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Monuments and Historical Sites of St. Petersburg – Narva Gate

The copper-plated Narva Gate, a diminutive triumphal arch crowned by a statue of Victory astride her six-horde chariot, was erected to commemorate the Napoleonic Wars in the center of Ploschad Stachek, previously known as Narvskaya Ploschad and scene of the first of the many fatal clashes on “Bloody Sunday”. The wooden structure was constructed on the Narva highway with the purpose of greeting the soldiers who were returning from abroad after their victory over Napoleon. The architect of the original Narva Arch was Giacomo Quarenghi. The program was meant to respond to the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Paris, originally erected to celebrate Napoleon's victory over the Allies at Austerlitz, but the material used was a weather-resistant plaster that was never intended to be permanent. 

Between 1827 and 1834 Vasily Stasov redesigned and rebuilt the gate in stone. A sculptor Vasily Demut-Malinovsky was responsible for the arch's sculptural decor. The single bay triumphal arch's composition is similar to the ancient Roman triumphal arches, which were normally built on a square near an entry to the city. During WWII the arch suffered serious damage, but was carefully restored to its present condition in 1951. At the beginning of 21st century the gate was capitally restored and according to experts is in a fine condition as of August 2009.

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