The Alexander Pushkin Monument

This monument has long ago been an integral part of Moscow life. It is enough to say ‘See you at Pushkin’s’ for everyone to understand you. The meeting will be at the Pushkin Square or, like the Muscovites say ‘at Pushka’, near the monument to Alexander Pushkin.

The monument was opened on the 6th of June 1880 before a vast assembly. In his inaugural speech, Russian writer Turgenev said “However that may be, Pushkin’s services for Russia are great and deserve people’s appreciation. He gave a final, finishing touch to our language which is now recognised as nearly the first after Classic Greek even by foreign philologists due to its richness, strength, logics and beauty of form.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky gave his famous speech that overwhelmed participants of Pushkin Celebrations.

The idea of building a monument to Pushkin occurred right after his death in 1837. It was decided to erect a “people’s monument” in Mikhailovskoye village. A new petition was made in 1860 by Pushkin’s classmates and other graduates of the Lyceum where Pushkin studied and the permission was given but the subscription failed. The Lyceum graduate Yakov Grot was the initiator of the new subscription in 1870. After the money for the monument had been raised it was decided to declare an open competition for the best project. Following the projects evaluation the first award was given to the talented sculptor Alexander Opekushin. He depicted Pushkin in a deep contemplation: the inclined head, the hand put back under dress-coat side, the slow ‘frozen-like’ walk. The monument absolutely resembled the true portrait of Pushkin and his death mask. The pedestal is ornamented with lines of Pushkin’s poem “the Monument”.

The monument was raised at the beginning of Tverskoy Boulevard in 1880. According to monument’s composition, the poet is taking a walk in the shadow of the Boulevard’s trees. Due to the reconstruction of the Pushkin Square in 1950, the monument was moved to a new place – a large park where the Strastnoy Convent had stood long ago. The Pushkin Square where the monument to the great poet is situated is a unique place. Starting from the 14th century life had never stopped at the ‘Pushka’ – there had always been something reconstructed, redone and changed there. The modern life of the Square keeps up with traditions. The only thing not exposed to ageing, changes and fuss is the monument to the Great Russian Poet. Travel to Moscow