Table of contents:
- City Guardian
- Monuments to the founder
- Russian queens
- Triumphal Columns
- Rulers of Russia
- Memory of military history
- Writers, poets, scientists
- Love for animals
- Unusual characters
- Continuation of the story
2023 Author: Henry Conors | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 12:05
The northern capital is not in vain called the "Open Air Museum", the number of monuments in St. Petersburg, reminiscent of the most important events in history, is simply huge. Many have become a symbol not only of the city on the Neva, but of the whole country.
Here there are monuments to the great rulers of the Russian Empire, writers, scientists, generals, glorious ships and Chizhik-Pyzhik on the Fontanka. The streets keep the memory of the beginning of the revolution of 1917 and those who died during the terrible blockade of the Great Patriotic War.
Walking along the granite embankments and avenues of St. Petersburg, you can get acquainted with a huge layer of the history of our country: from the beginning of the construction of the new capital of the empire to the present.
Already from the end of the 18th century with the "Bronze Horseman", the greatest monument to Peter the Great in St. Petersburg,associated with many legends and legends. And no wonder, it was the first monument erected on the Senate Square of the capital by order of Empress Catherine II on the 100th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Peter I.
The creator of the monument was the talented sculptor Etienne Maurice Falcone, invited by Catherine especially for this project. The work lasted more than 12 years, due to constant intrigues, Falcone did not wait for their completion and left Russia.
Extraordinary dynamism and expressiveness make the figure of the emperor memorable, and the rearing horse, which the tsar holds back with a firm hand, reflects the proud character of the Russian people. A huge granite monolith weighing 1600 tons, which the sculptor's hand gave the shape of a wave, symbolizes the formation of Russia as a maritime power. A laconic inscription "To Peter I Catherine II of the summer of 1782" is engraved on the pedestal in Russian and Latin.
The name of the monument is not entirely true: it took 176 tons of bronze to cast, and Alexander Pushkin began to rank it among the copper monuments of St. Petersburg after the release of his poem "The Bronze Horseman".
Monuments to the founder
Residents are rightly proud of the ancient and modern monuments to the father of the city and the great reformer of the state. In addition to the majestic "Bronze Horseman", there are 11 monuments to Peter I in the Northern capital, not counting the busts of the king and many statues located in the suburbs.
- The first monument to the emperor, created even before the "Bronze Horseman", wasequestrian statue of Peter, made according to the sketch of the brilliant sculptor Bartolomeo Carlo Rastrelli. Work on the project began in 1720, during the life of the emperor. After numerous changes, in 1743, during the reign of Elizabeth, the monument was cast in metal, but hidden in the barn of the Foundry Yard: Catherine II considered it not monumental enough. And only 100 years after the start of production, at the behest of Paul I, the figure of the king took its place in front of the Mikhailovsky Castle.
- Another monument to Peter in St. Petersburg, whose fate turned out to be undeservedly harsh, was the wonderful composition "Tsar the Carpenter", created by order of Nicholas II by sculptor L. A. Bernshtam. The monument erected in 1910 depicted a young king learning the basics of shipbuilding. However, after the revolution of 1917, the monument was considered "of no value" and destroyed. Only in 1999, for the anniversary of the Russian fleet, the exact copy of the composition was returned to its original place on the Admir alteyskaya embankment.
- In a small square near the Peter and Paul Fortress, there is the most mystical monument to the founder of the city. It was created by the talented sculptor Mikhail Shemyakin and presented to Peter in 1991. The emperor's face was created according to a plaster death mask taken by Rastrelli back in 1719, and the distorted proportions of the figure correspond to the canons of Orthodox icon painting. More than 12 signs are associated with this monument to Peter 1 in St. Petersburg, from spiritual growth to successful marriage.
And in 2015, a greeter appeared at Pulkovo airportguests a modern figure of the founder of the city, with a suitcase in one hand and a smartphone in the other.
In a cozy square near the Alexander Theater stands the most popular monument to Catherine in St. Petersburg. The monument, erected in 1873, depicts the Empress in a traditional ceremonial pose, with a scepter and a wreath, and a magnificent crown rests at her feet. The creator of the project, M. Yu. Mikeshin, did not use clear geometric lines, and the dynamic folds of the mantle create the effect of an unstoppable movement forward.
The royal figure of the ruler rises above the statues of glorious statesmen of her reign: A. G. Orlov, A. V. Suvorov, P. A. Rumyantsev, G. R. Derzhavin, A. A. Bezborodko. The courtiers froze in slightly tense poses at the bell-shaped pedestal, only the figure of Suvorov is depicted more naturally. The height of this complex is more than four meters, on the front facade of the granite pedestal there is an inscription: "To Empress Catherine II during the reign of Alexander II".
The exposition of the State Russian Museum on Engineering Street opens with a splendid sculptural composition "Anna Ioannovna with a black child", made by the great Carlo Rastrelli. Historians consider it one of the best works of the master, created with filigree clarity.
Among the monuments of the history of St. Petersburg, surprisingly, there is no statue of the beloved daughter of Peter I, Elizabeth Petrovna. But in 2004 in B altiysk, right on the seashore, an equestrian monument to the queen was erected. A prancing figure in the uniform of the Preobrazhensky Guards Regiment has become part of the Fort Elizabeth Historical Complex.
The custom of erecting high obelisks in memory of victorious battles dates back to Ancient Rome.
The symbol of maritime glory, the magnificent Rostral Columns, were installed on the Spit of Vasilevsky Island, the most overlooked place in St. Petersburg, in 1810. Initially, they served as lighthouses for merchant ships entering the port, but later turned into one of the most recognizable monuments of St. Petersburg.
The deeds of the great reformer - Emperor Alexander I are immortalized in the magnificent Alexander Column, made of a monolithic granite block. It was erected in 1834 by decree of Nicholas I and since then has been decorating the Palace Square of the Northern Capital. The total height of the monument is 47.5 meters, and the column itself is 25.5 meters, it is the highest triumphal column in the world, standing without supports, only under the influence of gravity.
The monument to Alexander in St. Petersburg is crowned by a granite figure of an angel with a huge cross, whose face the sculptor B. Orlovsky gave a portrait resemblance to the emperor. The bronze bas-reliefs on the pedestal symbolize the power and courage of the Russian army.
One of the most impressive historical monuments of St. Petersburg, the obelisk "To the Hero City of Leningrad", welcomes guests in the center of Vosstaniya Square. The total height of the sculptural composition is 36 meters, the upper part of the granite columncrowned with an exact copy of the medal "Gold Star of the Hero", on the lower part there are bas-reliefs with scenes of the defense of the city during the war years. The obelisk was erected in 1985 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the victory in the Patriotic War.
Rulers of Russia
In the center of St. Isaac's Square there is a magnificent bronze composition depicting Nicholas I riding his favorite stallion. It is noteworthy that the massive sculpture rests only on two points of support: the hind legs of the horse. The multi-tiered pedestal was assembled from 118 types of ornamental stones and decorated with bronze bas-reliefs glorifying the deeds of the emperor. The sculptural group, installed in 1859, is considered the most perfect work of the master P. K. Klodt.
The equestrian statue of Alexander III by Paolo Trubetskoy once adorned Vosstaniya Square, but in 1937 the monument was dismantled and is still in the courtyard of the Marble Palace. In the closed space of the courtyard, the weight of a heavy rider sitting on a massive horse is even more acutely felt.
Memory of military history
The city on the Neva has not only a huge cultural heritage, but also a glorious history of military exploits and victories. Residents of the city honor the memory of the great commanders, perpetuating their images in stone and bronze.
- In May 1801, between the Trinity Bridge and the Field of Mars, a monument to A. V. Suvorov was unveiled. When creating it, the sculptor M. I. Kozlovsky decided to avoid traditional canons and depicted the generalissimo in the form of the ancient god of war, Mars. Compositionis considered one of the best monuments created in the 18th century in Russia.
- One of the most powerful monuments to Russian commanders, the figures of Field Marshal M. I. Kutuzov and M. B. Barclay de Tolly were installed in 1837 near the Kazan Cathedral. The figure of Barclay de Tolly, who led the retreat of the Russian army, is tragic and sad, and the winner of the French army, Kutuzov, exudes confidence and energy. The monuments were designed by the sculptor B. I. Orlovsky and timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the defeat of Napoleon's troops.
- The monument to the legendary Admiral Makarov by sculptor Leonid Sherwood is rightfully considered one of the most emotionally powerful monuments in St. Petersburg. It was opened in Kronstadt in 1913 in the presence of Emperor Nicholas II and members of his family.
- In the difficult year of 1943, a monument to Vasily Chapaev, one of the most popular military leaders of the Civil War, was erected to maintain the spirit of the city's residents. After several moves around the city, the composition decorates the square in front of the Military Communications Academy.
Writers, poets, scientists
The total number of cultural monuments in St. Petersburg is huge, many of them preserve the memory of geniuses who lived and worked in different periods of Russian history:
- The bronze monument to the great Russian fabulist I. A. Krylov was erected in the Summer Garden in 1885. The author writes down another fable, and recognizable heroes of his works look from the pedestal.
- Petersburg loves the work of A. S. Pushkin, 5 are dedicated to himmonuments in different parts of the city. The most beautiful bronze statue of the poet was erected in the post-war years in the city center on Arts Square.
- Among the photos of the monuments of St. Petersburg, the pensive figure of Sergei Yesenin, carved from white Karelian marble, attracts. According to tradition, it is at its foot that the newlyweds strive to bring flowers so that their life together is full of love and harmony.
- For more than a hundred years, Theater Square has been adorned with a bronze figure of the great composer Mikhail Glinka. The monument was unveiled in February 1906 at the initiative of the Imperial Russian Musical Society and the residents of the city.
- A bronze copy of Mikhail Lomonosov was installed near St. Petersburg State University at the end of the 20th century. A manuscript lies on the lap of the great scientist, who was once a student of this university, and he himself seems to be on the verge of a new discovery.
Of course, this is not a list of all cultural monuments of St. Petersburg dedicated to talented citizens in love with the Northern capital.
Love for animals
In the past few decades, the city has seen a veritable take-off in decorative sculpture, reflecting citizens' attitudes toward the adorable four-legged inhabitants.
The first monument to a cat appeared in 2002 in the courtyard of St. Petersburg State University. A small pensive animal symbolizes people's gratitude to laboratory animals.
The most famous couple of cats, Vasilisa and Elisha, are walking aroundcornices on Malaya Sadovaya. But the sign associated with the tiny Chizhik-Pyzhik, sitting on the Fontanka embankment, promises good luck to everyone who throws a coin to the narrow pedestal of the monument.
On a wooden pile under the Ioanovsky Bridge, near the Peter and Paul Fortress, a small eared hare lurks, made according to the sketch of the sculptor Vladimir Petrovichev from a modern, non-corrosive alloy. It serves as a reminder of frequent floods on the Neva.
A real "zoo" is located in the courtyard of the philological faculty of St. Petersburg State University: the charming hippopotamus Tonya, the Dachshund 140 cm long, the imposing goat Hircus facultatis and the small Snail, which is considered the symbol of the faculty.
Walking through the streets, you can see the figures of rather strange characters: a cast-iron Lamplighter sitting on a sidewalk railing, a bronze Manager leaning over a laptop near a business center, or the Good Soldier Schweik hiding a large mug of beer behind his back.
A collection of photos of St. Petersburg monuments would be incomplete without a sculpture of a St. Petersburg photographer hiding an old camera on a tripod under an umbrella. An English bulldog was attached nearby, watching the passers-by. The monument is dedicated to Karl Bull, who is deservedly considered the founder of the photo reportage genre.
Even in the city there is a monument to Ostap Bender, the Policeman, Carlson on the pediment of the theater on the Fontanka embankment, Baron Munchausen pulling himself out of the swamp with his horse by the hair and many other characters.
Continuation of the story
Every year the city is enriched with new monuments, both serious and not so, which fit well into the urban environment.
In 2002, a statue of the patron saint of St. Petersburg, the great commander Alexander Nevsky, was installed on the square of the same name. The majestic figure of the prince rises above the city, protecting the peace of its inhabitants.
A monument with strange broken lines and expressive colors stands out on Petrogradskaya Embankment. It is dedicated to Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and founder of the prize for the greatest discoveries of mankind. The composition depicts shapeless pieces of objects flying apart from a strong explosion.
In 2004, opposite the Vasileostrovskaya metro station, a copy of a plastic and concrete horse-drawn tram appeared. The car of the once popular double-decker transport was restored according to old drawings and harnessed to two horses.
And near the hotel "365" on Borovaya Street, a forged carriage of sample XVII was parked. The layout is made in full size and impresses with its realism.
Numerous monuments of St. Petersburg reflect its history, the heroism of the inhabitants and their endless optimism.
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