Monument to Vasiliy Chapaev

Vasiliy Chapaev, a hero of the First World War and Red Army commander who disappeared in action in 1919, became a legendary figure in Soviet Revolutionary mythology thanks to a hugely popular fictionalized account of his exploits by Dmitriy Furmanov, published in 1923, and an even more successful film, based on the book, that appeared in 1934.

  • Monument to Vasiliy Chapaev (Civil War hero) on Tikhoretskiy Prospekt in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    Monument to Vasiliy Chapaev (Civil War hero) on Tikhoretskiy Prospekt
  • Monument to Vasiliy Chapaev (Civil War hero) next to a military academy in North St Petersburg, Russia
    Monument to army commander Vasiliy Chapaev next to a military academy in North St. Petersburg

This sizable sculptural composition, depicting Chapaev on horseback charging forward in a company of varied comrades (a commissar, a sailor, a female worker, a partisan, a Bashkir and a Red Army soldier) was designed by sculptor Matvey Manizer for the city of Samara, where it was unveiled in 1932. An impressively emotive example of heroic Socialist Realism, it was considered worth copying. Sergey Kirov, the Leningrad Party boss, ordered a second casting, which he planned to erect on Yelagin Island. These plans were interrupted first by Kirov's assassination and then by the Second World War, and it was not until 1968 that the sculpture eventually found a fitting home in front of the Military Academy of the Signals Corps.

As his model for Chapaev, Manizer used the commander's son Alexander Chapaev. The sculptor showed Chapaev holding aloft a curved saber, but it was broken off by vandals so many times that it has now been replaced with a removable version only fitted on special occasions.

Getting there:On exiting the metro turn right and walk 100m to Ulitsa Gidrotekhnikov. Cross the street and walk straight on a further 100m and the monument is set back from the street to your right.
What's nearby? Church of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin, Sosnovka Park, Polytechnical University