Monument to Nicolas I
Place: St Isaac’s Square On the map
Construction time: 1856-1859
Sculptor: Peter Klodt
- accession to the throne (1825);
- taming cholera riot (1831);
- rewarding Mikhail Speransky for drafting of “the Laws of the Russian Empire” (1832);
- opening of the railway Petersburg-Moscow (1851).
On the four corners the plinth are allegorical female figures personifying the “Strength”, “Wisdom”, “Justice” and “Faith.” These figures have the faces of Alexandra Theodorovna, emperor’s wife, and their daughters: Mary, Alexandra and Olga.
Interesting facts: in Soviet times monument, like other images of old rulers, going to be destroyed. However, the art critics and historians of the city in one voice declared that the monument is the world’s only equestrian statue with only two support points. Only as a symbol of an engineering thought and as a technical wonder statue was preserved. In fact, the monument is not unique in its kind, although such equestrian statues really are just a few in a world (for example, the image of President E. Jackson at the White House in Washington).
Legend: “You can’t catch!” – such inscription appeared on the monument in the first night after installation. This was an allusion to the Bronze Horseman, a monument to Peter I, who is on the other side of St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Nicholas I always admired the great ancestor, however, according to Alexander Pushkin, “there was a lot of ensign in him, and a bit of Peter the Great.”