Place: Senate Square On the map
Sculptors: Étienne Maurice Falconet, Marie-Anne Collot
Notable features: Peter the Great is depicted on horseback, trampling a snake. The snake symbolizes Peter defeated enemies, dado in waveform – sovereign victory over nature. The monument is made of bronze, but Alexander Pushkin in his eponymous poem called it “copper” («Cooper Horseman» – рус. «Медный Всадник»). The inscription on the pedestal “to Peter the First (Primo), Catherine Second (Secunda)” has a political significance. Catherine II was a pureblood German, but her right to rule based on the fact that she is a direct continuer of the case of Peter I. It is in this sense, Peter is the first, and she is the second.
He’s awful in the nightly dark!
What a great might in it lies, hidden!
And what a fire’s in this steed!
O, proud horse, where do you speed!
Where will you down your bronze hoofs, flittin’?
O, karma’s mighty sovereign!
Not thus you’d reared Russia, sullen,
Into the height, with a curb, iron,
Before an abyss in your reign?
(Pushkin, “Bronze Horseman”, trans. by Yevgeny Bonver)
Interesting facts: Base of the monument is a solid granite monolith. Its weight is about 1,500 tonnes. The lump was found in the outskirts of St. Petersburg, 8.5 km from the coast of the Gulf. For transportation of boulder was built a wooden platform which was rolling on two trenches with stowed the thirty copper balls in its. During the transportation, right on the rock a few dozen stonecutters worked, giving it a waveform. On the shore was built a special dock, from which the boulder was loaded onto a specially constructed barge and transported to the Senate Square. “This is great boldness” – say the inscription on the commemorative medal minted in honor of the successful delivery of the monolith.
- This story took place ten years before installation of the monument. During the walk the future Emperor Paul I met a stranger on the Senate Square, wrapped in a cloak. “Poor Paul, – the stranger said. – I’m the one who takes part in you. I wish you would not particularly tie to this world, because you will not remain here too long.” With these words, the stranger took off his hat and revealed his face – it was Peter the Great himself! So Paul I really rules only 4 years, 4 months and 4 days, and then was killed.
- In “The Bronze Horseman” by Alexander Pushkin monument jumped down from the podium in the time, when the floods had begun, and rushes through the city for the main character Eugene.
- In the novel “Petersburg” by Andrei Bely one of the characters goes mad and kills his friend and sits on a corpse in a pose of Peter the Great with an instrument of crime – scissors – in hand. In this position next morning the police find him.
- Daniel Andreev, the famous mystic writer of XX cent. in one of his vision saw the infernal analogue of Petersburg, where sun never rise. In this city there is Peter the Great sat on the snake, not on the horse.