Minin and Pozharsky
Well, this is maybe another way to introduce Nizhny Novgorod, the place currently where I am to pursuing my final year of my medical degree to all of you. For your acknowledgement, Nizhny Novgorod is currently the fourth largest city in Russia.
I think Red Square in Moscow is the most inevitable tourist spot for every one of you when travelling to Russia, especially Kremlin and St.Basil’s Cathedral. And now what I need is ask you to pay extra attention to the monument that is situated before the entrance of the St.Basil’s Cathedral. Can you notice it? Good!
What I going to tell you is about the story of them, Minin and Pozharsky…
And why it is related to Nizhny Novgorod!
17th Century, Moscow was invaded by the Polish, Kuzma Minin, the merchant from Nizhny Novgorod together with Prince Dimitry Pozharsky became the national hero for his role in defending the country against the Polish invasion.
A native of Balakhna, Minin was a prosperous butcher (meat trader) in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. When the popular patriotic movement to organize volunteer corps in his native city was formed, the city merchants chose Minin, a trusted and respected member of the guild, to oversee the handling of the public funds donated by them to raise and equip the Second Volunteer Army (Второе народное ополчение).
The army led by Prince Dmitry Pozharsky was credited for clearing the Moscow Kremlin from Polish-Lithuanian forces on November 1, 1612. Minin distinguished himself as a skilled commander and was made a nobleman and member of the Boyar Duma under the newly elected Tsar Michael Romanov. He died in 1616 and was interred in the Archangel Cathedral of Nizhny Novgorod. A central square of that city is named after him and Prince Pozharsky.
Originally, the statue stood in the centre of the square, with Pozharsky waving his hand towards Moscow Kremlin. The Communist authorities, for whom the monument was obstructing military parades, discussed plans for its demolition or moving it to some indoor museum. In 1936, the statue was moved closer to the cathedral where it remains up to the present.
On the first celebration of the Day of People’s Unity (November 4, 2005) a near exact copy of this monument by Zurab Tsereteli was erected in Nizhny Novgorod. The copy is only 5 cm shorter than the Moscow original.
And there will be another celebration of Day of People’s Unity this Wednesday (4.11.09), you know why I like this celebration? Because it’s public for all of us! hehe…..