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Monument to Alexander Nevsky

Weighing nine tons and standing almost nine meters high, this impressive equestrian statue, erected in 2002, honours one of the symbolic protectors of St. Petersburg and provides a symmetrical counterpoint to the Bronze Horseman, the famous monument to Peter the Great at the opposite end of the historic centre.

  • Monument to Prince Alexander Nevsky on Ploshchad Aleksandra Nevskogo in St Petersburg, Russia
    Monument to Prince Alexander Nevsky on Ploshchad Aleksandra Nevskogo
  • Detail of the Monument to Prince Alexander Nevsky in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    Detail of the Monument to Prince Alexander Nevsky

Like Peter, Prince Alexander Yaroslavich (1220-1263) led Russian forces to victory against Swedish invaders on the banks of the Neva River, thus gaining the name Nevsky. Canonized by the Russian Orthodox church in the 16th century, he then gave his name to the monastery that stands behind this monument, the most important religious site in St. Petersburg. Both statues face the river with their arms pointing forward, as if confirming the borders of Russia.

The statue was the life's work of local sculptor Valentin Kozenyuk, who originally created a plaster model in 1975. Molded in bronze in 1987, the statue won two awards for monument design, but had still not been mounted when Kozenyuk passed away in 1997. It was left to his students to continue his work. Although the depiction of the saint is purportedly the artist's imagining, many have called attention to the facial similarities with Nikolay Cherkasov, the actor who played the lead in Sergey Eisenstein's 1938 film Alexander Nevsky. Either way, it is undoubtedly one of the finest public monuments in St. Petersburg.

Metro:Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo
Getting there:From either exit of the metro, walk out onto Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo and you will see the monument in the centre of the square.
What's nearby? Alexander Nevsky Monastery, Nevskiy Prospekt, Museum of Urban Sculpture, Neva River
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