STATUE TO PETER THE GREAT (“THE BRONZE HORSEMAN”)

Address: Ploshad Dekabristov (Decembrists’ Square)
STATUE TO PETER THE GREAT (“THE BRONZE HORSEMAN”)

The monument to Emperor Peter the Great, set up at the behest of Catherine the Great and eulogized later by Alexander Pushkin was the first monument in Russia. It was unveiled in a festive atmosphere in 1782 on Senate Square (now Decembrists’ Square).

Designed by the sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet, the monument is notable for an unusual dynamism of its composition. The horseman on the rearing horse is trampling a snake that personifies the forces opposing Peter’s reforms. The head of Peter the Great was created by Marie Anne Collot, Falconet’s pupil, from a model by Bartolomeo Carlo Rastrelli and the snake was a work of the sculptor Fiodor Gordeyev responsible for setting up of the monument. The rock that serves as a pedestal is carved in the form of a coming wave – a symbol of obstacles surmounted by the Emperor. For the pediment was used a huge granite boulder (“Thunder Stone”) discovered on the shore of the Gulf of Finland near the village of Lakhta.