Triumphal Arch on Kutuzovsky

Construction start 1829 / opening date: 1834

Original name: Triumphal Arch

The Triumphal Arch or the Triumphal Gates in Moscow is a cultural heritage site located on Kutuzovsky Prospekt. The monument was erected in honor of the victory of the Russian people over Napoleon in 1812. The attraction belongs to the most famous triumphal gates and arches in the world.

Story

The Arc de Triomphe was built in the middle of 1814 and was originally wooden. The construction at the Tverskaya Zastava turned out to be short-lived, so in 1826 the question arose about the construction of a stone arch. The project was developed by the architect O.I. Bove, known for the reconstruction of Moscow after the fire in 1812.

The ceremonial laying of the arch took place in August 1829. A bronze plaque was installed in the monument with an inscription about the exaltation of the Russian people in their struggle against the French.

Construction lasted for five years and was completed in 1834. And two years later, during the reconstruction of the square near the Belorussky railway station, the Moscow Triumphal Gates were dismantled, the decoration was transferred to the Museum of Architecture. Thirty years later, it was decided to restore the building.

The new address of the Triumphal Arch in Moscow is Kutuzovsky Prospect. The restorers were tasked with recreating the original appearance of the arch. They have created over 150 models – exact copies of all decorative elements.

Fragments of the only remaining column were used to cast 12 cast-iron columns of 12 meters. According to the plan for the reconstruction of Kutuzovsky Avenue, the arch was inaugurated on November 6, 1968. Today the arch is located on Victory Square not far from the Park Pobedy metro station. Poklonnaya Gora is also nearby.

Description

The Triumphal Arch on Kutuzovsky Prospect in Moscow is a single-span arch with two arched pylons. There are twelve columns around them. The front side of the building faces the entrance to Moscow.

There are niches between the columns – in them, on high pedestals, cast figures of warriors dressed in ancient Russian armor were placed. Along the perimeter of the cornice are the coats of arms of the country’s administrative regions, whose inhabitants took part in the fight against the conquerors.

There were also medallions with the initials of Nicholas I. Above – sitting statues of the goddesses of Victory with scepters and wreaths in their hands. War trophies are collected at their feet.

The arch is crowned with six horses and a chariot with the winged goddess of Victory. In her right hand is a laurel wreath in honor of the winners. On the main facade there is a cast-iron plate with a text about the victories of the Russian people.

Sculptures

The two main sculptures of the Arc de Triomphe are “Expulsion of the French” and “Liberated Moscow”. The first depicts hand-to-hand combat, against the background of which the Kremlin jagged wall is visible. Russian soldiers uncontrollably approach the enemy, who flees under their onslaught, throwing down their weapons.

The warrior in the foreground holds a round shield with the emblem of Russia. In his right hand is a sword, raised over the defeated enemy. The high relief embodies all the power of the Russian people, who rose up against the conqueror. The figure of a slain enemy with a bare chest is very expressively executed.

Due to the spatial depth of the structure, the movement seems especially impressive. The figures in the foreground and background vary in size, while the nearest ones are almost independent sculptures.

Another high relief – “Liberated Moscow” looks more relaxed. A reclining woman is leaning on a shield with the image of the ancient Moscow coat of arms. It shows Saint George the Victorious slaying the dragon. She personifies Moscow. The figure is dressed in a sarafan and a robe, with a small crown on its head. The right hand reaches out to Emperor Alexander I. Around are images of Minerva, Hercules with a club on the right shoulder of a woman, an old man and a youth. All of them are located against the background of the battlements of the Moscow Kremlin.

Restoration

In February 2012, the restoration of the Arc de Triomphe was carried out in Moscow, timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Russia’s victory in the Patriotic War of 1812. Before the start of work, the mayor said that the monument was in disrepair. During the repair work, the main part of the faded cladding was replaced, the sculptural groups and stone walls were cleaned, as well as restoration work on metal elements. At the same time, it was necessary to remove the chariot, crowning the gate, and the sculpture of the goddess Nike. They were subsequently reinstalled.

The grand opening of the Arc de Triomphe after restoration took place in September 2012. In the near future, there will be a construction at the gates of an observation deck.

Interesting Facts

  • The Moscow Metropolitan refused to consecrate the monument due to the fact that there are sculptural images of mythological gods installed on it.
  • The Triumphal Arch is the main symbol of the Filevsky bus and trolleybus park.
  • White stone for facing the walls of the arch was mined near the village of Tatarovo near Moscow.
  • Not far from the arch there is an artificial ice rink – the most popular place among children and young people in Moscow.