Sphinx on the University Embankment
On the University Embankment, facing the Russian Academy of Fine Arts, two sphinx watch over the area since 1834. They both come from Thebes, capital city of Ancient Egypt. At the image of Pharaoh Amenophis III, they used to be the guardians of his temple 3500 years ago.
Bought by France, they were meant to decorate the embankment of the Seine in Paris. The ”July Revolution” of 1830 allowed Russia to buy it from France. They were then sent from Alexandria to Saint Petersburg. They arrived in the Imperial capital in 1832 but spent two years in the courtyard of the Academy of Fine Arts before they found their current location.