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Entries / Alexander Column

Alexander Column

Categories / Architecture/Sculpture, Monuments

ALEXANDER COLUMN (Alexandriisky Pillar), a monument to the victory over Napoleon in the Patriotic War of 1812 standing on Palace Square. It was named in honour of Emperor Alexander I. It was constructed in 1830-1834 (architect A.A. Montferrand). In 1830-32 the monolith of red granite was quarried and processed in Pyuterlakskaya quarry located near Vyborg (the work conducted to S.K. Sukhanov's method were supervised by masters S.V. Kolodkin and V.A. Yakovlev), loaded on a special pram and with two steamships towed to St. Petersburg. To make the foundation for the pedestal of the Alexander Column 1250 piles six metres long each were rammed. On 30 August 1832, the monolith was lifted up with the help of 60 capstans and a system of pulleys and then placed on the pedestal without any fastening. 3,000 people, including 1440 soldiers and 300 sailors, took part in the lifting of the column. On 30 August 1834, on the grand opening of the Alexander Column a parade of Guards regiments was held. To commemorate this event a memorial medal was issued. The height of the Alexander Column is over 25.5 metres, the lower diameter is equal to 3.66 metres, the upper is 3.19 metres, it weighs about 600 tonnes. The column is crowned with the bronze figure of an angel with a cross (the features of its face were those of Emperor Alexander I) trampling a snake - the symbol of the triumph of good over evil (sculptor B.I. Orlovsky). The pedestal is decorated with bronze allegoric bas-reliefs (sculptors P.V. Svintsov, I. Leppe, to the drafts of G.B. Scotti). The total height of the Alexander Column is 47.5 metres. During the siege the monument was damaged with shells splinters, restored in 1963 (team-leader N.N. Reshetov, works were supervised by restorer I.G. Blek). In 1977, the asphalt pavement around the Alexander column was substituted with a diabase cube, four street lamps on its sides were recreated in their original shape. In 2002-2003, a comprehensive reconstruction was carried out and the historical railing was restored. The Alexander Column is a compositional centre and the main component of the architectural ensemble of Palace Square.

References: Ротач А. Л. Александровская колонна. Л., 1966; Шуйский В. К. Александровская колонна: история создания // Невский архив: Ист.-краевед. сб. СПб., 2001. [Вып. 5]. С. 161-185.

Y. M. Piryutko.

Alexander I, Emperor
Black I.G.
Kolodkin S.V.
Leppe Ivan
Montferrand Auguste Augustovich (Henri Louis Auguste Leger Ricard de)
Orlovsky (real name Smirnov) Boris Ivanovich
Piryutko Yury Minaevich
Reshetov N.N.
Rotach Alexander Lukich
Scotti Giovanni Batista (Ivan Karlovich)
Sukhanov Samson Xenofontovich
Svintsov Peter Vasilievich
Yakovlev Vladimir Anatolievich

Dvortsovaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city

Ротач А. Л. Александровская колонна. Л., 1966
Шуйский В. К. Александровская колонна: история создания // Невский архив: Ист.-краевед. сб. СПб., 2001

The subject Index
Siege of 1941-44


Alexander I, Emperor (1777-1825)

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Montferrand A.A. (1786-1858), architect

MONTFERRAND Auguste Augustovich (Henri Louis Auguste Leger Richard) (1786-1858, St. Petersburg), architect, actual state counsellor (1858), honorary associate of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts

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PEHL Alexander Khristoforovich (1809, St. Petersburg 1902, ibidem), architect. Graduated from the Academy of Arts (1833), associate academy member of architecture (1847), adherent of late Neoclassicism and Eclecticism. Assisted architect А.А

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Scotti D.B., (1776 -1830), artist

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