On this day: A monument to Peter the Great was unveiled in St. Petersburg

The Copper Horseman, monument to Peter the Great in Senate Square, St. Petersburg.

The Copper Horseman, monument to Peter the Great in Senate Square, St. Petersburg.

Sergey Pyatakov/RIA Novosti
‘The Copper Horseman’ is now a symbol of the city

The monument to Peter the Great is located in Senate Square in central St. Petersburg. The artist responsible for creating this grandiose sculpture was the Frenchman Etienne-Maurice Falconet. The official opening took place on Aug. 18, 1782.

At the order of Empress Catherine II, the following inscription was etched onto the pedestal: "To Peter the First from Catherine the Second" (the inscription is also written in Latin: "PETRO primo CATHARINA secunda"). The Empress was emphasizing her commitment to Peter’s reforms.

Thanks to Alexander Pushkin, since 1833 the monument of Peter has been known as "The Copper Horseman. (or as "The Bronze Horseman")." His narrative poem, going by the same name as the statue’s moniker, is about the sculpture and the great flood of 1824.

Read more: What's life like in St. Petersburg? Famous locals share their experiences

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