The Bronze Horseman is a monument to Peter the Great situated in the Decembrists Square (formerly the Senate Square) in Saint Petersburg.
Its creator was French sculptor Étienne Maurice Falconet invited to Petersburg by empress Catherine the Great. The statue came to be known as the Bronze Horseman because of a poem of the same name written by Aleksandr Pushkin.
For the statue's pedestal, an enormous granite rock weighing 1600 tonnes and known as the Thunder Stone was delivered from the Gulf of Finland.
On August 7, 1782 th ecompleted statue of Peter the Great sitting heroically on his rearing horse was unveiled in a ceremony. The emperor wears a laurel wreath on his head as a symbol of his glory and victories. His outstretched arm pointing towards the Neva River, the Academy of Sciences and the Peter and Paul Fortress symbolizes main trends in his ruling: trade, education and military power.
During the 900-days Siege of Leningrad (Leningrad being the city's name from 1924–1991), the Bronze Horseman was covered with sandbags and a wooden shelter to be protected from bombings.