Nicholas I Monument

Nicholas I Monument, St Petersburg, Russia

Public Art : Nicholas I Monument (also known as Monument to Nicholas I)

Sculptor/Architect : © Auguste de Montferrand (January 23rd, 1786 – July 10th, 1858) and Baron Peter Clodt von Jurgensburg (1805-1867)

Date Unveiled: The Nicholas I Monument was unveiled on the 25th June, 1859.

Location : In front of Saint Isaac's Cathedral on St Isaac's Square (Isaakievskaya Square) in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Description : The16.3m Neo-Baroque monument depicts Nicholas I on his stead.The bronze horse on which Nicholas sits was based on a large model created by Russian sculptor Peter Klodt, while the multi layered pedestal was based on a model sculpted by N. Ramazanov and R. Zaleman. Zaleman was also responsible for the four allegorical female figures (modelled on Nicholas I's daughters), steel fixtures and ornaments on the pedestal and bas-relief. The multi layerered pedestal is made up of 118 blocks of granite and white marble.The platform was made from red Finnish granite, the lower pedestal from dark grey granite and red porphyry.  The pedestal on which the horse stands was sculpted from white Italian marble.
The bas reliefs include "14th of December, 1825, the Emergence of Nicholas I on Sennaya Square during the Cholera Riots of 1831"; "Opening of the Bridge on Nikolaevskaya Railroad in 1851 and "Approval of the Code of Laws of 1832"

History of the Nicholas I Monument :  It was Nicholas I's successor, Alexander II, who requested the Russian ruler be depicted on his horse and in his military outfit.

The statue faces the Saint Isaac's Cathedral (designed by Auguste de Montferrand) while the horse's rear faces the  Mariinsky Palace, his daughter, the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna of Russia's home.She was reportedly not impressed.

The Monument to Nicholas was the first equestrian statue in the world to have only two support points (the rear feet of the horse).

When the Bolsheviks began tearing down all the memorials to Nicholas I across Russia, they left this one alone as a sign of respect to the artist.

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