In 1612, two men, Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and merchant Kuzma Minin, gathered a All-Russian volunteer army and expelled the Poles from the Moscow Kremlin. Officially they put an end to a troublesome time in the history of Russia.
There is a bronze plaque in front of the base of the monument that depicts a scene of patriotism – citizens sacrificing property and goods for the benefit of Russia. There is also an image of the sculptor Martos who gave away two sons to fight. Martos was the sculptor of the monument.
The monument wasn`t always standing here. It`s original place was in the middle of Red Square but when Stalin took over, he decided to move it because it obstructed military parades. In 1936 it was moved to it`s current place, where it is still standing today.
A little bit of history about the monument itself.
Minin and Pozharsky were originally from Nizhny Novgorod and people wanted to have the monument erected there, to give honor to their heroes. However, Tsar Alexander I decided that it was best to have the monument in Red Square,close the Moscow Kremlin. First they needed a design so it was decided to hold a competition. Many famous sculptors entered and Ivan Martos won in 1808. In 1813 the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna and the Russian Academy of Fine Arts approved a completed model and the casting of the monument began.
The monument is made from 1,100 lbs of copper (St. Petersburg) and three huge blocks of granite (Finland and carved in St. Petersburg). The monument and base were constructed in Saint Petersburg. It was a huge challenge to get the base and statue to Moscow, so it was decided to wait until winter when the waterways were frozen. Unfortunately the monument couldn`t be unveiled for some time because Napoleon decided to invade Russia. It was finally unveiled in 1818.
Minin and Pozharsky were eventually honored in Nizhny Novgorod, when an exact replica of this statue was erected in 2005. The only difference is that the replica is 5 cm shorter than the original.
If you find yourself in Moscow, specifically Red Square, go and admire this unique statue. Many people don`t realize what an important role this monument played in the history of Russia.
How to identify which one is Minin and which one is Pozharsky?
Pozharsky is the man sitting and Minin is the man standing.