The Bronze Horseman is for those who are familiar with Russian literature a common understanding. The statue comes to life in Pushkin’s poem about Saint Petersburg and chases the poor main character after he became delirious. If you haven’t read the poem and you’re interested in Russia, you definitely should read it. English translations can be found on the internet, so you don’t need to rack your brains on the Russian language if you’re not that proficient. However interesting this poem might be, the stories of how the statue was built might be as incredible and interesting as the poem itself.
Catherine the Great had this statue built because of her admiration for Peter and his accomplishments. In 1782 the statue was revealed as first monument of a monarch. So far the key facts about this art piece, because next few facts are a little more out of the ordinary than those I mentioned before. Let’s first start with the story of the Thunder Stone.
The sculptor who was assigned to fabricate the statue was struggling to find a suitable base for it. Announcements were made all over the country, until a peasant from a small village claimed to have found the ultimate stone for the pedestal. This piece of rock wasn’t just a normal boulder, but one that had been cut off by thunder. That might give you an idea where the name: Thunder Stone comes from. But, when looking at the map of Russia you can see that nearly all distances are enormous and the distance to the finding place of this rock to Saint Petersburg wasn’t an exemption. The colossus was transported by about four hundred men for over a year without any modern-day conveniences as one can imagine. On the way, the carving was done and after a tough year of dragging, the stone weighed only 1250 tonnes instead of the 1500 it used to be. Nowadays the statue is one of the main sights of the city, but only few visitors actually know the story about this piece of greatness.Saint Petersburg Bronze Horseman