The emperor Peter, also known as Peter the Great, founded St Petersburg, Russia, in what was just a swamp on the Baltic Sea coast. His political goal was to move Russia away from its backward feudalism and open it more to European trade and culture.

This is his statue, at Petropavlovskaja Krepost (St.Peter and Paul Fortress).
The artist behind the statue is Michail Chemiakin, not visible.

For some long-lost reason, everyone has their photo taken sitting in his lap.

Like our friend Dasha, who was born and raised in the city.
Note how the bronze knees are shiny (Peter’s, that is).

July 2004.