The Moscow Triumphal Gates

The Moscow Triumphal Gates is a winning classical iron gate in St Petersburg. The monument was erected in 1834-1838 in honour of the Russian victory in the Russo-Turkish War (1828-1829). At first, the city governors planned to place the monument at the Obvodniy Canal but as St Petersburg was expanded further to the south, they decided to place the Triumphal Gates at the intersection of the Moscow highway and the Ligovsky Canal. Such decision made the Moscow Triumphal Gates an impressive gateway into the Imperial capital.

The monument was designed by famous Russian classical architect Vasily Stasov. The works continued from 1834 to 1838. He originally developed two different designs for the gates before a life-size model of one of the designs was erected.The iron was used as the main material for its construction. Moscow Triumphal Gate has 12 pillars; it is decorated with sculptures and 30 bronze statues of angels. Each of the columns is composed of 9 blocks with a total weight of 450 tons.Some details, as the war trophies and figures of geniuses were fulfilled by sculptor Boris Orlovskiy, the author of the Kutuzov monument in St. Petersburg. The gates were opened two years later on October 16, 1838. At that time, the Moscow Gates was the largest structure in the world made of iron. The monument symbolized the greatness and glory of the Russian army, which was underlined by such details as war trophies and weapons.

In the period of Stalin's leadership the historic and symbolic gates were dismantled in 1936. And in 1941 when the Nazi's army approached the outskirts of Leningrad the iron blocks of the gates were used in creating an anti-tank defensive structure near the southern border of the city which would help to protect the city from the Nazi's army during the blockade. In 1958-1960 the gates were restored by a group of artists, led by architect I. Kaptsyug. They managed to replace most of the lost sculptural details of the monument.

Historical reference

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