Bronze Horseman is a monument erected on the Decembrists'
Square to honor the founder of Saint Petersburg, Emperor Peter the Great.
This is one of the most prominent symbols of Saint Petersburg. The famous Bronze Horseman to Peter I is actually made of
bronze, but it got its name due to a well- known poem by A.S. Pushkin "The
Bronze Horseman". The sculpture was designated by sculptor Etienne Falconet,
while the emperor's head was molded by his students Marie- Anne Collot.
Falconet explained that he designed his sculpture as a monument to statesman
and legislator that turned the tight of Russian history, rather than a
successful military man (which obviously he was).
The rock of the Bronze Horseman was discovered by a peasant S.
Vishnyakov who claimed it was stricken by a lighting, thus it got its
nickname Grom- Kamen (Thunder Stone). Officials sent a large party to
deliver this huge boulder. They had to drag Thunder Stone for several miles
through Northern swamps, then loaded the stone on a huge barge and finally
delivered it to Saint Petersburg.
The name of the Decembrist Square where it stands is dedicated
to a secret Russian revolutionary Decembrists
staged their failed coup in December 1825 after supposed death of Russian Emperor
Alexander I. New emperor wasn't crowned yet and while two brother of the
dead monarch, Nicholas (future Nicholas I) and Constantine were discussing
the situation, several officers from prominent aristocratic families
attempted to stage a revolt.
Although Communist government put them on the pedestal of
martyrs current historians are less positive about this failed coup. It was
badly planned and most of organizers didn't have a clear plan of actions if
they did manage to succeed. Decembrists' rebellion turned into a mess with
dozens of soldiers they led killed or wounded. Five Decembrists' were
hanged. All others were exiled to Siberia. Communist government name the
location of the coup in their honor.