Alexander Column

Alexander Column was erected in commemoration of the victory of Russia over Napoleon's troops


“Its head defiant will out-soar that famous column Emperor Alexander hath!” – everyone remembers these immortal lines from Pushkin's poem «The Memorial». The column in question in fact the poet's contemporary. This majestic monument, erected in commemoration of the victory of Russia over Napoleon's troops, was opened on Aug. 30, 1834 in the middle of the Palace Square. The monument was named so after the Emperor Alexander I. People started to call it «Alexander Column» or «Alexander Pillar». It unique feature is the fact that the column is not dug into the ground. It rests only at the expense of its own force of gravity without any anchorage on the strong foundation of pine piles and granite slabs. The bas-reliefs with allegorical figures of Wisdom and Abundance, geniuses of the Victory and Peace, the rivers of Neman and Vistula are located on the sides of the high pedestal. They are decorated with images of old Russian weapons executed on the basis of the artefats from the Armory Museum. It is the world's highest triumphal column. It was built from red granite by the architect Auguste Montferrand. Its weight is over 600 tons, height – 47.5 m, diameter - 3.56 m. The top of the column is the figure of an angel trampling a snake with a cross. The author, sculptor Boris Orlovsky, made the angel's face similar to Alexander I's. Despite all its monumentality, the monument leaves a very moving impression: the angel hovering over the people gives the structure a special charm. It symbolizes the victory of good over evil as an allegory of peace, which came to Europe after the victory of Russian troops over Napoleon's army. The Column, reminding of triumphalist structures of the ancient times is distinguished by the accuracy of proportions, the laconicism of forms, the beauty of lines and the silhouette.