The Bronze Horseman is the most recognizable symbol of St. Petersburg in the world, the first sculptural monument in Russia. Having decided to make a monument to her great predecessor Peter I, Catherine II wanted to glorify herself too, as an enlightened and kind-hearted ruler of Russia.
The monument was made under the project of the French sculptor Étienne Maurice Falconet. The pedestal of the monument is a giant granite block with a weight of 1500 tons. It took almost two years to transport this rock to St. Petersburg. The emperor Peter I sits on a rampant horse standing on this rock, piercing a snake with his sword.
The Bronze Horseman has a special mystical meaning for the citizens of St. Petersburg. As it stayed in place during the most difficult times in history, the locals believe that St. Petersburg will stand as long as the Bronze Horseman stands.