Monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg: description, photo
The second half of the 18th century in the city on the Neva is the time of the rule of the "enlightened" empress. This period has become one of the fundamental for the formation of the image of the northern capital. And the monument to Catherine 2 in St. Petersburg is a monument to a whole epoch.
Catherine the Great: personality and contribution to history
Austrian Princess Sophia Augusta Frederick of Anhalt-Zerbst, summoned to Russia by Elizabeth Petrovna, daughter of Peter I and all-Russian autocrat, in order to become the spouse of Grand Duke Peter Fedorovich, became the true Russian empress of the Russian State. But the path that she walked to the throne, and then to recognition, was long and difficult.
The first step - the renunciation of his faith and the adoption of Orthodoxy - advanced it along the path of establishing mutual understanding with the Russian people. Especially since this step was taken informally: Catherine became a truly truly Orthodox and deeply religious empress, fully accepting and fulfilling all church tenets, adhering to all Orthodox canons.Thanks to the empress in St. Petersburg and Russia, a large number of Orthodox churches were erected, many of which were funded by the sponsors of Catherine's associates.
The second step is an attentive attitude to the problems of the common people, a genuine interest in their traditions, the desire to at least make something easier for the life of every poor and needy, weak or poor.
The third step is political and economic reforms aimed at strengthening Russia's position in the international arena, including the successful wars with Turkey, Poland, Prussia, the reconquest and development of the port of Odessa. The most important economic reforms were the introduction of high customs duties on goods imported into Russia, the abolition of duties on domestic trade, the introduction of special privileges for the nobility so that they could trade in surplus products from their estates, the modernization of the transportation system of goods within the state - in St. Petersburg is the creation of buyan on the islands of the Neva delta, where goods from the deep-landing vessels were unloaded into barns, and then distributed to the small-scale lighter vessels.All this gave impetus to the development of domestic industry and trade, as well as the economy as a whole.
The fourth step is to carry out important reforms in the field of culture and education. We will talk more about them in more detail later.
Place for the monument
The monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg was erected near the Alexandrinsky Theater (the Alexander Pushkin Drama Theater) on Ostrovsky Square near the main thoroughfare of the city - Nevsky Prospect. This place was chosen by chance. Around there are buildings that somehow reflect the major milestones in the life and work of Catherine the Great in Russia and for Russia.
The figure of Catherine the Great is turned in the direction of Nevsky Prospect, as an allegory of the fact that Her Majesty cares for its people day and night and watches life in the capital of its state. And since Nevsky Prospect is the main place in the city, where foreign titled persons meet with Russian aristocrats and high-ranking officials to solve important state affairs in a relaxed atmosphere, then the life of the whole empire.
Monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg: general information
The monument was installed on the square in front of the theater for the anniversary date - the 110th anniversary of the reign of Catherine the Great. This event took place on November 25, 1873, and exactly one hundred and ten years ago, on November 25, 1763, Catherine II, overthrowing the legitimate heir of Peter Fedorovich (Emperor Peter III) from the throne, usurped the throne with the support of a large number of Russian nobles and guardsmen of all regiments close to to the throne: Preobrazhensky, Semenovsky, Izmaylovsky, Horse Guards. She pledged allegiance to the Senate and the Synod. The Church legalized the act of enthronement, proclaiming Catherine Alexeevna the legal empress, and her son Pavel Petrovich - heir to the throne.
On the monument you can read the inscription: "Empress Catherine II in the reign of Emperor Alexander II." The beginning of the realization of the idea coincided with the centenary anniversary of the ascension to the throne of the brilliant Catherine, but the creation lasted ten years. The monument itself is cast from bronze and mounted on a granite pedestal. The weight of the structure is 270 kg, and the height of the whole monument is 14.2 m. It is one of the largest monuments of the Northern capital. The author of the monument to Catherine 2 in St. Petersburg is not one, but a whole group of Petersburg masters.
The image of the "enlightened" empress
The main description of the monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg comes down primarily to the description of its characters. The giant inverted bell is crowned by the full-grown "enlightened" empress in the guise of the Roman goddess of justice Minerva. Her shoulders are covered by a heavy mantle, a sash is thrown over her chest, a badge of order is placed on her chest, a laurel wreath is on her head, a symbol of Victory, the empress is holding a staff with emblem symbolism as a symbol of power over the country and her subjects in her right hand; down a laurel wreath - a symbol of peace and victory. At the feet of Catherine the great imperial crown is reclining on a medallion with the monogram of Her Majesty and a garland of laurel leaves attached on both sides to the curls of a decorative element - volutes.
Below the medallion is framed by the leaves of the Greek acanthus plant - a symbolic sign of triumph and overcoming trials. The sculptor of the monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg is Mikhail Osipovich Mikeshin.
Environment of Catherine II in the monument
At the feet of the Vsederzhitelnitsa, especially approximate nobles, who made an enormous contribution to the history of the Fatherland, settled in groups of narratives. Among them:
- Field Marshal Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov, the beloved commander of Catherine II, commanded the Russian army — he fought in Poland, in Ukraine, won many glorious victories, raised tactics and battle strategies to unprecedented heights.
- The favorite and, according to some assumptions, Catherine's secret husband, the Most High Prince Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin, Field Marshal-General and creator of the Black Sea Fleet, made an invaluable contribution to the military campaign to join Tavria (Crimea) to Russia, as a result of which they conquered the Black Sea, and the prince himself received a second name and became known as Potemkin-Tavrichesky.
- Ekaterina Romanovna Vorontsova-Dashkova, a friend of the empress, who accompanied the future empress during a palace coup, and history preserved her in her annals as the first woman director of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
- The poet Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin, a member of the Pugachev rebellion, a brilliant master of poetry, he praised the ascension to the throne of the “brilliant” empress of the famous “Oda of Felitsa”.
- Field Marshal Pyotr Alexandrovich Rumyantsev, a graduate of the Land Squad Cadet Corps, a brilliant strategist and tactician, a valiant warrior,commanded the Russian army in the Russian-Turkish war and became famous for his heroic deeds in the battles of Kagul and Larga, for which he received a second name and became known as Rumyantsev-Zadunaysky.
- Count Alexei Grigorievich Orlov, General-in-Chief, headed the Russian navy in the Russian-Turkish war, became famous for his sharp wit and foresight in making decisions, had a direct bearing on the capture of Princess Tarakanova, one of Catherine’s associates, who accompanied her throughout the reign from the palace coup in which he was directly involved. For the victory of the fleet under his command in the battle of Chesme received the title Chesmensky.
- Count Ivan Ivanovich Betskoy, private secretary of Catherine II, founder of the Smolny Institute of Noble Maidens, Educational House, reformer of the education system, President and reformer of the Academy of three notable arts.
- Chancellor Alexander Andreevich Bezborodko, Count and Serene High Prince, a member of the Little Russian State Court and a prominent military leader who accompanied P.A. Rumyantsev in the battles of Larga and Kagul and proved to be a valiant warrior.
- Vasily Yakovlevich Chichagov, the greatest Russian navigator, admiral of the Russian fleet, commanded the port of Kronstadt and Revel, the detachment of the Don Flotilla in the Russian-Turkish war.
Around the monument
The area around the monument to Catherine 2 in St. Petersburg is clearly visible in the photo: on the right are the buildings of the Russian National Library, authored by architects K.I. Rossi and S.Sokolov (corner building of Nevsky Prospect from Sadovaya Street), on the left is northern Pavilion of Anichkov Palace - the former manor of favorite Elizabeth Petrovna Alexei Grigorievich Razumovsky, architect all the same Rossi, behind from the Lomonosov bridge a street of two identical houses - Zodchego Rossi Street classical dance Ia them. Agrippina Yakovlevna Vaganova and the Theater Museum with a theater library, in another building used to be Office of the Imperial Theaters.
The green zone around the monument is Ekaterininsky (among the people is Katkin) garden. The author of the architectural ensemble, which was mainly formed in the middle of the XIX century, was Karl Ivanovich Rossi, an Italian architect.The monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg is the central focus of this brilliant composition.
Legends and myths of St. Petersburg about the monument to Catherine II in St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a city where myths and legends live and multiply. Many of them are recorded in the books of the historian and St. Petersburg scholar Sindalovsky.
In one of these legends it is said that huge treasures are buried under the monument - rings with precious stones of unbelievable value, which Petersburg aristocrats threw into the pit under the foundation during the laying of the monument.
There is also an opinion that all the sculptures of men around the Tsarina are images of her favorites, but in reality this is not the case - only G. A. Potemkin was the favorite among them.
There is also a hypothesis about the fact that the Bolsheviks wanted to dismantle the monument to Catherine as glorifying the epoch of Tsarist Russia and erect at this place a monument to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the leader of the proletariat as a symbol of victory over tsarism and capitalism.
Monument and modern Petersburgers
The monument to Catherine II is often destroyed by vandals: a sword is broken off at the sculpture of Suvorov, orders are cut off by the nobles, and the chain is cut off by the empress herself.
But there are also positive examples of the Petersburgers attention to the monument to the Governess.The Catherine Garden is a favorite place for city walks, and at the entrance young and not very painters and graphic artists demonstrate their talent to passersby, write their portraits and views of St. Petersburg.
Around the monument are organized traditional festivals. So, in April, the opening of the festival of light took place here, for several years the ice cream festival, the annual Petrojaz festival, the motor festival, etc. were held. Such popularity is a true assessment of the monument to Catherine the Great in St. Petersburg.