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One of the most notorious figures in Russian history, Tsar Nicholas I definitely deserves his place among the many pieces of sculpture and statuary that decorate the streets of Saint Petersburg, paying tribute to the figures that shaped its course throughout history. Nicholas I was known for his absolute rule bordering on tyranny and the iron will with which he enacted his policies.

It is fitting, then, that his monument be one of the most imposing in the whole city. A bronze horse and rider, clad in elegant military regalia sits atop a massive ornamental pedestal of prophyry, granite and marble. The pedestal is in many ways the most attractive aspect of the monument, with its intricately detailed carving depicting significant events throughout the span of Nicholas I’s career and four reclining women, representing various allegorical aspects of his political policies. Apart from the statue itself, the square in which it is located is notable for its many nearby attractions and natural beauty, making this monument one of the must see stops for any complete tour of Saint Petersburg.

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