Âîïðîñ 6. The main squares of St.-Petersburg. Their architectural ensembles. Historical events associated with them.
The Palace Square. This is the historical center of the city. It’s called so because the former Emperor palace is situated here – Winter Palace. It’s the earliest in the composition of the square built in 1754 by Rastrelly. The architect assembly finally took place in 1830 after the Napoleony Company resulted in a great up search of cultural life and arts. In the center of the square is the Alexander Column (architect O. Monferan, 1834). It’s the highest monolithic column in Europe. It stands without any support due to its own weight. At the top of the column there is an angel trampling on the snake (symbol of Napoleon). the angel bears facial resembles with Alexander I, because it and this square were designed to commemorate the victory of Napoleon.
The General Staff was put up to the design of Rossi in 1820-1840. The building has the longest frontage in Europe. It was designed in the shape of a horse shoe 9it is low due to Nicolas I decree). This building is decorated with an archway (Pimenov sculpt), crowned with a chariot of Glory with the goodness of victory Nica.
This is the square which has seen all the revolution developments of the Russian history. On the 9 January 1905 a peaceful demonstration started to submit appetition to the Tsar. The people were dressed up they were carrying portraits of the Tsar singing hymn for him. Fire was opened on the people. Many were killed. The bloody Sunday started the 1st Russian revolution of 1905-1907. This period was followed by the most several reaction in 1940 the WWI was started. The situated was getting worse. It brought a country back and as a result the Tsar Nicolas II had to abdicate. February 1917 these events started the second Russian revolution. It brought a period of double power. It was the government of Bolsheviks (meaning Big Majority) headed by Lenin and Mensheviks who represented by the industrials, bankers and so on.
In July Provitional Government took over and moved to the winter palace and Lenin moved to Smolny where in October 1917 he started an arm uprising – Red October 3rd Revolution started 24 October.
Isaac’s Square.This square is called so due to majestic Cathedral which situated here and which was built in 1818-1858 by the French architect O. Monferan.
In the center of the square there is equestrian statue of Nicolas I which was designed by O. Monferan but sculptured by Peter Klodt. Behind pedestal is embellished with allegorical sculptures Faith, Wisdom, Justice and Might. These are sculptures of his wife and his daughters. One of them (daughter) received a wedding gift from her father – Mariinsky palace which is across the square. It was designed by Shtocinshnaider. Mary refused to live in it because she was the back side of the horse and the father and later it was sold to the treasure. The City Council of Saint Petersburg occupies this building nowadays.
Blue Bridge makes part of the square and connect Mariinsky Palace and monument pf Nicolas I. It’s the widest bridge in the city. It’s called Blue Bridge due to fence. In the 19 century the bridges spanning the Moika river and decorated with fence pained in different colors and they were called correspondingly (all these bridge used to be draw bridges replaced later by permanent one)
Hotel Astoria is one of St. Pt. leading hotels. It was designed by Fedor Lidval in the style modern in 1910 – 1912. American writer J. Rid author of the famous eyewitness account of revolution “70 days that shook the world” was staying here when Bolsheviks Seized the power.
Senate Square.Another name of this square is Decembrist’s Square. It’s called so to commemorate the historical event which took place here on the 14 of December 1825 – “The Decembrist’s uprising”. It happened after death of Alexander I. His brother Constantin was upticated and Russia without the emperor for a few days.
The uprising was severely suppressed by troops of Nicolas 1. Five leaders were executed. Hundreds were exiled to Siberia. Let me explain why the uprising in the first half of 19th c. took place: Russia at the beginning of the 19th c. was still flourishing, though we had the serfdom. In 1812 Napoleon wanted to invade this country but the French army was defeated not only by the Russian army here but all over Europe (by the British army as well). Russian officers were from noble families and they were well educated. They travelled to France and had the best opportunity to get acquainted with the ideas of French Revolution of 1789. They knew the ideas of free-minded philosophies, they realised that serfdom and autocracy would never permit Russia to develop prosperously. That was the main reasons which brought them to this square in December 1825 and a century later, the square was given a title of Decembrists. The uprising was a failure because it was made for people but without people i.ñ. without a support. There are two similar buildings of the former Senate and Synod it was the last major work of Rossi. Senate was the Supreme Court of Russia. Synod was the highest ecclesiastical power. Now both buildings housed the central historical state archives. These buildings were damaged during the IIWW but all of them were restored to their original appearance later.