Triumphal Arch of Moscow

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Coordinates: 55°44′12.3″N 37°31′11.7″E / 55.736750°N 37.519917°E / 55.736750; 37.519917

The Triumphal Gate on Victory Square, 2007
The Triumphal Gate on the Tver Gates Square, 1848, by Félix Benoist
For a triumphal gate in St. Petersburg, see Moscow Triumphal Gate

The third and the oldest surviving Triumphal Arch in Moscow was built in 1829-34 on Tverskaya Gate Square to Joseph Bove's designs in order to commemorate Russia's victory over Napoleon. It replaced an earlier wooden structure built by the veterans of the Napoleonic Wars in 1814.[1]

The arch was built in brick and lined with ashlar. The columns and statues were of cast iron. A seiuga (six-horse chariot) was designed by Giovanni Vitali. The bilingual inscription in Russian and Latin ran as follows:[2]

To the blessed memory of Alexander I who raised from ashes and adorned with many memorials of paternal care this former capital that had been committed to the mercy of fire during the invasion of the Gauls and twelve other nations.

The arch was dismantled in 1936 as part of Joseph Stalin's reconstruction of downtown Moscow. Vitali's sculptures were then put on exhibit at an architectural museum on the grounds of the former Donskoy Monastery. After the Second World War there were plans to rebuild the structure in front of the Belarussian Railway Station.[3]

The current arch was built to Bove's original designs in 1966-68 in the middle of Kutuzov Avenue, close to the Victory Park. An open space surrounding the arch is known as the Victory Square.

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