Category Archives: Monuments

Bronze Horseman

StPetersburgBronzeHorseman

The Bronze Horseman appeared in St.Petersburg when the city was celebrating its anniversary of 300 years. At that time in the city appereared many different monuments but the most famous was The Bronze Horseman, it was created by sculptor Falkone. In the middle of 18th century Catherine the Great planned to create the monument that will be devoted to the Peter 1, the founder of St.Petersburg city that is why she invited a French sculptor Falkone in Russia.

Bronze Horseman
In 1766 Falkone came to Russia with a visit, he started to work at the model of hourse monument.While the creation of the monument he used a gypsum mask and a wax body of Peter 1. The whole of the monument model took 12 years and it was ready to 1769. The process of work of the monument took place at the territory of previous temporary Winter Palace. In 1769 people observed the installation of the monument, it lasted for several hours every day. The hourses where taken from the Emperor’s horse stable.
The head of the Horseman was created by a student of Falkone Marie-Ann Kollo,she made the head and for her work  Catherine 2, gave her a life-long pension. The snake under the leg of the Horseman made Russian sculptor Gordeev. By the plan of sculptor the basement of the monument represent a rock in view of a wave. The shape of the wave remains that exactly Peter 1 lead out Russia to the sea.

Bronze Horseman 1
By the legend once the rocket was struck by lightning and there appeared a crack. Among people the rocket was called as “Lightning-stone”, it was called the same later when it was based on the Shore of Niva River under the famous monument. Its weight is 1600 tones. So the rocket was delivered to its place for 9 months on the barge.
Actually noone wanted to make the cast of the monument; the foreigners required a lot of money for this work, while Russian masters were scared of the size. At last the caster was found, his name was Emelian Hailov. Together with Falkone he tried to find the best cast, during 3 years he learned the cast technology and in 1774 he started to cast the monument. This technology was very complicated, so the one cast was not enough for the monument. While the first cast the upper part was damaged and it was cut off.
So it took for next three years to continue the work and prepare next cast. In its memory Falkone left a note on the coat of the Horseman. The process of casting was very dangerous and it could arise a huge fire. But Hailov was very responsible and cheerful while work, so nothing has happened at this time.
But to the moment of monument’s installation relationships with Peter 1 were spoiled and there was even gossip that Falkone helped only with technical part, so he was so much offended that didnt wait till the opening of the monument and left Russia together with Marie-Ann Kollo. The installation process was under Gordeev’s management. This even observed Catherine 2 and all St.Petersburg’s society.

The Bronze Horseman
So the name of the Bronze Horseman was given to the monument by Pushkin in one of his poems, and this expression became so popular that this name became almost official.
During the Great Patriotic War there was a threaten to move the monument from the city, but it was impossible, moreover citizens were afraid that the monument would be damaged while fascist aviation attacks, so people built a special box, with the height above 14 meters and covered the monument with it.
Luckily this unique monument was not damaged, it was opened at once when the war was over.Nowadays it is the most popular place for just married. So The Bronze Horseman in St.Petersburg is truly the most expressive monument and considered to be the monument of Peter 1, as a symbol of St.Petersburg.
The Bronze Horseman is one of the best monuments in Europe, in its honour Catherine the Great made a coin, where at the one side was placed her portrait and at another the monument. Nowadays it is also a popular place for visitors and especially for just married.

Alexander Column

The Alexander Column

The Alexander Column – is a monument on the Palace Square of St.Petersburg made in Empire Style and considered to be one of the symbols of the city.The column is devoted to the victory of Alexander 1, the monument was built in his honour and have his name.

Before the project Rossi planned to locate the monument in the middle of the square. But his suggested variant of horse statue of Peter 1 was not acceptable for him, so this place was free untill 1829 when the Emperor Nikolay made a contest on the best project to his brother Alexander 1, in which participated a famous french architect Monferran.

Empire Style

His first project was not accepted, though he decided not to give up. According to wishes of Nikolay 1, he changed his project of an obelisk for a column, and as an example he took a famous look of Trajan column in Rome.

The height of the new monument is impressive, and leaves behind many prototypes in the world, and the usage in a column as a stem a piece of granite was only at the period of project was a strong provocation in the engineering.So Monferran won on 24 september in 1829 when his project was approved.

Alexander 1

So started a long and hard work, on the place of the column was a basin with depth of 4 meters, and during 3 months there were driven in more than 1250 piles of 6 meters. The next layer they were covered with was granite blocks with width of half a meter.

In one of the central blocks was put a casket full of coins medals made in honourof Alexander 1, and also with a memorable note about the start of the building. On the fundament was installed a huge onument with weight 400 tones as a basement of pedestal. So while the installation was also used an original water mixture of soap and vodka, vodka helped cement to hold better on frosts and addition of soap the monument was easier to move taking lesser efforts.

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So when on the monuments were installed the upper parts of the pedestal, the first preparation works were over. While on the Palalce Square were building works on the shores of Gulf of Finland workers under the leadership of Yakovleva and Kolodkina were preparing future steam of the Alexander Column.

For transportation of the steam was built a special boat named “Saint Nikolay”, on which 1 july 1832 the monument arrived to the shores of the Palace. But the most complicated part of works was still ahead.

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Under the leadership of Betankura were made special building forests were installed a system of blocks and 60 capstans. In 1832 among thousands of people and members of Emperor Family, the column was installed. This hard operation took 1 hour 45 minutes and required almost 2.500 workers and soldiers.

 

Works of the decoration of the monument lasted for more tahn 2 years. On the very top of the column was installed a fugure of an angel, that was work of sculptor Orlovskiy, in his left hand angel hold a cross, and his look was turned to the earth. So the Emperor family wished to add to his face features of Alexander 1, and on the pedestal was also added military bards, weapon and fugures of:  Victory, Fame, Charity, Justice, Wisdom and Wealth.

Bichebois_L__P_-A__Baillot_A__J_-B_-ZZZ-Raising_of_the_Alexander_Column

Four parts of pedestal are decorated with bronze high relieves, which were made by sculptors Svinzov and Leppe. On relieves from the side of the Main Office is depicted a figure of Victory that brings into a history memorable dates: 1812, 1813, 1814.

From the side of Winter Palace – there are two figures with wings and a note: “To Alexander 1, Grateful Russia”. There was a legend that people were still afraid to walk under the column, they were afraid that column would fall because it wasnt fixed and hold only by its own weight.

To Alexander 1, Grateful Russia

So by this reason every morning Monferran walked with his dog under the monument,by this way he tried to disperse fears of people.

In reality the Alexander Column is a personification of victory of kindness over evil, an allegory of peace that came in Europe after victory of Russian army over Napoleon. This Great Column made by Monferran even better than a Trajan Column in Rome and Vandomskaya Column in Paris.

The Alexander Column was even praised in a poem “Monument” written by the greatest Russian poet Alexaner Sergeevich Pushkin.

Monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg

The Monument to Catherine

The Monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg, Russia was officially opened in 1873. The idea to put the monument in St. Petersburg came to the relatives and close people of Catherine the Great. Though she was against it, the monument was built a century ago by the order of Alexander 2. There is even a note on the basement of the monument that tells it was devoted to Catherine the Great from Alexander 2.

Actually it was strange that there were no a monument devoted to Catherine the Great for such a long time. So only in 19th century it was decided to build such a monument and the place where it should be located was Tsarskoye Selo. So it was right to put the monument in Tsarskoye Selo because there was also situated Catherine’s Palace.

Catherine 2

But in reality there are many questions that we still dont know the answers on and only can find them in the history of Russia, so why the monument had its project on the paper for a century and why there even existed a possibility to deliver it abroad?

For ordinary people Catherine was the Great Queen that was praised by her kind actions but for her relatives she supposed to be a cruel german woman that became a wife of Romanov and then killed him to get the throne. If this is true we will never know.

30.05.2010 St. Petersburg. Katharine die große am Nevskij Prospekt

So the history tells that in 1859 a painter Ladin asked Alexander 2 for permission to build the monument devoted to Catherine the Great on the anniversary of the Academy of Arts in 1864. So Alexander agreed but he didn’t allow putting the monument on the territory of the Academy of Arts, his oreder was to put the monument on the territory of Tsarskoye Selo.

In July 1859 it was ordered the best sculptors like Klodt, Pimenov and many others to organize a contest for the best projects of the monument to Catherine the Great and its installation in Tsarskoselskiy Garden.

Catherine3

So in the middle of summer in 1860 the projects created by Zaleman, Tokarev and Wanse were represented in Academy of Arts and considered unsatisfied by Alexander 2. But later tuen of the second and the third contest came but noone even appeared there.

In 1861 the project of Mikeshin became interesting for Alexander 2, though Mikeshin was not a sculptor, at first his projest was denied but later it was accepted by Alexander 2. So the 25 year-old Mikeshin suggested to depict Catherine in a great pose on the pedestal with her famous supporters: Potemkin, Rumianceva, Suvorov, Orlova, and Derzhavin.

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After this the Academy of Arts approved that the pedestal had not a right size, that the statue of Catherine is not so impressed and that Lyre is not suitable in her left hand.In august of 1861 the Emperor accepted the project of Mikeshin though he said it seemed to him that the head of Catherine’s rather small. So at first Mikeshin made the model of the monument in a small size, and then this model was casted of bronze on the Shopen plant in St.Petersburg, the monument was made in rococo style the same as the Palace where it was planned to locate the monument.

The Monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg

After this the monument was send in London’s exposition where the monument even got an honoured medal. After return in St.Petersburg the Emperor found the place to locate the monument in the Palace.So the statue looks forward to people, Catherine the Great holds lyre in her left hand and scepter in her right hand, she has a long coat that makes a long mantle, at her feet there is a long wreath of oak and laurel leaves and roses.

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The statue look gourgeous, its height is 1 m and 11 cm; the pedestal is 1 m 18 cm. The whole height of the monument is 2 m 29cm.

“Catherine the Great, is a Queen that rules the lives of her nation, she is a brave and decent, disposable and proud, she is the creator of punishments, the author of comedies, she is the founder of educational buildings – it was a task at her right hand talent. It was necessary to creat the same light, smiling and full of mind look of Catherine the Great”, – said Mikeshin about her.

Catherine

With the installation of the monument devoted to Catherine 2, St. Petersburg go the best monument. So nowadays it is hard to imagine this square without the monument devoted to Catherine the Great. Citizens of St. Petersburg always come to this park in the very center of the city and with pleasure enjoy the surroundings.