In the western corner of the Admiralty square, and near the iron bridge, is located the well-known colossal equestrian statue of Peter the Great, mentioned a few pages back. The subject is admirably treated, and the idea of representing the emperor riding up a rock, on both sides of which and in front steep precipices threaten destruction, is as poetical a thought as ever sculptor entertained.
The huge block of granite which forms the pedestal, and weighs fifteen hundred tons, was brought from Lacta, a Finnish village four miles from St. Petersburg, and may have been torn by the deluge from the Swedish mountains. It was originally forty-five feet long, thirty feet high, and twenty-five feet in width ; but the chisel was set to work, and, in cutting it, the mass broke in two pieces. These were subsequently patched together, and it now looks as unnatural as the imitative rocks seen on the stage. Some work may have been necessary to obtain a footing for the horse and give an inclination to the stone. This, however, must have been done without due precaution, for one third was taken away. It is now only fourteen feet high, twenty feet broad, and thirty-five feet long; the statue is eleven feet in height, and the horse seventeen. On the two long sides are chiselled the following inscriptions in Russian and Latin: u Petramu Pervomu, Ickathrina Vtovaya" —" Petro Pri mo, Gatherina Secunda.— MDCCLXXXII."
see more - St. Petersburg - Imperial Palaces, etc.
Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855