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Senate Square, the Bronze Horseman and the Alexander Garden

Senate Square (Senatskaya Ploshchad) is one of the oldest squares in St. Petersburg and the most significant one in the history of Russia: here, the Decembrist Revolt took place in 1825 at the monument to Peter the Great. The square ensemble started to be developed in the early XVIII century as a space in front of the Admiralty not to be overbuilt. When the Senate moved here from the Twelve Colleges Building, this place became known as the Senate Square, which became part of the Alexander Garden in 1874.

The equestrian statue of Peter the Great, created by Falconet, was opened in the Senate Square in 1782 - the Bronze Horseman, which has become one of the symbols of St. Petersburg (and the emblem of its film studio). The statue’s name comes from Alexander Pushkin's poem of the same name. The monument is symbolic: Peter bestrides a rampant horse that shows the emperor not as a military leader, but as a legislator and creator. The stone, on which the horse stands, depicts the difficulties the Emperor overcame, and the snake his horse steps on, represents the evil forces.

The monument stands on a massive, irregularly shaped pedestal – a Thunder-stone, brought from the village of Konnaya Lakhta. A water reservoir formed at the site where it was taken from, which exists until now and is called Petrovsky Prud (Peter’s Pond). The original stone size was much larger: its present form is the result of numerous cuttings and shaping that Catherine II banned to continue: she wanted the Thunder-stone to be presented in its original form. Many urban legends were “born” around the monument: one of them has it that according to Peter, there was no danger to the city as long as there was him, the emperor, here. And this proved to be true, because in all the wars since 1812, the monument stood in its place, and during the siege of Leningrad it was specially protected with round logs and boards.

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