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  1. Martin Antonenko A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    The Iron Horseman...


    To commemorate the founder of European Russia, on May 16, 1768, Tsarina Catherine II ordered the erection of an equestrian statue of her predecessor, Tsar Petr I.

    The monument is to be erected in a central square in the capital, Saint Petersburg.

    The huge bronze monument was then designed and created by the French sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet (1716 – 1791) until 1782…

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    Tsar Petr I sits “on horseback” on a rearing horse. A snake is crushed under the horse's hooves - the scene is meant to symbolize Peter's victory over the Swedes...:

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    The monument bears the inscription in Latin "Petro Primo / Catharina Secunda / MDCCLXXXII" on one...

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    ... and in Russian "Петру Первому / Екатерина Вторая / Лѣта 1782" on the other side...:

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    The base of the monument is a huge granite monolith...:

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    The transport was a technical masterpiece. The so-called "Thunder Stone" (Russian "grom-kamen") weighs about 1250 tons and was transported in one piece from Finland, which was 22 km away at the time...:

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    Die Durchführung des Vorhabens wurde vom Ingenieur Marinos Charvouris initiiert und geleitet...:

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    To date, this monolith is the heaviest object ever moved by human hands...:

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    Overall, the transport planned from 1768 lasted from November 15, 1769 to the ceremonial conclusion on September 22, 1770.

    During the whole time there had been no accidents or personal injuries.

    It was not until 1782 that the monument itself was officially opened. The inauguration took place by mechanically unfolding the huge wooden box that had previously covered the monument...:

    During construction...

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    ... Falconet and his assistants had to deal with countless static problems that we figure builders know all too well:

    How was it possible to prevent the equestrian statue from simply tipping forward under its own weight? Pinning was not possible with the weight!

    In the end, it was decided to use a special internal framework and to connect the horse's tail to the snake and thus to the bronze base, i.e. to give the rearing horse a "third leg", so to speak...

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    This is how the married rider survived the course of time to this day. Even the Bolsheviks didn't touch the statue - it was far too popular and also became the symbol of the city.

    The monument was only threatened with serious danger during the 900 days of the German siege of Leningrad, as the city was then called.

    First, the statue was surrounded by a wooden box that was filled with sand...

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    ...anschließend wurde auch der Monolith unter einem Sandhaufen geschützt...:

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    This is how the iron rider survived the war.

    By the way, the equestrian statue got its popular name in 1833 from the poem "The IronHorseman" by Aleksandr Pushkin...:

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    Pushkin's poem is about a poor official whose bride drowns in a severe flood of the Neva. The official blames Tsar Peter I for having Petersburg built in the wrong place.

    He threatens and curses his monument...

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    ... whereupon it comes to life and follows the officer until he goes mad..:

    [IMG]

    The "Iron Horseman" still plays an important role in the cityscape today - fresh flowers almost always lie at his feet, newly married couples come here to celebrate and have their picture taken in front of him...:

    [IMG]
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Amazing thing to transport it 22km and a very impressive statue

    Interesting to read

    Cheers Martin

    Nap

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