Monument dedicated to Minin and Pozharsky
There is only one statue on Red Square (Krasnaya Ploshchad) and that is the Monument dedicated to Minin and Pozharsky ( Па́мятник Ми́нину и Пожа́рскому) and you will find it directly in front of Saint Basil`s Cathedral.
This is a very important monument and became a symbol of freedom. In 1612, two men, Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and merchant Kuzma Minin, gathered a Russian volunteer army and expelled the Poles from the Moscow Kremlin. Officially they put an end to a troublesome time in the history of Russia.
There is a bronze plaque in front of the base of the monument that depicts a scene of patriotism – citizens sacrificing property and goods for the benefit of Russia. There is also an image of the sculptor Martos who gave away two sons to fight. Martos was the sculptor of the monument.
The monument wasn`t always standing here. It`s original place was in the middle of Red Square but when Stalin took over, he decided to move it because it obstructed military parades. In 1936 it was moved to it`s current place, where it is still standing today.
A little bit of history about Minin and Pozharsky
Minin and Pozharsky were originally from Nizhny Novgorod and people wanted to have the monument erected there. However Tsar Alexander I decided that it was best to have the monument in Red Square,close the Moscow Kremlin. First they needed a design so it was decided to hold a competition. Many famous sculptors entered and Ivan Martos won in 1808. In 1813 the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and the Russian Academy of Fine Arts approved a completed model and the casting of the monument began.
The monument is made from 1,100 lbs of copper (St. Petersburg) and three huge blocks of granite (Finland and carved in St. Petersburg). It was a huge challenge to get the base and statue to Moscow so it was decided to wait until winter when the waterways were frozen. Unfortunately the monument couldn`t be unveiled for some time because Napoleon decided to invade Russia. It was finally unveiled in 1818.
Minin and Pozharsky were eventually honored in Nizhny Novgorod, when an exact replica of this statue was erected in 2005. The only difference is that the replica is 5 cm shorter than the original.
How to identify which one is Minin and which one is Pozharsky?
Pozharsky is the man sitting and Minin is the man standing.
Where: Moscow, Russian Federation
When: May and August 2012