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Amidst Saint Petersburg’s massive collection of sculptures commemorating various artists and historical figures, one stands out as unique among the rest. This is the Monument to Peter the Great, which was a fairly recent addition to the city, being added in 1991. The name is something of a misnomer as it is actually the fourth such monument to Peter the Great in the city.

When the monument was first unveiled, it caused something of an uproar because of its break from the tradition of strict realism in Russian sculpture. The figure of Peter the Great is instead depicted with somewhat exaggerated proportions, seated rigidly in a bronze chair and poised as if ready to leap up and deliver shocking news at any given moment. His stare is considered to be quite intense. Visitors to the area should come and check out this statue not only for its own artistic merits but also to witness the unique local rituals that have sprung up around it, such as young people’s tendency to lay wreathes of flowers at the leader’s feet.

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