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Bill Adams | all galleries >> Treasures of the Russian Czars -- Moscow to St. Petersburg > Closeup of Samson in Peterhof.jpg
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Closeup of Samson in Peterhof.jpg
10-AUG-2005

Closeup of Samson in Peterhof.jpg

Peterhof, Russia

Samson defeats the lion, memorializing symbolically the victory of Russia over Sweden. Peter started the war with Sweden with no apparent provocation. But when it was over twenty-one years later, Russia had built a naval fleet and had captured and held territory lost to Sweden in 1613, giving it a desperately needed Baltic port. All that was needed was a port city to go with it. After an early victory at the mouth of the Neva River in 1703, Peter began building one of the great cities of Europe to go with it, St. Petersburg, named after his favorite patron saint.


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Bill Adams02-Jan-2010 07:49
"Guest" is right. It is Samson, not Atlas. I just knew it was some really muscular guy. But Atlas was busy holding up the world. Meanwhile in the Book of Judges in the Bible the story is told that Samson "rent open" the attacking lion's mouth. The original gilt bronze statue was sculpted and cast by Mikhail Kozlowski in 1800-1802. The original was looted by the marauding German Army during the siege of Leningrad, but a copy was created to replace it in 1947
Guest 02-Jan-2010 00:17
It is Samson not Atlas.