interesting facts about: history
The Grand Embassy to the West (“Window into Europe”) was one of the deciding and life-changing journeys of the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. It was a Russian Diplomatic mission sent to Western Europe in 1697-1698 to search for allies in the struggle against the Ottoman Empire and to strengthen the economic relationships between European countries and Russian Empire.
Peter the Great was the first Russian king (or Tsar) who ever had traveled abroad. The initial purpose of the Russian diplomatic mission was to visit European countries and bring about stronger links with Western and more progressive neighbors. Peter the Great was hoping to gain support in his war against the Ottoman Empire for the northern coastline of the Black sea and to employee good ship builders for Russian new float.
Three grand ambassadors conducted this historical journey: Prokopy Voznitsyn, Franz Lefort and Fyodor Golovin. Peter the Great himself went incognito under the pseudonym of Pyotr Mikhailov – a doubtful cover for a man who was unusually tall (more than 2 meters) and very recognizable in every crowd. Officially, there were 250 people traveling along with the Russian Tsar.
The Great Embassy included meetings with many Western European leaders, among them were the German Emperor, the King of England, the Pope and some other. However, Peter the Great did not receive much support from them for his campaign against Ottoman Empire. So, the primary aim of the mission was failed.
Influenced by the ideas he picked up in the Western Europe, the Russian Tsar started to implement a series of reforms to modernize his own country. So he started organization of a government that was based on serving for the benefit of every citizen.
Peter the Great introduced an administrative reform seeming to the European one, and so changed the way regions were administered. He also devised a vertical system of ranks that one could acquire for his faithful service to the Tsar and the state. For the first time in the Russian history, everybody could become a noble merely by his devoted service.