Yuri Dolgoruki Statue

Yuri Dolgoruki statue, public art, Moscow 

Public Art : Yuri Dolgoruki statue

Sculptor : © Sergei Orlov (1911-1971), A. Antropov, N. Shtamm, and architect V. Andreev.

Date Unveiled : The Yuri Dolgoruki statue was unveiled in 1954.

Location : The Yuri Dolgoruki statue is located at Tverskaya Square opposite the City Hall in Moscow.

Description : Bronze statue of Yuri on his stead, dressed in full battle armor with his right arm outstretched.

Who Was Yuri Dolgoruki? : Prince Yuri I Dolgorukiy (c. 1099 – 15th May 1157) is considered the founder of Moscow. Yuri was the sixth son of Vladimir Monomakh. In 1108 (which would make him 9 years old?) he was sent by his father to govern the Rostov-Suzdal province in Kievan Rus (medieval state of Rus). By 1121 he was bickering with the boyars of Rostov and decided to move the capital of his lands to Suzdal. There he built many fortresses and established several towns. In 1156 Yuri fortified the settlement of Moscow with a moat and wooden walls thus becoming known as the founder of Moscow. Yuri's great desire was to capture Kiev and he succeeded in 1149 only to be driven out again by his nephew Iziaslav. However in 1155 Yuri seized Kiev once more. Two years later he was dead.

History of the Yuri Dolgoruky Momument : Prior to the October Revolution a monument dedicated to Mihail Skobelev, a war hero, stood in the square but it was destroyed after the revolution. In its place a obelisk of Constitution and Statue of Liberty was erected but this too was eventually destroyed in 1941.However during the 800th anniversary of Moscow celebrations in 1947 a stone was laid in the square pledging to erect a momument to the Moscow founder Yuri Dolgoruky.

Interesting Tidbits : When the statue was unveiled it was said people cried out that it didn't resemble the Prince, which is rather ironic considering there are no records of what  Yuri Dolgoruki actually looked like.

In October, 1993 over 5,000 pro Boris Yeltsin supporters rallied in front of the statue after he called tanks to shell Russia's Parliament building.

In 2006, during New Years celebrations, the Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov requested Yuri be dressed up in a Ded Moroz costume (Grandfather Frost or Russian version of Santa Claus).

Dolgoruki means 'long arm' and refers to Yuri's ability to stretch his powerful sword arm over an increasingly wide region.


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