State Historical and Cultural Reserve «The Field of the Great Poltava Battle»
Ukr Rus Eng
1709 2009

Russian warriors Bed of Honor

Under Peter I order, died Russian warriors were buried on 28 June, 1709. After the dirge, a cross was erected with Peter I own hand. There was an inscription on the cross: «Devout warriors, who were crowned by blood for their holiness in 1709, June 27». Long time passed before some changes were made.

The first attempt to immortalize the grave was made during 100 anniversary of the Battle — the monument-mausoleum project was created by V. Stasov, but it wasn’t realized. In 1828 the wooden cross was renovated. The grave hill sank here and there, and it was shaped again in 1856. On its top there was placed a platform and a new wooden cross with iron sheets and clinches. The barrow was furred with turf; there was made a stairway up to the platform; the platform itself was surrounded by wooden grate. In spite of renovation works, at the end of XIX century the cross and the grates were already rotted because of works low quality.

K. Pobedonostsev — the attorney general of Holy Synod — visited the church and the grave on 25 August, 1890. He inspected conditions of both monuments and decided to replace the old wooden cross with granite one. In 1894, according to the project of N. Nikonov, the monument was made in St. Petersburg workshop of A. Barinov, transferred to Poltava and erected upon the grave.

Because of low quality works, the barrow started to sink rather quickly. That is why it was totally reconstructed before the bicentenary of the Battle. Its granite parts were disassembled. Inside the barrow was built stone crypt, which became such a basement of the barrow. After these works the granite parts were moved back. There was created a church of St. Peter and Paul in the stone crypt; the marble tables with list of the Battle regiments, flags and other historical relics were placed there.

Today the barrow on the grave has a shape of 21 ft. high cone with cut top. At Western wall there is a memorial plate with inscription: «Erected in 1894, at time of Alexander III the Devout Sir Emperor, under the order of Saint Ruling Synod, sanctificated by Right Reverend Hilarion the Bishop of Poltava and Pereyaslavl, in dependency of Secure Counselor Joseph Stepanovich Sudienko, who passed money capital for immortalization of the great event of the rescue Poltava victory. Created in St. Petersburg by craftsman A. Barinov, under the project and supervision of architect N. Nikonov». At left and right sides of the wall there are two granite stairs, which meet each other on the middle platform. Further the stairs leads to the upper platform of the barrow. There is a parallelepiped on a three-stairs stylobate — this parallelepiped is a base of a truncated four-sided pyramid. At the Eastern side of the pyramid there is an inscription: «Devout warriors, who were crowned by blood for their holiness in 1709, June 27». Under these words there is one more inscription: «And as for Peter, his can give his life for life of Russia». At the Western side of the pyramid there are such words: «Brigadier Felengame, colonels Nechayev and Lov, lieutenant colonel Kozlov, majors Kropotov, Erst and Geld, 45 chief officers, 1293 corporals and soldiers buried there; 1345 men in common.» On the top of the pyramid there is an eight-ends orthodox cross of 24,61 ft high. The monument was renewed before the celebrations of 300 years after the Battle.

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