Millennium of Russia

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Coordinates: 58°31′16.05″N 31°16′30.87″E / 58.5211250°N 31.2752417°E / 58.5211250; 31.2752417

The Millennium of Russia (1862), with Saint Sophia Cathedral in the background. The upper row of figures is cast in the round and the lower one is in relief.

The Millennium of Russia (Russian Тысячелетие России) is a famous bronze monument in the Novgorod Kremlin. It was erected in 1862 to celebrate the millennium of Rurik's arrival to Novgorod, an event traditionally taken as a starting point of Russian history.

A competition to design the monument was held in 1859. An architect Viktor Hartmann and an artist Mikhail Mikeshin were declared the winners. Mikeshin's design called for a grandiose, 15-metre-high bell crowned by a cross symbolizing the tsar's power. The bell was to be encircled with several tiers of sculptures representing Russian monarchs, clerics, generals, and artists active during various periods of Russian history.

Mikeshin himself was no sculptor, therefore the 129 individual statues for the monument were made by the leading Russian sculptors of the day, including his friend Ivan Schroeder and the celebrated Alexander Opekushin. Rather unexpectedly for such an official project, the tsars and commanders were represented side by side with sixteen eminent personalities of Russian culture: Lomonosov, Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Karl Brullov, Mikhail Glinka, etc. As for the Russian rulers, Ivan the Terrible is famously absent from the monument due to his role in the 1570 pillage and massacre of Novgorod by the Oprichnina. Alongside with the Muscovite princes, the mediaeval Lithuanian dynasts such as Gediminas or Vytautas the Great who reigned over the Eastern Slavs of the present-day Belarus and Ukraine are represented.

The most expensive Russian monument up to that time, it was erected at a cost of 400,000 roubles, mostly raised by public subscription. In order to provide an appropriate pedestal for the huge sculpture, sixteen blocks of Sortavala granite were brought to Novgorod, each weighing in excess of 35 tons. The bronze monument itself weighs 100 tons.

Commemorative coin issued in the USSR in 1988.

At the time when the monument was inaugurated, many art critics felt that it was overloaded with figures. Supporters regard Mikeshin's design as harmonious with the medieval setting of the Kremlin, and subtly accentuating the vertical thrust and grandeur of the nearby 11th-century Saint Sophia Cathedral.

During World War II, the Nazis dismantled the monument, and prepared it to be transported to Germany. However, the Red Army regained control of Novgorod and the monument was restored to public view in 1944. A 5-ruble commemorative coin was released in the USSR in 1988 to commemorate the monument.

Middle level[edit]

Picture Name Name in Russian Historical year Description
1000 Rurik.JPG The arrival of the Varangians in Rus Призвание варягов на Русь 862 The statue of the first warrior prince Rurik with helmet and shield with the inscription "year 6370" (since the creation of the world). Rurik wears a fur on his shoulders, behind him the pagan Slavic god Veles can be seen. The figure looks south-west, in the direction of Kiev.
1000 Vladimir up.jpg The Christianization of Rus Крещение Руси 988 In the center, the Kievan Grand Prince Vladimir the Great can be found, raises an Orthodox cross. Besides, a woman holds her child for baptism and a Slav dispossesses the pagan god Perun. The composition looks in the south-eastern direction.
Donskoi.jpg Beginning of the expulsion of the Tatars Начало изгнания татар 1380 Dmitry Donskoi, the victor in the Battle of Kulikovo, holds a Russian mace in his right hand. At his feet lies Mamai, the defeated khan of the Golden Horde. In the left hand Dmitry Donskoi holds a captured bunchuk, the Tatar symbol of power. The composition looks east.
1000 Ivan III 2.jpg Foundation of an independent Russian Tsardom Основание самодержавного царства Русского 1491 Ivan the Great in a dress of Byzantine emperors with Monomach's Cap. In his hands he holds a scepter and a globus cruciger. In front of him, a Tatar is kneeling, beside him, a Lithuanian is lying, representing Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as well as a Teutonic knight with a broken sword, representing the Order of Teutonic Knights. The composition looks north-east.
1000 Mikhail F Romanov.jpg Inthronisation of the Romanov dynasty Начало династии Романовых 1613 The young Tsar Michael of Russia ascends to the Russian throne after the overcoming of the Time of Troubles. Prince Dmitry Pozharsky who represents the nobility protects him with his sword while Kuzma Minin who represents the people offers him the Monomach's Cap and the scepter. In the background, a figure of a Siberian Cossack can be found which symbolizes the colonization of Siberia to come.
Millennium of Russia 2.6.jpg Creation of the Russian Empire Образование Российской империи 1721 Peter the Great with laurel wreath and scepter in the right hand is supported by an angel who shows him the way to the north-west where the future city of Saint-Petersburg shall be founded. At Peter's feet, defeated Swede can be found who tries to protect his torn flag. This symbolizes the Russian victory in the Great Northern War. The composition looks north-west.

Bottom level[edit]

Men of enlightenment: Statesmen: Military men and heroes: Writers and artists:
1000 Kirill i Mefody.jpg Cyril and Methodius, missionaries of Slavs 1000 Yaroslav.jpg Yaroslav the Wise, Grand Prince of Kiev 1000 Sviatoslav.jpg Sviatoslav I of Kiev, Grand Prince of Kiev 1000 Lomonosov.jpg Mikhail Lomonosov, polymath
1000 Olga.jpg Olga of Kiev, Grand Princess of Kiev 1000 Monomah.jpg Vladimir Monomakh, Grand Prince of Kiev 1000 Udaloi.jpg Mstislav Mstislavich, Prince of Novgorod and Galicia 1000 Fonvizin.jpg Denis Fonvizin, playwright
1000 Vladimir Sviat.jpg Vladimir the Great, Grand Prince of Kiev 1000 Gediminas.jpg Gediminas, Grand Prince of Lithuania 1000 Galitsky.jpg Daniel of Galicia, Prince of Galicia 1000 Kokorinov.jpg Alexander Kokorinov, architect
1000 Avraam.jpg Abraham of Rostov, bishop of Rostov 1000 Algirdas.jpg Algirdas, Grand Prince of Lithuania 1000 Dovmont.jpg Daumantas, Prince of Pskov 1000 Derjavin.jpg Gavrila Derzhavin, poet and statesman
1000 Antony Pechersky.jpg Anthony of Kiev, founder of the Monastery of the Caves 1000 Vitovt.jpg Vytautas, Grand Prince of Lithuania 1000 Aldr Nevsky.jpg Alexander Nevsky, Grand Prince of Vladimir 1000 Volkov.jpg Fyodor Volkov, actor
1000 Feodosy Pechersky.jpg Theodosius of Kiev, Kievan monk 1000 Ivan III.jpg Ivan the Great, Grand Prince of Moscow 1000 Mihail Yarosl.jpg Michael of Tver, Prince of Tver 1000 Karamzin.jpg Nikolai Karamzin, playwright and historian
1000 Kuksha.jpg Kuksha of the Kiev Caves, Kievan monk 1000 Silvestr.jpg Sylvester, clergyman and statesman 1000 Donskoi na frize.jpg Dmitry Donskoi, Grand Prince of Moscow И. А. Крылов на Памятнике "1000-летие России" в Великом Новгороде.jpg Ivan Krylov, poet of fables
1000 Nestor.jpg Nestor the Chronicler, chronicler of the Russian history 1000 Anastsia Romanova.jpg Anastasia Romanovna, first wife of Ivan the Terrible 1000 Keistut.jpg Kęstutis, Grand Prince of Lithuania 1000 Jukovsky.jpg Vasily Zhukovsky, poet and translator
1000 Kirill Belozersky.jpg Cyril of White Lake, Founder of the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery 1000 Adashev.jpg Alexey Adashev, Ivan IV's bosom friend and advisor 1000 Holmsky.jpg Daniil Kholmsky, general 1000 Gnedich.jpg Nikolay Gnedich, Poet and translator
1000 Stefan Permsky.jpg Stephen of Perm, Bishop and Missionary of Perm 1000 Germogen.jpg Hermogenes, Patriarch of Moscow 1000 Vorotynsky.jpg Mikhail Vorotynsky, Field Marshal 1000 Griboedov.jpg Aleksandr Griboyedov, Writer and Diplomat
1000 Aleksy.jpg Alexius of Moscow, Metropolitan of Kiev and Moscow 1000 Mikhail Romanov.jpg Michael Romanov, first Romanov tsar 1000 Shenya.jpg Daniil Shchenya, military leader 1000 Lermontov.jpg Mikhail Lermontov, poet and writer
1000 Sergy Rad.jpg Sergius of Radonezh, spiritual leader 1000 Filaret.jpg Filaret, Patriarch of Moscow 1000 Marfa.jpg Marfa Boretskaya, Posadnik of Novgorod 1000 Pushkin.jpg Alexander Pushkin, poet and writer
1000 Piotr Mogila.jpg Peter Mogila, Metropolitan of Kiev 1000 Ordin.jpg Afanasy Ordin-Nashchokin, Diplomat 1000 Ermak.jpg Yermak Timofeyevich, Cossack leader 1000 Gogol.jpg Nikolai Gogol, Writer
1000 Zosima.jpg Zosima of Solovki, Founder of the Solovetsky Monastery 1000 Matveev.jpg Artamon Matveyev, Statesman and Diplomat 1000 Skopin.jpg Mikhail Skopin-Shuisky, military leader 1000 Glinka.jpg Mikhail Glinka, Composer
1000 Maksim Grek.jpg Maximus the Greek, Writer and scholar 1000 Alex Mikh.jpg Alexei I, Tsar 1000 Pojarsky 2.jpg Dmitry Pozharsky, Prince 1000 Brullov.jpg Karl Briullov, Painter
1000 Savvaty.jpg Savvatiy, Founder of the Solovetsky Monastery 1000 Petr I.jpg Peter the Great, Tsar and first emperor 1000 Minin.jpg Kuzma Minin, Organizer of the People's Army 1000 Bortniansky.jpg Dmitry Bortniansky, Composer
1000 Iona.jpg Jonah of Moscow, Metropolitan of Moscow 1000 Dolgorukov.jpg Yakov Dolgorukov, advisor to Peter I 1000 Palitsyn.jpg Avraamy Palitsyn, Monk and Writer
1000 Makary.jpg Macarius of Moscow, Metropolitan of Moscow 1000 Betskoi.jpg Ivan Betskoy, Statesman and Reformer 1000 Bogdan.jpg Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Hetman of the Zaporizhian cossacks
1000 Varsonofy.jpg Varsonofius of Tver, Archbishop of Tver 1000 Ekaterina II.jpg Catherine the Great, Empress 1000 Susanin.jpg Ivan Susanin, Folk hero
1000 Gury.jpg Guriy of Kazan, Archbishop of Kazan 1000 Bezborodko.jpg Alexander Bezborodko, Statesman and Diplomat 1000 Sheremetiev.jpg Boris Sheremetev, Field Marshal and Diplomat
1000 Ostrojsky.jpg Konstantin Ostrozhsky, Prince and voivode of Kiev 1000 Potiomkin.jpg Grigory Potyomkin, Statesman and Diplomat 1000 Golitsyn.jpg Mikhail Golitsyn, Field Marshal
1000 Nikon.jpg Nikon, Patriarch of Moscow 1000 Kochubei.jpg Viktor Kochubey, Statesman and Diplomat 1000 Saltykov.jpg Pyotr Saltykov, Field Marshal
1000 Rtishev.jpg Fyodor Rtishchev, Philanthropist 1000 Alexandr 1.jpg Alexander I, Tsar 1000 Minih.jpg Burkhard von Münnich, Field Marshal
1000 Rostovsky.jpg Dimitry of Rostov, Churchman and composer 1000 Speransky.jpg Mikhail Speransky, Statesman 1000 Orlov-Chesmensky.jpg Alexei Orlov, General
1000 Tihon Zadonsky.jpg Tikhon of Zadonsk, Archbishop of Ladoga and Voronezh 1000 Vorontsov.jpg Mikhail Vorontsov, Field Marshal 1000 Rumiantsev-Zadunaisky.jpg Pyotr Rumyantsev, Field Marshal
1000 Mitrofan.jpg Mitrofan of Voronezh, Archbishop of Voronezh 1000 Nikolai 1.jpg Nicholas I, Tsar 1000 Suvorov.jpg Alexander Suvorov, Generalissimo
1000 Konissky.jpg Georgy Konissky, Archbishop of Belarus 1000 Barklai.jpg Michael Barclay de Tolly, Field Marshal
1000 Feofan Prokopovich.jpg Feofan Prokopovich, Archbishop of Novgorod; Statesman 1000 Kutuzov.jpg Mikhail Kutuzov, Field Marshal
1000 Platon.jpg Platon Levshin, Metropolitan of Moscow 1000 Senyavin.jpg Dmitry Senyavin, Admiral
1000 Innokenty.jpg Innocent, Archbishop of Chersonesos Taurica 1000 Platov.jpg Matvei Platov, General
1000 Bagration.jpg Pyotr Bagration, General
1000 Dibich.jpg Karl Diebitsch-Sabalkanski, Field Marshal
1000 Paskevich.jpg Ivan Paskevich, Field Marshal
1000 Lazarev.jpg Mikhail Lazarev, Admiral
1000 Kornilov.jpg Vladimir Kornilov, Vice-Admiral
1000 Nahimov.jpg Pavel Nakhimov, Admiral

References[edit]

Millennium of Russia on a 5-ruble banknote

External links[edit]