Horse Training Bridge

On the Anichikov Bridge also name horse training bridge across the Fontanka River in the center of St. Petersburg, the sculpture group of horse and jockey statue is one of the most attractive and recognizable monuments in St. Petersburg.

Introduction of Baron Peter Clodt von Jurgensburg

Their sculptor, Baron Peter Clodt von Jurgensburg (1805-1867), was a former artillery officer of Baltic German descent. He had a special affinity for animals, especially horses, which made him the favorite of Emperor Nicholas I.

In the 1830s, he prepared two statues for the dock in front of the Academy of Fine Arts – “The Boy with a Horse” and “The House Boy”.

Horse Training Bridge

However, this site was selected as the storage site of the ancient Egyptian sphinx which was brought to St. Petersburg in 1834. Klot proposed to install his statue at the west end of the Anichkov Bridge.

These sculptures considered to be very exquisite and soon presented as gifts to King Friedrich William IV of Prussia. And the second pair cast into bronze to King Ferdinand II of Sicily (they can still seen in front of the Royal Palace of Naples).

Until 1851, only plaster replicas remained in St. Petersburg. At that time, the bronze sculptures of two original statues and two other statues with the same theme installed on the four corners of the bridge.

Horse Training Bridge

All four statues are based on the same Arabian stallion and are called Amalatbek.

These statues were removed from the base twice. Once in 1941, in order to protect them from damage during the siege of Leningrad, once every 200 years, so as to carry out the repair work before the 300-year celebration of St. Petersburg.

The origin of the name horse training bridge

Anichikov Bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in St. Petersburg. It was built in 1715 under the order of Peter the Great. Its name comes from Colonel Anichikov, who supervised the project.

Anichikov Bridge is famous for four groups of bronze sculptures of horse trainers, which were created between 1839 and 1850.

Horse Training Bridge
Horse Training Bridge
Horse Training Bridge

Interestingly, these sculptures were conceived, designed and cast in bronze by the master himself. Previously, the statue of the trainer was only decorated on the west side of the bridge. While on the other side of the bridge was a plaster sculpture. Because the bronze sculpture was brought to Berlin by Czar Nicholas I and sent to the king of Prussia.

The sculptor copied the statue of the trainer in bronze. But their fate was to leave Russia and St. Petersburg to decorate the gate of the Naples Square. This bronze “suite” is one of the iconic images of the city.