St. Petersburg

Monument to Revolutionary Fighters

On March 23, 1917, the 180 people who died in the February Revolution were buried in a common grave in
the center of the Field of Mars, which was marked two years later by the Monument to Revolutionary Fighters.
Epitaphs by Commissar Lunacharsky adorn the gravestones, and an eternal flame flickers in the center.

The Hermitage

The genesis of the Hermitage collection was Peter the Great's purchase of two dozen maritime scenes during a visit to Holland in 1697,
which were hung in the palace of Monplaisir at Peterhof.  As his collection grew, Peter installed works in the Winter Palace, setting a
precedent for Catherine the Great, who constructed the Hermitage specifically to house her burgeoning art collection.  Today the
museum houses over three million works of art from the Stone Age to the 20th century.

The Bronze Horseman

A statue of Peter the Great which made its literary debut in Pushkin's epic The Bronze Horseman (1833),
an evocation of the Great Flood of 1824.  It was sculpted by the French sculptor, Etienne Falconet,
at the behest of Catherine the Great to glorify "enlightened absolutism."

Church on Spilled Blood

Begun in 1882 on the orders of Alexander III, to commemorate his father, Alexander II, who was
assassinated on the site the previous year.  It was decreed that the altar should be built on the very
spot where his blood had stained the cobblestones.  It was designed to resemble St. Basil's in Moscow.

Kazan Cathedral

The cathedral was built to house the venerated icon, Our Lady of Kazan, reputed to have appeared miraculously
overnight in Kazan in 1579, and transferred to St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, where it resided until 1904--when
it disappeared without trace.  The bronze doors are an exact copy of Lorenzo Ghiberti's doors for the Florentine Baptistery.

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Nicholas R. Winter 1985-2010