Thousands of people attended the inauguration in 1782. Most remarkable is the pedestal: a single piece of red granite, the Thunder Stone. It took thousand men 18 months to transport the original 1,500 tons weight from the place where the stone was found to its destination. The pedestal looks like a cliff, with Peter the Great on top of it, facing the Neva River, his horse trampling a snake, representing his enemies. The statue became known as The Bronze Horseman by a narrative poem with that title by Aleksandr Pushkin. The key theme of the poem, widely considered to be one of the most significant works of Russian literarture, is the conflict between the state (Tsar and empire) and the individual citizen.
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