The Catherine Garden has always been a favorite place of citizens of St. Petersburg. It is placed in the center of the city on Nevskiy Avenue and surrounded by no less famous buildings of one of the greatest libraries in the world, the National Library of Russia, and the Alexandrinsky Theatre. The central point of the park is occupied by the statue of Catherine II the Great established in 1873 in honor of which it was named. The project of the monument was designed in 1862 by Russian artist M. Mikeshin who is also the author of well-known historical monument “Tysacheletie of Russia” (millennium of Russia) in Novgorod. The project of the pedestal was created by D. Grimm, an administrator of works in the garden and an architect.
According to the project, Catherine II is surrounded by nine eminent people of her epoch; they are politicians, generals, scientists and so on. The sculpture was made by M. Opekushin. For the first time, the square was founded in 1820s just as an addition to the Alexandrinsky Theatre. At that time it was planned and created under the direction of famous Russian architect with Italian roots K. Rossi and a gardener Y. Fedorov. The garden received its actual name only fifty years later during a reconstruction under the guidance of D. Grimm and L. Regel who was a botanist.
At the present time, the Catherine Garden has a total area of about ten thousand square meters. It is enclosed with set of railings; wings of the gates are decorated with Catherine the Great monogram. The statue of Catherine the Great is so popular that it is connected with many legends. One of them says that when it was mounting people who stay around were throwing jewelry underneath as a mark of respect and some believe that treasures are still under the monument in the Catherine Garden. However the park is precious itself.