Monument to Yermak - the conqueror of Siberia: history, interesting facts


A rather fascinating story is connected with the monument to the conqueror of Siberia, the Cossack ataman Yermak, erected in the city of Novocherkassk. This monument of the Russian national hero belongs to the objects of national cultural heritage. Much to the surprise, this old sculptural work has been preserved intact and has long been a hallmark of the Don Cossack Territory, Siberia and all of Russia.


Monument to Yermak: Novocherkassk

The photo posted in the article gives an idea of ​​the courageous appearance of this great man. It all began in 1870 with a solemn event, which was celebrated in the city of Novocherkassk - the 300th anniversary of the Don Cossack troops. Through the Chief of Staff Major General Leonov all Cossacks appealed to the sovereign's heir, Crown Prince Alexander - August Ataman Cossack troops, who came to the celebration, to help put in the capital of the Don Cossacks a monument to their heroic fellow countryman Ermak Timofeevich (Kachalin native village on the Don).

A subscription to a fundraiser for the monument was announced, which dragged on for many years. This prevented the war, in which Russia now and then was drawn. After more than a quarter of a century, an amount of 100, 000 rubles was collected. Major donations were granted Cossacks of the Urals and Siberia. The rest, which amounted to 40, 000 rubles, was borrowed from its treasury by the Cossack Military Government.


When the money was collected, the question arose of what image the glorious ataman Yermak should appear on at the monument to the main square of Novocherkassk. On this occasion, in 1889, a whole commission was created, which consisted of patron of the arts V. Wagner, head of the mining and salt part of the Don Army, city engineer B. Krasnov, publisher of the Donskoy Vestnik newspaper A. Karasev, etc. time among the most famous sculptors competition was announced for the best monument, and after it was reviewed several projects.

The first to develop a monument to Ermak was offered to the sculptor M. M. Antokolsky (the creator of the monument to Peter I in Taganrog in 1903), but in 1891 he did not receive approval. The project of the St. Petersburg sculptor M. O. Mikeshin (who created the famous monument “The Millennium of Russia” in Novgorod in 1862) was not accepted, but he, taking all the comments into account, suggested another version of the monument, and in 1896 it was approved, but the sculptor is dead.


Monument to Yermak in Novocherkassk: description

Now the commission was looking for someone who, according to the project of Mikeshina, would undertake the creation of a monument. We spent several years and found the rector of the Russian Higher Art School of the Academy of Fine Arts, V. A. Beklemishev. Thus, the work began.

On the birthday of Emperor Nicholas II on May 6, 1903, ceremonial laying took place on the square. The granite pedestal was ordered by the Italian master S. Tonitto. At first a foundation pit was dug, then a foundation was constructed, the foundation was concreted, and 8 steel chains of 4.2 meters each were made at the Novocherkassk plant. In St. Petersburg, according to the plaster model of V. A. Beklemishev, the firm “Moran” poured a statue weighing 5 tons from bronze. The total height of the monument was 14 meters 92 cm, weight - 1 600 tons.



The following year, again on the birthday of Emperor Nicholas II - May 6, 1904, was opened. At noon, the bells rang, the square was filled with Cossack troops, pupils of gymnasiums, cadets, junkers and townspeople. From the Ascension Cathedral passed the procession with the holy shrines.

Ataman of the Cossack troops K. K. Maksimovich dropped the veil from the monument and, finally, all those present saw the powerful and majestic statue of Ermak, who had a battle flag in one hand and a crown symbolizing Siberia he conquered in the other. Archbishop Donskoy and Novocherkassk Athanasius consecrated the monument. Then there was a parade, distribution of cards and brochures describing the acts, which the brave ataman Yermak, who died in the waves of the Irtysh River on August 5, 1584, became famous for.

Bronze witness

Since then, the monument to Yermak has become a silent witness to many historical events that took place on the main square of Novocherkassk near the Ascension Cathedral, including the visits of kings, presidents, patriarchs, national leaders, etc.

In the very first year of construction, the Cossacks left this area for the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Then a year later rallies were held in support of democratic freedoms (the royal Manifesto of October 17, 1905). Then - the First Russian Revolution (1905-1907) and its sacrifices among the Don Cossacks, who were reprimanded in the square. Further, the First World War and mass mobilization, the February Revolution and rallies of representatives of the Provisional Government, the oath of the army general A. Kaledin, his election as chieftain and the October revolution of 1917. To these events, one can add a permanent transition of Novocherkassk to either “white” or “red”, until the general of the Great Don Army P.N. Krasnov took power into his hands.


Preservation of the local shrine

However, there were attempts to throw off the monument to Yermak-Bourzhuy. In 1918 they wanted to make it a car, in 1938 they wanted to make it a tractor, but for technical reasons they could not make it. And in 1942, during the occupation of Novocherkassk, for the same purpose, three tractors with winches drove to the monument, but local residents and Cossacks came out, who called the commandant and explained that Yermak was not a red Cossack and not a Bolshevik, but a local shrine and the hero of Don . Then the German officer gave the order to remove the tractor, and this once again saved the monument to Yermak from destruction. All indifferent residents of Novocherkassk and the Cossacks in the most difficult times tried not to forget their heroes.

In 2001, all the necessary restoration work was carried out. On May 6, 2004, the city solemnly celebrated the 100th anniversary of the monument. Today more than a hundred years have passed, but the monument to Yermak stands and will rise until the city exists, and it is inscribed in its history forever.

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