The monumental composition is installed on the shore of lake Chudskoye - right on the border with NATO - where the Battle on Ice was fought in 1242, in which the Prince defeated the Livonian Order army.
On September 11, President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill took part in the ceremony of opening the monument called “Alexander Nevsky with his warriors”, as part of the nationwide celebrations devoted to the 800th anniversary of the Prince Alexander Nevsky - who in 2008 was voted the most popular Russian leader of all times, ahead of Stalin and anyone else.
The monumental composition is installed on the shore of lake Chudskoye, in the village of Samolva, Gdovsk region - right on the border with NATO - where the Battle on Ice was fought in 1242, in which the Prince defeated the Livonian Order army.
Photo: Global Orthodox
50 tons in weight, and 20 meters (65 feet) in length, the monument is cast in bronze. It was brought to the site in parts, and assembled right on the shore of the lake. The composition is made up of three mounted statues – the Prince himself, his brother, and the voivoda (the military commander). There are also six additional warriors, directly above them – a bannerol and two banners featuring faces of the saints. The reverse side of the monument is a mosaic picture showing scenes from the battle.
The mosaic showing in the background. / Kremlin.ru
The monument was built in only four months’ time by the Russian Military History Society, with support from the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense.
Excerpt from Putin's speech at the unveiling ceremony:
[Alexander Nevsky] lived during the most challenging times in Russia’s history when disappearance and loss of our statehood were close to becoming a tragic reality. Almost all principalities in Ancient Rus endured the devastating Horde invasion, while neighbours from the West were striving to conquer Novgorod and Pskov. Alexander Nevsky and his soldiers stood up mightily and impregnably to fight for what was the last frontier of the Fatherland.
They dealt a devastating blow to the Swedes on the Neva River, drove the invaders out of Koporye and achieved victory at Lake Chudskoye. It was a decisive victory, which stopped the offensive in its tracks and showed everyone, both in the West and in the East, that Rus was standing strong and there were people in the Russian land who were willing and ready to fight for it while showing no mercy for their own lives.
His exploits are reflected in Mikhail Lomonosov’s words engraved on Alexander Nevsky’s tomb: “… to the one who tamed barbarism in the East and brought down envy in the West.”
The event, its location and the presidential speech seem to signal to the West that Russia will fight if attacked, and meant to rally Russian patriotism at a time when it might be very necessary.
After the ceremony unveiling the memorial complex Prince Alexander Nevsky and his Retinue Vladimir Putin briefly talked to representatives of the Russian Student Brigades and the Volunteers of Culture movement. / Kremlin.ru
Nikolay Ovsienko, the Deputy Head of the Society, told the press that the idea was to show the Prince and his warriors coming back from the battle. It was then that Alexander Nevsky is believed to have pronounced the famous phrase, “Those who come to us with a sword shall die of a sword.”
The ceremony unveiling the memorial complex Prince Alexander Nevsky and his Retinue. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia conducts consecration of the historical and cultural memorial. / Kremlin.ru
Also, it's interesting to notice that on September 19, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia officiated the Great Consecration of the restored St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Volgograd, followed by the Divine Liturgy in the newly consecrated temple. At the end of the service, Patriarch Kirill addressed the Bishops, the clergy, the Governor of the Volgograd Oblast, and the laypeople who attended.
Photo: Sergey Vlasov / foto.patriarchia.ru
The new Cathedral is built in the center of Volgograd, right on the site where an older Alexander Nevsky cathedral was standing before it was torn down in 1931. The new temple is a very accurate replica of it’s predecessor. “It is not accidental that our ancestors here turned to Alexander Nevsky, the defender of the Russian land,” Patriarch Kirill remarked. “Here in Volgograd, at Mamaev Kurgan, there is a secular memorial – with a most grandiose statue ‘Motherland Calls’ holding up a sword. It is a national location to remember those who were killed in the war. Let this cathedral become a place of Orthodox prayer for the dead, a place of remembrance, just like the Mamaev Kurgan,” the Patriarch said. “Let this temple be filled with people, and let there always be prayer to God for the great defenders of the city on the Volga, and for the great defenders of our country who died in great numbers on these banks.”
Photo: Sergey Vlasov / foto.patriarchia.ru
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