The Hare Escaping Flooding

If you look to your left as you cross Ioannovsky Bridge to the Peter and Paul Fortress, you will see below you on one of the wooden piles in the water a small rather frightened-looking metal hare. This unusual sculpture commemorates the hares that used to live in large numbers on Zaychiy Ostrov ("Hare Island"), the island on which the Peter and Paul Fortress stands.

Hare statue atop a wooden pole next to Ioannovsky Bridge in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Hare statue atop a wooden pole next to Ioannovsky Bridge

Legend has it that one hare, caught by the rising waters during a flood, saved itself by jumping into Peter the Great's boot as he disembarked from a boat onto the island. This idiosyncratic memorial to the floods that plagued St. Petersburg through the 18th and 19th centuries was erected in 2003 during renovation of Ioannovsky Bridge. The heights of major floods in the history of St. Petersburg are marked on the post beneath the hare.

Getting there:On exiting the metro, bear slightly left along the path to Kamennoostrovskiy Prospekt then turn right towards the River Neva. Take the first right and immediately cross the road to Ioannivsky Bridge.
What's nearby? Peter and Paul Fortress, Neva River, Troitskiy (Trinity) Bridge, Alexandrovskiy Park