Peter I in Bronze Horseman monument
Tour starts around most famous of St.Petersburg monuments — Bronze Horseman, which is considered to be one of the chief symbols of St.Petersburg. It is really connected with St.Petersburg and every city centenarian celebration was centered around it. It became Genie Loci of the place, and we should try to understand why this monument managed to capture so much attention from famous Russian writers, artists and ordinary people as well.
St. Petersburg as the crowning achievement and a result of lifelong aspirations of Peter the Great. And the same could be said about Falconet, events of his whole life led him to creation of the monument which bestowed imortality on this sculptour.
This comprehensive tour not only provides you with understanding of capacious metaphor leaping over boundaries separating visual and verbal art, which ushered in so called “St.Petersburg theme” in Russian art and literature present in works of writers of such magnitude as Pushkin, Dostoevsky and Gogol, but unravels many mysteries connected with it. First of all during the tour you would be able to hear about factual material such as weight of the pedestal, (1500 tons after 1/3 of it was trimmed to shape and which was the ground of one of many accusation against sculptor) and how this huge bolder was delivered to its destination, which by itself was feat of strength and cutting edge of technology at the time, based on ball-bearing chassis, before they were patented hundred years latter. Secondly you would be able to see iconography-symbolism where the horse is seen not just bearer of the rider, attribute of power and authority, but as an aid in the design of the sculpture to depict the complexities of the tsar’s situation. And thirdly you would be able to find out about iconology, the idea symbolized by burst of movement forward and upward similar to the country that Peter had created. And of course hear the story of main protagonists, people who, participated in creation of the monument. What was the relationship between the sculptor and Marie-Anne Collot, his young apprentice and assistance, who left France to follow Falconet to Russia and hasn’t left his side until death, and who being at the beginning just a sitter for his children models, at her early 20s became a sculptress in her own right and alleged author of such an important part of monument as Peter’s head. Was this desire to be united in art at least, and subterfuge to foil gossipmongers on Falconet’s part, who was at least 30 years her older and could not be united with her in life, though latter he was able to arrange a marriage of convenience between her and his own son in order to pass his family name to her and her daughter. You will learn how Falconet withstood vicious opposition from person in charge of construction Betskoy, who was president of Academy of art and head of Bureau of stone construction and the only person whom Catherine herself greeted by standing up and who by all calculations might be her natural father. Who really came up with the idea of Thunder Rock transportation, which was used by Carbury or Laskary how he preferred to be called, intimating his relation to ancient Byzantine family) — Greek emigrant fleeing persecution in his own country after assaulting and maiming for life the face of the girl who refused his advances and whose both wives in Russia latter died within short period after the marriage. This and many other interesting details you would be able learn during the tour.
Regular ticket: 500 RUB per person
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Palace, Decembrist's and St.Isaak's squares, bronze horseman monument, Itinerary: Admiralty, Bronze Horseman monument, New Holland and British Embankment
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Reviews of other tours by Igor
I really enjoyed my tour to St Petersburg with Igor.
He was able to tailor my tour to include a comprehensive historical tour of Dostoevsky's St Petersburg.
The tour was very detailed, yet flexible.
St Petersburg is a great city with so much history, I plan to return again one day.3 months ago
We have been introduced to Saint Petersburg by Igor, who has guides us over the course of three days in this wonderful city. Igor is able to provide you rich details about the city, with very extensive knowledge about architecture, art and the city's history. Through the use of headphones you will be able to hear what Igor has to say, while giving yourself the opportunity to look around at your own pace. Igor is very flexible in organising the tours by adapting to your needs and wishes. Do not expect jokes or a lot of energy, but pay close attention and you will have great insight into the city. Thank you!10 months ago
Very " rich" tour ; very complete ; our guide was very well informed except about the museum opening hours ... ;-) but he had so many other informations to share .. that was fine.
It is a very long day... very good shoes are requested ! but walking is such a nice way to discover the town..
Thanks for the nice tour, Igor! It was informative and detailed. I can recommend it for those, who are interested in Russian history...over 3 years ago