upper tier
middle tier
lower tier
Mikhail Mikeshin
Novgorod the Great
Ivan Schroeder

The Russian
Pantheon

A 3D review of the Millennium of Russia monument

128 statues of the monument sculpted in 1862 by the artists Mikeshin and Schroeder personify Russia’s history. Gigarama’s 2020 technology is a new way of viewing the sculpted history of the Russian state.

The monument’s history

The Millennium of Russia monument was erected in the kremlin (the citadel) of Novgorod the Great in 1862 to honor the millennium of the Russian state that followed the “summoning of the Vikings” to Ancient Rus.

It was created by a team of sculptors headed by artist Mikhail Mikeshin, who came up with the conception of the monument. Mikeshin secured his victory in the contest announced by Russian Czar Alexander II by depicting Russia’s history in its development.

The monument’s shape reflected the ideas of autocracy and civil freedoms whose combination, as the reformist czar believed, would profess the future of the Russian state: the monument’s silhouette resembles the Cap of the Grand Prince of Kiev Vladimir Monomakh that symbolizes monarchic power, and there is a bell whose ringing summoned a veche (a popular assembly) in the Republic of Novgorod.

The construction of the monument whose height is 15.7 meters and perimeter is 27.5 meters cost 500,000 rubles, of which 150,000 rubles were private donations.

The monument survived the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. But in the Soviet era, it was seen as a symbol of czarist autocracy, and on public holidays it was hidden under plywood with Communist slogans.

In 1944, during World War II, retreating Nazi Germans dismantled the monument and tried to take it away - unsuccessfully.

In 1944, the monument was restored and reopened, as the Communist government reconsidered its attitude towards it – such czarist Russia’s luminaries as 18th-century general Alexander Suvorov, 19th-century Prince Mikhail Kutuzov, 18th-century field marshal Pyotr Rumyantsev and 19th-century general Prince Pyotr Bagration could become symbolic figures that unite the Soviet people. The monument was restored in 1995.

Orthodox Christianity

The monument is topped by a composition symbolizing the idea of Orthodox Christianity’s primacy over the state and the secular world. The cross embodies Christianity, the globe embodies the world.

An angel holding the cross blesses Russia, depicted as a kneeling woman in peasant garb. She leans upon a shield with a double-headed eagle from Russia’s coat of arms.

Autocracy

Around the spherical orb are six groups of sculptures that consist of 17 tall figures, each 3 meters high.

The figures symbolize key periods in Russia’s history: the 862 summoning of Viking Prince Rurik, the conversion of Ancient Rus to Orthodox Christianity, the 1380 battle of Kulikovo between the armies of Moscow and the Golden Horde, the centralization of power under Grand Prince Ivan III of Moscow, the beginning of the Romanov dynasty in 1613 and the proclamation of the Russian Empire under Peter the Great in 1721.

The summoning of Rurik to Novgorod the Great

Rurik wears a spiked helmet and armor of a Russian warrior and Varangian (Viking) prince.

The year of the summoning, 6370 Anno Mundi, is 862 AD. The date is written in the “letter figures” of the ancient Russian language similar to Roman numerals.

To the right of the Varangian prince stands Veles, an ancient Slavic god who symbolizes paganism. Rurik looks south-wise, reflecting his intention to go to Kiev and seize it.

The christening of Russia by Prince Vladimir

Vladimir stands on the fragment of a broken pagan idol portraying god Perun, and forces a Slav to throw it in the river.

On the other side, a newly-baptized woman is getting her infant christened and looks at the Orthodox cross with three crossbeams, a symbol of new faith. The group is oriented towards the Byzantine Empire, where Orthodox Christianity came from.

Liberation from the Golden Horde

Moscow Prince Dmitry Donskoy won the first victory over the Golden Horde’s army in the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380.

He is holding a bunchuk, a Golden Horde flag with a Muslim crescent and a horse tail, in one hand, and a six-flanged mace in the other.

The prince is standing on the leg of a Golden Horde warrior, prostrate but still unbroken and armed. The group looks eastward – for another century, the Horde will rule Russia from there.

Ivan III’s centralization of power

Ivan III centralized Russian lands around Moscow by conquering Novgorod the Great. After the 1480 Great Stand on the Ugra River, Russia gained independence from the Horde.

At the prince’s feet are his defeated enemies – a Lithuanian knight with a broken sword and a shoulder strap shaped like a lion’s head. A Horde warrior bows to the prince passing the orb, a symbol of power to him. Facing the orb is the figure of a Siberian hunter who holds the Earth. The group faces Moscow.

The rule of Czar Mikhail Romanov

In the Time of Troubles (1598 – 1613), the Zemsky Sobor (“the assembly of the land,” a proto-parliament) elected Mikhail Romanov as czar, and he went on to found a new dynasty.

The young czar stands in the background wearing a mantle and holding an orb. The leader of a volunteer army that fought against Polish invaders, Prince Dmitry Pozharsky holds a sabre and the other leader Kuzma Minin hands an orb and the Cap of Monomakh to the czar. The group looks westward – the danger from Poland is still strong.

Establishment of the Russian Empire under Peter the Great

After Russia won the Northern War against Sweden in 1721, the Russian Senate proclaimed Czar Peter the Great an Emperor, and decreed that his state should be called The Russian Empire.

A statue of Peter portrays him dressed as a colonel of the Preobrazhensky regiment with an ermine mantle in his hands. In front of him is a defeated Swedish soldier with the broken staff of a torn banner. An angel’s figure towers over Peter showing him the way to St. Petersburg, Russia’s new capital.

Nationality

109 figures are united in 4 groups: the military, artists, enlighteners and statesmen – a chronicle of Russia shown through its key figures.

Emperor Alexander II backed the conception of the monument’s author Mikhail Mikeshin “to portray all the renowned figures who contributed to the exaltation of Russia on this bas-relief.”

The list of names was controversial and triggered a public debate throughout Russia, but it was the emperor who finalized the list.

The military and heroes

The high-relief of 36 figures on the monument’s northeastern side begins with warrior Prince Svyatoslav.

It includes rulers, generals, statesmen and heroes from among the commons that date back to Ancient Russia, the Principality of Moscow, the Great Duchy of Lithuania and Rus, Muscovy and the Russian Empire.

10th century

Svyatoslav Igorevich

Svyatoslav Igorevich became the Grand Prince of Kiev in 945. A famous warrior. Subdued the Eastern Slavic tribe of Vyatichi. Destroyed the Khanate of Khazars. Waged wars against Bulgarians and, later, Byzantine Greeks.

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?—1228

Mstislav the Daring (Udatny)

The prince of Toropets. Known as a lucky general who led successful campaigns against the Polovets nomads. He took part in the Battle on the Kalka River, in which Russian forces were defeated by Mongols.

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1199—1264

Daniel of Galicia

The Prince of Volyn and Galicia, son of Prince Roman Mstislavovich. In 1223, he took part in the Battle of Kalka.

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?—1299

Daumantas, the Lithuanian prince of Pskov

Prince of Pskov, general and descendant of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, he was baptized as Timofey and ruled what is now the western Russian city of Pskov in 1266-1299. Under him, the Principality of Pskov became virtually independent from Novgorod the Great.

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1220—1263

Alexander Yaroslavovich Nevsky

Prince of Pereyaslavl, Novgorod the Great, Grand Prince of Vladimir in 1252 – 1263. In the 1240 Battle of Neva he defeated Swedes, and later gained the sobriquet Nevsky. On April 5, 1242 he defeated the knights of the Livonian Order in the Battle on the Ice on the Chudskoye Lake (known in the West as Lake Peipus).

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1271—1318

Mikhail of Tver

Prince of Tver and Grand Prince of Vladimir in 1304 – 1307. He contested the princes of Moscow for the Golden Horde’s jarlig for the Grand Principality of Vladimir.

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1359—1389

Dmitry Donskoy

Grand Prince of Vladimir and Moscow. He strengthened Moscow and challenged the Golden Horde’s rule over Russia in the Battle of Kulikovo.

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Circa 1297—1382

Kestutis

The Grand Duke of Lithuania, Duke of Trokai, son of Grand Prince Gediminas, father of Vitautas, brother and de-facto co-ruler of Algirdas.

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died in 1493

Prince Daniil Kholmsky

Boyar and general of Moscow Grand Prince Ivan III.

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Circa 1516—1573

Mikhail Vorotynsky

Boyar and general of Ivan IV The Terrible. In 1572, he won a decisive battle against Crimean Khan Devlet I Giray in the Battle of Molodi.

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?—1519

Daniil Shchenya Patrikeev

Prince, boyar, famous general in the reigns of Ivan III and Vasily III, renowned for conquering Khlynov (Vyatka) and Smolensk.

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15th century

Martha Boretskaya
(Martha the Mayoress)

One of the leaders of opposition to Ivan III in Novgorod the Great, she advocated for Novgorod’s independence from Moscow and rapprochement with Lithuania.

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1532—1585

Yermak Timofeyevich

Cossack leader, conqueror of Siberia.

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1586—1610

Mikhail Skopin-Shuisky

Stateman and military leader in the Time of Troubles 1598 – 1613, a national hero at the time of the Polish-Lithuanian intervention who defeated the armies of False Dmitry II, (a second impostor czar who claimed to be the son of Ivan the Terrible and was backed by Poles and Lithuanians. He was also known as the Thief of Tushino).

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1578—1642

Dmitry Pozharsky

Prince, national hero, statesman, general, head of the Second Volunteer Army that liberated Moscow from the Polish invaders in 1612.

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?—1616

Kuzma Minin

Organizer and co-leader of the Second Volunteer Army in 1611-12 during Russia’s fight against the Polish-Lithuanian and Swedish invasions, national hero.

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1550—1626

Avraamy Palitsyn

Religious leader, politician, cellarer of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, writer and publicist.

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1595—1657

Bogdan Khmelnitsky

Ukrainian statesman, general, getman (elected supreme leader) of the Zaporozhsky Cossack army. He led a Cossack rebellion that made Zaporozhskaya Sech (a Cossack State beyond the cataracts of the Dnieper River) and the Left-Bank Ukraine (Ukrainian regions on the left bank of the Dnieper) part of Russia.

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1568—1613

Ivan Susanin

Folk hero, savior of the first Romanov czar during the Time of Troubles in the early 17th century.

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1652—1719

Boris Sheremetyev

Field marshal, diplomat, general in the Russian-Swedish Northern War, count since 1706.

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1675—1730

Mikhail Golitsyn

Prince, general, field marshal. Participated in the Azov campaigns and the Northern war. Presided over the War Collegiate (1728 – 1730), Russia’s supreme defense body.

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1698—1772

Pyotr Saltykov

Count, general, field marshal. He was a commander-in-chief during the Seven Year War of 1756 – 63, won the battle of Kunesdorf in which the Russian-Austrian army defeated Prussians. In 1764 – 1771, he was the chief commander of Moscow.

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1683—1767

Burkhard von Munnich

General, statesman, count. In 1727 – 30, he administered St. Petersburg.

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1737—1808

Alexey Orlov

General, statesman, companion of Catherine II.

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1725—1796

Pyotr Rumyantsev

General, field marshal (since 1770), took part in the Seven Year war and the Russian-Turkish wars of the second part of the 18th century.

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1730—1800

Alexander Suvorov

General, warfare theoretician, Count of Rymnik (since 1789), field marshal since 1794, generalissimo since 1799 since 1799, Prince of Italy.

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1761—1818

Mikhail Barclay de Tolly

General, field marshal, prince (since 1815), hero of the Patriotic War of 1812. A descendant of Russified Scottish nobles, he started his service in the Semyonovsky Lifeguard Battalion, where he got his first officer rank.

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1747—1813

Mikhail Kutuzov

General, diplomat, count, field marshal, his serene highness. A hero of the Patriotic War of 1812.

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1763—1831

Dmitri Senyavin

Fleet commander, admiral, commanded the Baltic Fleet after 1825.

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1751—1818

Matvei Platov

General, infantry general, count, hero of the Patriotic War of 1812.

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1765—1812

Pyotr Bagration

General, prince, infantry general, hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, born into the former Georgian royal dynasty of Bagrationi.

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1785—1831

Ivan Dibich (Hans Karl von Diebitsch)

General, field marshal, count, participant of the Patriotic War of 1812 and the Russian-Turkish war of 1828 – 1829.

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1782—1856

Ivan Paskevich

General, field marshal (1829), the Count of Yerevan (1828), His Serene Highness, Count of Warsaw (1831).

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1788—1751

Mikhail Lazarev

Seaman and navy commander, admiral, commander of the Black Sea fleet and one of the discoverers of the Antarctica, a hero of the Patriotic War of 1812.

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1806—1854

Vladimir Kornilov

Navy commander, vice admiral (1852), hero of the Siege of Sevastopol of 1854 – 1855.

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1802—1855

Pavel Nakhimov

Fleet commander, admiral (1855), hero of the Siege of Sevastopol in 1854 – 1855.

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Writers and artists

16 figures of the second half of the 18th – 19th centuries symbolize the contributions of renowned poets and writers, artists and musicians to Russian culture.

The first in line is the Russian encyclopedist Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov.

1711—1765

Mikhail Lomonosov

The first Russian encyclopedist, poet, artist.

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1745—1792

Denis Fonvizin

Author, playwright, translator. His best-known works were comedies The Brigadier General (1770) and Young Ignoramus (1782).

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1726—1772

Alexander Kokorinov

Architect, first rector and professor of the Imperial Academy of Arts.

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1743—1816

Gavrila Derzhavin

Poet and statesman.

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1729—1763

Fyodor Volkov

Actor and thespian, creator of Russia’s first permanent theater.

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1766—1826

Nikolay Karamzin

Writer, historian, pioneer of Russian sentimentalism, author of The History of the Russian State, a groundbreaking work in 12 volumes.

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1769—1844

Ivan Krylov

Author of fables, publicist, poet, publisher of satirical and educational magazines.

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1783—1852

Vasily Zhukovsky

Poet, member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences from 1841. One of the founders of Russian romanticism, a pioneer of classic lyrical poems in Russian.

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1784—1833

Nikolay Gnedich

Poet, translator, member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences from 1826.

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1790/1795—1829

Alexander Griboyedov

Writer and diplomat.

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1814—1841

Mikhail Lermontov

Poet and writer.

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1799—1837

Alexander Pushkin

Poet and writer, creator of the modern Russian literary language.

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1809—1852

Nikolay Gogol

Wrote fiction and plays, poetry, literary criticism, magazine articles.

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1804—1857

Mikhail Glinka

Composer and pioneer of Russian classical music.

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1799—1852

Karl Bryullov

Artist.

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1751—1825

Dmitry Bortnyansky

Composer, conductor, singer, educator.

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Illuminators
of the people

There are 31 figures in the group of illuminators. It begins with Cyril and Methodius, who created the Slavic alphabet.

Among the illuminators are princes and chroniclers, theologists and Orthodox Christian saints, preachers and founders of monasteries who played a significant role in Russia’s history.

9th century

Cyril and Methodius

Byzantine Greek preachers, brothers, creators of the Old Slavonic alphabet and the Church Slavonic language.

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10th century

Olga, Grand Princess of Kiev

She ruled Ancient Rus in 945—964 before her son, Kiev Prince Svyatoslav, came of age. She was the first Russian ruler to convert to Christianity and was baptized in Constantinople.

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10th—11th century

Vladimir Svyatoslavich

Son of Svyatoslav Igorevich, the Grand Prince of Kiev in 980 – 1015. He commenced the conversion of Rus to Christianity “with sword and fire.”

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11th century

Avraamy of Rostov

A saint of the Russian Orthodox Church, preacher, bishop of Rostov.

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Circa 983—1073

Antony of the Caves

A saint of the Russian Orthodox Church, founder of the Kiev Monastery of Caves.

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Circa 1036—1074

Theodosius of Kiev

One of the founders and abbots of the Kiev Monastery of Caves, saint.

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12th century

Kuksha of the Kiev Caves

Priestmonk of the Kiev Monastery of Caves, martyr.

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12th century

Nestor

A monk of the Kiev Monastery of Caves, chronicler, author of the Primary Chronicle.

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1337—1427

Kirill of White Lake

Founder of the White Lake Monastery.

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1340s—1396

Stephen of Perm

Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, preacher, creator of the Old Permic Script, translator.

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1292—1378

Alexy

Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia, statesman, diplomat.

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Circa 1315—1391

Sergius of Radonezh

Founder of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius. According to a legend, he blessed Moscow Grand Prince Dmitry Donskoy before the 1380 Battle of Kulikovo, and dispatched two monks – Peresvet and Oslyabya – with his army.

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1596—1647

Metropolitan Peter – Peter Mogila

A bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church, the Metropolitan of Kyiv, Galicia and All of Russia.

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15th century

Zosimas of Solovki

Founder of the Solovki monastery, saint.

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1470—1556

Maximus the Greek

Religious publicist, writer and translator. An ethnic Greek.

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?—1435

Sabbatius of Solovki

Reverent of the Russian Church, founder of the Solovki monastery.

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1390s—1461

Metropolitan Jonah

The Metropolitan of Kyiv and All of Russia, a saint. During his tenure, the Church became autocephalous, independent from the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

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Circa 1482—1563

Macarius of Moscow

Archbishop of Novgorod the Great, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia. He greatly influenced the policies of Ivan the Terrible as part of the so-called Chosen Council. He crowned Ivan the Terrible as a czar.

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Circa 1495—1576

Varsonofius

The bishop of Tver, saint, venerated as a miracle worker of Kazan.

16th century

Gury

A church official, after Moscow’s conquest of the Khanate of Kazan in 1552 he was elected the first archbishop of Kazan.

16th century

Konstantin Ostorozhsky

Prince, military governor of Kiev. He promoted education by publishing books, founding schools and supporting scholars. In 1581, Ivan Fyodorov and Pyotr Mstislavets published the first Bible in Russian in his publishing house.

17th century

Nikon

Patriarch of the Russian Church, author of the 17th-century church reform that led to the Schism and the emergence of Old Believers.

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1626—1673

Fyodor Rtishchev

A friend and favorite of Czar Alexey, quartermaster, head of various government departments, illuminator, patron of arts, founder of the Andreevsky Monastery, multiple hospitals, schools and hospices.

17th century

Dimitry of Rostov

The Metropolitan of Rostov and Yaroslavl, a church figure, religious writer, preacher, educator.

18th century

Tikhon of Zadonsk

The Bishop of Ladoga and then Voroznezh, writer.

1623—1703

Mitrofan of Voronezh

Saint, the first bishop of Voronezh and Yelets. He fought against the influence of Old Believers, supported Peter the Great, organized a wharf to build warships, took part in the seizure of Azov from Ottoman Turks.

1717—1795

George Konissky

Archbishop of Belarus, philosopher, educator, theologian and public figure in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and then in the Russian Empire.

1681—1736

Feofan Prokopovich

Peter the Great’s companion, theologian, writer, poet, mathematician, philosopher, translator, publicist, scholar. Head of the Kiev Academy, the Archbishop of Novgorod, the first vice president of the Most Holy Synod.

1737—1812

Platon Levshin

The Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, he tried to overcome the church schism by introducing “the unity of faith” that allowed church service based on pre-Schism books. He opened the first “unity of faith” church in Moscow and crowned Alexander I.

1800—1857

Innokenty

The Archbishop of Chersonese and Tavria. Preacher, educator, theologian, member of the Most Holy Synod. During the Crimean War he served in camp churches encouraging the soldiers with his sermons and comforting the dying.

Statesmen

Statesmen

On the eastern side of the monument are the statues of 26 figures whose efforts greatly influenced the domestic and foreign policies of the Russian state.

They include rulers, diplomats, generals, advisors and even the first wife of Czar Ivan the Terrible. The czar is not part of the monument because of his purges and mass executions in the Republic of Novgorod that he unleashed during the terror of Oprichnina in 1570.

11th century

Yaroslav the Wise

Grand Prince of Kiev in 1018–1054. He strengthened the ancient Russian state by having the first book of law – The Russian Truth – compiled, defeating the Pecheneg nomads and arranging dynastic marriages of his children with European rulers.

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1053—1125

Vladimir Monomakh

Prince of Pereyaslavl, Grand Prince of Kiev. During his reign, he stopped the invasions of Polovtsy (also known as Cumans) nomads, had the Primary Chronicle compiled, and added the Chapter of Vladimir Vsevolodovich to the Russian Truth.

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?—1341

Gediminas

Grand Duke, founder of the Gediminid dynasty, established the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Rus, whose state language was Russian and state religion was Orthodox Christianity.

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1345—1377

Algirdas

The Grand Duke of Lithuania, son of Gediminas. He fought to expand the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and ruled the duchy with his brother Kestutis.

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14th century

Vytautas

Became the Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1392. Son of Grand Duke Kestutis. All his life, he strove to strengthen his state that included Lithuanian and Russian lands.

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1440—1505

Ivan III the Great

The Grand Prince of Moscow in 1462—1505, the Grand Prince of All Russia. He united Russian principalities around Moscow. In 1480, Russia gained independence from the Golden Horde.

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?—circa 1570

Sylvester

Cleric, politician, publicist, one of the leaders of the czar’s Chosen Council. Author or editor of the Domestic Order, a legal code.

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1530—1560

Anastasiya Romanova

Czarina since 1547, Ivan the Terrible’s first wife.

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?—1561

Alexey Adashev

Ivan the Terrible’s ally, quartermaster and general, head of the Petitions Committee, one of the leaders of the Chosen Council.

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Circa 1530—1612

Germogen

The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia since 1606.

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1596—1645

Mikhail Fyodorovich

Russian czar in 1613 – 1645 elected by the Zemskoy Sobor (the Assembly of the Land).He founded the Romanov dynasty after the Polish invaders were driven out of Moscow.

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Circa 1154/1555—1633

Filaret — Fyodor Nikitich Romanov

In 1619, he became the Patriarch of Moscow and All of Russia. Father of Czar Mikhail Romanov.

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Circa 1605—1680

Afanasy Ordin-Nashchokin

A boyar, diplomat, head of the Foreign Office during the reign of Alexey Romanov.

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1625—1682

Artamon Matveev

Statesman and diplomat in the reign of Alexey Romanov.

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1629—1676

Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov The Quietest

Russian czar in 1645 – 1676, the son of czar Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov.

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1672—1725

Peter the Great

Russian czar since 1682, Russia’s first emperor since 1721, son of czar Alexey Mikhailovich Romanov.

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1639—1720

Yakov Dolgorukov

Prince, statesman, general.

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1704—1795

Ivan Betskoy

A Russian illuminator, personal secretary of Empress Catherine II.

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1729—1796

Catherine II the Great

The Russian empress in 1762–1796, born Princess Sophie Augusta-Frederika von Anhalt-Zerbst. In 1745, she married Crown Prince Peter Fyodorovich, who was crowned in 1761 as Emperor Peter III. In June 1762, she overthrew Emperor Peter III and ascended to the throne.

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1747—1799

Alexander Bezborodko

Statesman, count, his serene highness, chief director of postal services of the Russian Empire, a state secretary of Catherine II.

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1739—1791

Grigory Potemkin

Statesman, general, participant of the 1762 coup d’état, general field marshal (1784).

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1768—1834

Viktor Kochubey

Statesman, count, prince, state chancellor for internal affairs.

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1777—1825

Alexander I

Emperor and autocrat of All Russia as of 1801, the son of Pavel I and grandson of Catherine the Great.

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1772—1839

Mikhail Speransky

Statesman, reformist.

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1782—1856

Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov

Statesman, general, field marshal, his serene highness.

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1796—1855

Nicholas I

Russian Emperor, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland, a scion of the Romanov dynasty. Succeeded Alexander I, preceded Alexander II.

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Project team:

Design:

Vladimir Vorobyev

Development:

Igor Shilyaev, Ruslan Seitshaev

Photogrammetry:

Andrey Butorin, Aerostream

Content:

Lyubov Shilyaeva

Producer:

Marat Saichenko

With assistance from the State Museum of Novgorod the Great

The information used in the project is taken from: the online portal on the history of the Russian Federation, Russia’s History from Ancient Times until late 16th century, a textbook by Leonid Katsva, Russia’s History of the 17th – 18th centuries by Leonid Katsva; A Search for the Artistic Imagery of the Millennium of Russia monument by Boris Budnitsky; the Russian version of Wikipedia. org

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