Monument to Catherine the Great

The "golden age" of Russia – this is how the period of Catherine’s the Great reign was called. Thanks to her constant efforts to improve the life of Russian people, she was fully adored by the locals of St Petersburg. Being one of Russia's most remarkable monarchs, Catherine the Great could not have chosen a better spot for the monument of herself then it was done. Finally, the monument to Catherine the Great was put in the middle of a small, grass-covered square, just off Nevskiy Prospekt. It is surrounded by incredible city sights, like the Anichkov Palace, the Alexandrinskiy Drama Theater, and the Russian National Library.

The best sculptors and architects of the day were invited to create the monument to Catherine the Great. The total project was designed by the Russian artist M. Mikeshin, the author of the sculptural composition "Millennium of Russia" in Novgorod. There was also a group of artists: sculptor M. Chizhov created model of the statue of Catherine, A. Opekushin executed the figures of the Empress’s followers, D. Grimm designed the pedestal. It should be said that M. Mikeshin decided to describe Catherine the Great in the official gown, holding a scepter in the right hand and an olive wreath in the left hand. The statue itself is surrounded by beautifully carved figures of outstanding personalities of that period. Among the dignitaries are the most famous general in Russian history Alexander Suvorov, prominent general and politician Prince Potiomkin, Ekaterina Dashkova, who was the first to be in the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, well-known poet Gavrila Derzhavin, the counts P. Rumyantsev and A. Orlov, the president of the Academy of Fine Arts I. Betsky, the head of the College of Foreign Affairs A. Bezborodko and naval leader V. Chichagov. The statue of the Empress is almost twice higher than other figures.

There are many interesting legends, connected with the monument to Catherine II. The most amazing one tells that under the monument there is a storage of the treasures. When the excavation for the monument was ready, the noble ladies and gentlemen, present at the ceremony, threw there a lot of earrings, rings, brooches, bracelets and necklaces. Nobody knows if they are still kept under the monument.

Historical reference

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