Monument to Nicolas I
Place: St Isaac’s Square On the map
Construction time: 1856-1859
Sculptor: Peter Klodt
Remarkable features: Nicholas I the Emperor, wearing the Household Cavalry uniform sits on a rearing horse. Four bas placed on a pedestal, dedicated to the main events of the Emperor’s reign:
- 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 that represent “the Strength”, “ the Wisdom”, “the Justice” and “the 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 meant to be destroyed. However, the art critics and historians of the city 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 statue of President E. Jackson at the White House in Washington).
Legend: “You can’t catch me!” – this inscription appeared on the monument in the first night after installation. This was an allusion to the Bronze Horseman, a monument to Peter I 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.”