Minin and Pozharsky monument

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The 8.8 meter high monument to Minin (standing) and Poscharsky (sitting). Inscription: "To the citizen Minin and Prince Poscharsky, thankful Russia, 1818"

The monument to Minin and Pozharsky ( Russian Памятник Минину и Пожарскому ) is a 20-ton bronze sculpture by sculptor Ivan Martos , the front of the Cathedral of St. Basil on the Red Square in Moscow stands.

The monument was inaugurated on February 20, 1818 and commemorates, as it literally says in the inscription, "Citizen Minin and Prince Poscharski ", the leaders of the popular uprising against the Polish intervention in 1611, and their victory over the Poles in 1612.

History of the monument

Originally, the memorial was supposed to be erected in Nizhny Novgorod , where the popular uprising began. Fundraising for the erection of the monument began in 1803, on the initiative of the members of the “Free Society of Lovers of Language, Science and Art”. This society suggested that the folk hero Kusma Minin be placed at the center of the composition.

The sculptor Iwan Martos started work immediately. In 1807 he published a first copper engraving from the model of the monument.

By 1808, however, general enthusiasm for the monument gradually waned. The residents of Nizhny Novgorod then took the initiative themselves. On May 2, 1808, by order of the President of the Academy of Fine Arts, a competition for the monument was announced, in which the sculptors Prokoffiew, Demut-Malinovsky, Piminow (Sr.), Tomon and Mikhailov participated in addition to Iwan Martos.

In November 1808, Martos emerged victorious from the competition. As a result, the tsar issued an order to collect the funds. On January 1, 1809, copperplate engravings of the winning design were sent across Russia, "so that all Russians will know about it". The illustration matched the present monument in almost every detail - but differed significantly from Martos' original design from 1807.

Detail of the monument, St. Basil's Cathedral in the background

Enough funds had been raised by 1811 to begin work on the monument. At the same time, it was decided not to erect the monument in Nizhny Novgorod, but on Red Square in Moscow. (An obelisk was to be erected in Nizhny Novgorod.)

Work on the first, smaller model began in 1812 - at the time of Napoleon's attack on Russia. Because of the war that had broken out , which did not spare Moscow either, the work progressed only with difficulty. It was not until 1815 that Martos completed the first large model, which was exhibited for public inspection.

The already great general interest in the memorial reached unimaginable proportions after the victory against Napoléon. The Russians saw the sculpture as a symbol of victory. The daily press reported regularly on the progress of the work and repeatedly devoted large articles to the monument, in which u. a. Describes the technologies used in the work on the monument.

The monument was completed in Saint Petersburg and from there it was shipped to Moscow via Nizhny Novgorod. The transfer took place from May 21st to September 6th, 1817. The installation work lasted until February 1818.

On February 20, 1818, the monument was finally unveiled in a solemn ceremony with a military parade. Originally, however, the sculpture did not stand in front of St. Basil's Cathedral, but in front of the main entrance of the upper trading rows (today the GUM department store ). It was only moved to its current location in 1930 to make more space for military parades and large-scale demonstrations.


The inscription “Citizen Minin and Prince Poscharsky, Russia full of thanks, 1818” was criticized by none other than Alexander Pushkin : “The inscription 'Citizen Minin' is, of course, unsatisfactory: for us he is either the bourgeois Kosma Minin with the nickname Suchorukoj ['dry hand', editor's note. Transl. ], Or the nobleman Kosma Minitsch Suchorukoj, or else Kusma Minin, deputy of the entire Moscow state, as it is in the certificate of appointment from the hand of Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov [ i.e. the tsar's note. Transl. ] Stands. It would not be bad to know all this - as well as the name and father's name of Prince Posharsky ”.

Copy in Nizhny Novgorod

On November 4, 2005, a copy of the Minin and Pozharsky monument was erected in Nizhny Novgorod, only five centimeters smaller. This “sister monument” stands in front of the Novgorod Kremlin, next to the Church of John the Baptist, from the rising of which Kuzma Minin in 1611 called on the people to defend Moscow against the Poles. The inscription on the sister monument is identical to that on the original, but without specifying the year. The copy was made by the Georgian-Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli .

Web links

Commons : Minin and Poscharsky Monument  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 55 ° 45 ′ 10.2 ″  N , 37 ° 37 ′ 21 ″  E