his governorship of Finland (1714-1721), where his harsh rule is remembered by the people he had conquered as the Greater Wrath (Swedish: Stora ofreden).

His younger brother, another Mikhail Mikhailovich Golitsyn (1684-1764) was general admiral of the Russian fleet (1756).

Mikhail Alekseevich Golitsyn [ru] (1687-1775), a grandson of Vasily Vasilyevich, was punished by Empress Anna of Russia for converting to Catholicism and marrying a Catholic Italian woman in being forced to become a court jester. His wedding to another court jester inside Anna Ivanovna's palace remained famous.

Mikhail Mikhailovich's son Alexander Mikhailovich (1718-1783) was a diplomat and soldier, who likewise rose to be field-marshal and governor of St. Petersburg.

Another son of Mikhail's, Dmitry Mikhailovich (1721-1793), was the Russian ambassador in Vienna during the reign of Catherine the Great. Primarily remembered for the splendid Golitsyn Hospital he opened in Moscow, he should also be noted as a great friend and patron of Mozart.

Another Alexander Mikhailovich Golitsyn [ru] (1723-1804), son of general admiral Mikhail Mikhaylovich Golitsyn

Prince Dmitry Alekseyevich Golitsyn (1738-1803) was the Russian ambassador to the Netherlands and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

A son of Dmitry Alekseyevich, Prince Dmitry Dmitriyevich Golitsyn (1770-1840), also known as the Apostle of the Alleghenies, was the first Roman Catholic priest ordained in America; a settlement in Pennsylvania is named after him. He is currently under investigation for possible Sainthood, his current title is Servant of God.

Prince Dmitri Vladimirovich Golitsyn (1771-1844) fought bravely during the Napoleonic wars, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and governed Moscow for 25 years.

Prince Alexander Nikolayevich Golitsyn (1773-1844) was a reactionary minister of education in the government of Alexander I. He headed an investigation into masonic involvement in the Decembrist uprising of 1825 and served as the Chairman of the State Council from 1838 to 1841.

Princess Yelizaveta Alexeyevna Golitsyna (1797-1844) Roman Catholic nun.

Prince Nikolay Borisovich Galitzin (1794-1866) was an amateur cellist who commissioned Beethoven to write his last string quartets, sometimes called the Galitzin quartets.

Prince Alexei Vasilyevich Golitsyn (1832-1901) was a friend of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Like the composer, Golitsyn was homosexual; but unlike the composer, he lived openly with his lover, Nikolay Vasilyevich Masalitinov (d. 1884).[2]

Prince Grigory Sergeyevich Golitsin (1838--1907) was a general and the Governor of Transcaucasia in 1897-1904.

Prince Lev Sergeyevich 24 June [O.S. 12 June] 1845-8 January 1916 [O.S. 26 December 1915] was one of the founders of winemaking in the Crimea. In his Crimean estate of Novyi Svet he built the first Russian factory of champagne wines. In 1889 the production of this winery won the Gold Medal at the Paris exhibition in the nomination for sparkling wines. He became the surveyor of imperial vineyards at Abrau-Dyurso in 1891.

Prince Boris Borisovich (1862-1916) was a prominent physicist who invented the first electromagnetic seismograph in 1906.

Prince Nikolai Dmitriyevich Golitsyn (1850-1925) was the last Tsarist prime minister of Russia, at the time of the February Revolution.

Prince Vladimir Golitsyn (1902-1943) After an early career as a sailor, during the 1920's Vladimir began a very successful career as a book illustrator and well-known artist, illustrating around forty books between 1925-1941. He also worked for the magazines the Universal Pathfinder, Pioneer and several others. Despite his very popular artwork, he was barely tolerated by the Stalinist bureaucracy and as general conditions worsened, found it increasingly hard to support his parents and young family. According to his brother, the writer Sergei Golitsyn, Vladimir died from exhaustion and under-nourishment in the Sviyazhska prison camp on 6th February 1943.

Sergei Golitsyn (1909-1989) wrote Memoirs of a Survivor: The Golitsyn Family in Stalin's Russia, a memoir of his experiences of the period from the start of the Revolution in 1917 to Russia's entry into World War II in 1941.

Prince Yuri Golitsyn Born Yokohama Japan 1919 One of the founders of public relations having written the handbook on the subject and pushed research on the family forward to being published in a book. He was also a member of The Right Society and yet championed action against concentration camps after being the first allied officer to witness one firsthand (Natzweiler)[3]

Princess Irene Galitzine (1916-2006), fashion designer

Prince Georgy Sergeyevich Golitsyn (born 1935), Russian physicist noted for his research on the concept of nuclear winter.

The graves of Princes George and Emanuel Galitzine, Brompton Cemetery, London

Prince Leo Golitsyn escaped from Soviet Russia during World War I and came to settle in Canada by 1929 in Edson, Alberta. He and his wife purchased 420 acres of land, one-quarter section from M. Silva and a half-section from Neil Armstrong. Most of the property bordered the McLeod River. Other than the 110 acres of farm land, they owned 5 pairs of foxes, poultry, horses and cattle.[4] Golitsyn, together with his wife, an Egyptian Princess, bought an airplane and started a charter company at Bear Lake. After the Princess died during a vacation to Europe, Leo moved to Hollywood where he was seen acting in various films as an extra. His most notable works are The Razor's Edge (1946 film) and The Chocolate Soldier.[5]

Prince George Vladimirovich Galitzine (1916-1992) in whose memory The Prince George Galitzine Memorial Library was founded in 1994 by his widow Princess George Galitzine (formerly Jean Dawnay) and his daughter Princess Catherine (Katya) Galitzine. Prince George served with distinction in the rank of Major, Welsh Guards 1939-45. He was subsequently a diplomat and businessman. Following retirement he was active as a researcher, author and lecturer on Russia. The Prince George Galitzine Library specialises in the cultural life of St Petersburg with a collection in excess of 3000 books, photographs and documents for research tracing back to Catherine the Great.[6] The Library occupies the palace on the Fontanka, formerly the family home of his mother Countess Catherine Carlow, daughter of Duke George of Mecklenburg-Strelitz a younger son of Ekaterina Mikhailovna Romanov, Grand Duchess of Russia. Through the Mecklenburg-Strelitz connection, this branch of the Galitzine family are related to many of the Royal Houses of Europe.[7]

George Golitzin (1916-1963), Hollywood producer and deacon in the Orthodox Church in America.

Bishop Alexander (Golitzin) (born 1948),[8] is Archbishop for Dallas, the South and the Bulgarian Diocese for the Orthodox Church in America. He is also emeritus professor of theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. His academic work focuses on the discerning the roots of eastern Christian spirituality in Second Temple Judaism.[9]

Alexander Golitzen (Moscow, 28 February 1908 - San Diego, 26 July 2005) was a Russian-born production designer and oversaw art direction on more than 300 movies

The actor and musician Nicholas Dmitrievich Galitzine, (possibly a member of the wider family), was born in London on September 29, 1994. He has starred in films such as High Strung (2016) and Handsome Devil (2016).

Tatiana Galitzine (born 1984) is an American architect and the daughter Prince Peter Galiztine.

Maria Galitzine (1988-2020) was a Russian-American interior designer and the daughter of Prince Peter Galitzine.


  1. ^ Bain, Robert Nisbet (1911). "Golitsuin, Boris Aleksyeevich" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 225.
  2. ^ Alexander Poznansky, Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man, many refs
  3. ^
  4. ^ Edson 75-Marguerite Ahlf
  5. ^ Edson 75-Marguerite Ahlf
  6. ^ The Prince George Galitzine Memorial Library
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^


External links

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