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FORTRESS AND MONUMENTS IN SAINT PETERSBURG

The Bronze Horseman appeared in St.Petersburg when the city was celebrating its anniversary of 300 years. At that time in the city appereared many different monuments but the most famous was The Bronze Horseman, it was created by sculptor Falkone. In the middle of 18th century Catherine the Great planned to create the monument that will be devoted to the Peter 1, the founder of St.Petersburg city that is why she invited a French sculptor Falkone in Russia.

 

In 1766 Falkone came to Russia with a visit, he started to work at the model of hourse monument.While the creation of the monument he used a gypsum mask and a wax body of Peter 1. The whole of the monument model took 12 years and it was ready to 1769. The process of work of the monument took place at the territory of previous temporary Winter Palace. In 1769 people observed the installation of the monument, it lasted for several hours every day. The hourses where taken from the Emperors horse stable.

 
The head of the Horseman was created by a student of Falkone Marie-Ann Kollo,she made the head and for her work  Catherine 2, gave her a life-long pension. The snake under the leg of the Horseman made Russian sculptor Gordeev. By the plan of sculptor the basement of the monument represent a rock in view of a wave. The shape of the wave remains that exactly Peter 1 lead out Russia to the sea.

 

By the legend once the rocket was struck by lightning and there appeared a crack. Among people the rocket was called as Lightning-stone, it was called the same later when it was based on the Shore of Niva River under the famous monument. Its weight is 1600 tones. So the rocket was delivered to its place for 9 months on the barge.

 
Actually noone wanted to make the cast of the monument; the foreigners required a lot of money for this work, while Russian masters were scared of the size. At last the caster was found, his name was Emelian Hailov. Together with Falkone he tried to find the best cast, during 3 years he learned the cast technology and in 1774 he started to cast the monument. This technology was very complicated, so the one cast was not enough for the monument. While the first cast the upper part was damaged and it was cut off.

 
So it took for next three years to continue the work and prepare next cast. In its memory Falkone left a note on the coat of the Horseman. The process of casting was very dangerous and it could arise a huge fire. But Hailov was very responsible and cheerful while work, so nothing has happened at this time.

 
But to the moment of monuments installation relationships with Peter 1 were spoiled and there was even gossip that Falkone helped only with technical part, so he was so much offended that didnt wait till the opening of the monument and left Russia together with Marie-Ann Kollo. The installation process was under Gordeevs management. This even observed Catherine 2 and all St.Petersburgs society.

 

So the name of the Bronze Horseman was given to the monument by Pushkin in one of his poems, and this expression became so popular that this name became almost official.

 
During the Great Patriotic War there was a threaten to move the monument from the city, but it was impossible, moreover citizens were afraid that the monument would be damaged while fascist aviation attacks, so people built a special box, with the height above 14 meters and covered the monument with it.

 
Luckily this unique monument was not damaged, it was opened at once when the war was over.Nowadays it is the most popular place for just married. So The Bronze Horseman in St.Petersburg is truly the most expressive monument and considered to be the monument of Peter 1, as a symbol of St.Petersburg.

 
The Bronze Horseman is one of the best monuments in Europe, in its honour Catherine the Great made a coin, where at the one side was placed her portrait and at another the monument. Nowadays it is also a popular place for visitors and especially for just married.

This powerful and impressive monument was built as the focal point of Ploshchad Pobedy (Victory Square) in the early 1970s to commemorate the heroic efforts of the residents of Leningrad and the soldiers on the Leningrad Front to the repel the Nazis in the 900-day Siege of Leningrad during World War II.

 

The first plans to build a monument to the World War II victory where announced in 1958 when the city announced an open competition for the design of the monument. There were 44 entries, according to B. Isacheko in his book 20th Century St. Petersburg Architects.

 

Decorated Russian architect Sergei Speransky won the competition with his knowledge of city construction design and the pervasiveness of the theme of World War II victory in his art. As early as 1946, he was active in the restoration of Minsk and the creation of a World War II monument there.

 

His competition-winning design for Ploshchad Pobedy was highlighted by a broken ring surrounding a high-level composition dedicated to the Leningrad citizen's successful efforts to repel the terrible 900-day Nazi siege during World War II. A monument was designed to rise up from the center of the ring, flanked on the western and eastern sides by the horizontal ray buildings in the fold of the massive and Stalinesque Moscow Prospekt and the tall towers at the intersection of the square and the prospekt.  The square was formally named Ploshchad Pobedy in 1962. Up until then it had been named Sredney Rogatki Ploshchad.

 

After the completion of construction on several nine-story apartment buildings along Moscow Prospekt near Ploshchad Pobedy, a second competition was announced for the monument, which was by then called "The Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad." This time more than 80 applicants participated, but Speransky and his team nevertheless prevailed with their design "Eternal Flame of Our Memory."

 

Their plan called for a parade-like entry or gateway into the Hero City from the south, from the Soviet capital Moscow and Pulkovo Airport, at the approximate point where the city's defensive lines held back the Nazis in World War II. It also focused on the aesthetic pattern and unique architectural style of Leningrad. It maintained a classical strictness, clarity and balancing of its various aspects and proportions with the parameters of the older city. The idea and design drew from historic St. Petersburg sites Mars Field and Palace Square, and combined modernity with the best spiritual and artistic traditions of the city.

 

The tall and clean obelisk, which rises up from the broken ring design will surely attract your attention if you enter St. Petersburg from the airport or from E-95 highway. The sculptural ensemble placed at the pedestal of the obelisk is one of the best examples of Soviet monumental art dedicated to World War II Victory.

 

The sobering space inside the broken ring is lit with gas torches. Engravings on the walls of the monument are dedicated to the nationwide recognition of the courage shown by the defenders of Leningrad. Inside the monument, in a vast underground memorial hall, there is an exhibition devoted to the Siege. English-speaking guides are usually available upon request. Pay special attention to the detailed map of Leningrad defenses and the short documentary. Pay attention also to the beautiful mosaics on the eastern and western walls of the hall.

 

On the outside, up a short flight of stairs from the exhibition, you can see the sculptures representing soldiers, sailors and civilians who did not surrender to the Nazis despite hunger, cold and constant bombardment.

 

The author of the sculptures M. Anikushin powerfully depicts with raw emotion the story of the great feat of the people of Leningrad and the soldiers on the Leningrad front.

Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, St. Peter and Paul Fortress is considered to be a unique fortification monument of XVIII-XIX centuries. Its architectural ensemble is focused around St. Peter and Paul Cathedral where the tombs of all the Russian emperors can be found.

 

The Peter and Paul Fortress is put on May 27, 1703. According to the legend, Peter I himself chose a place for new fortress the small Hare island (in Finnish Enisaari), located in the Neva River mouth. The citadel in the form of a six-pointed star was constructed according to the project made by the French engineer Zh.G. Lamber with the participation of the tsar. Six curtains connect six powerful bastions, the associates of Peter I called by names.

 

The defensive system from the West and the East is closed by Ioannovsky and Alekseevsky ravelins. Two bridges Ioannovsky and Kronverksky - connect the Hare island with Petrograd. On October 1, 1703 fortress consecrated. On the Monarchic bastion the Andreevsky colors were hoisted, on ramparts three hundred tools are installed. On June 29, 1703 in the center of the Peter and Paul Fortress put small wooden church for the sake of apostles Pyotr and Pavel on which place in 1712-1732 built a stone cathedral. From 1731 to 1858 Peter and Paul Cathedral had the status of the cathedral temple of the capital, then was ranked as court department. The cathedral served as a tomb of reigning House of Romanovs. Here the Russian emperors and empresses from Peter I to Nikolay II, except for Pyotr II and Ioann of VI are buried. To a cathedral the covered gallery connected the Grand-ducal tomb.

 

Within the XVIII-XIX centuries in the territory of fortress buildings and constructions of different function were built: Botny house, Artillery, Mint, Commandant's and Engineering house, an also guardroom and others. In the XVIII century fortress became a jail of the state criminals, in XIX the main political prison of Russia. At the emperor Alexander I at the beginning of the XIX century fortress was for the first time open for visitors. In the 1900th years in Peter and Paul Cathedral tours on an imperial necropolis were conducted. In 1924 Trubetskoy's prison of a bastion turned into the museum. In 1954 the complex of buildings of the Peter and Paul Fortress was passed the State museum of history of Leningrad (St. Petersburg).

 

The territory of the fortress and the beach are open for public. The main cites include the history of everyday life in St.Petersburg in the XVIII-XIX centuries in the House of the Commandant of the garrison. One may visit the prison of Trubetskoy bastion that once used to be the political prison. Among those prisoners who are well-known in the world were L.Trotsky and F.Dostoyevsky. The Boat house shows the first ship that started the history of Russin fleet.

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