Monument to Peter the Great (Monument de Pierre le Grand)

The monument is situated in the historical center of Liege, not far from its main square, the Place Saint-Lambert, opposite the Palace of Prince-Bishops (Palais des Princes-Evêques) where the Russian Tsar was received in June 1717. The sculpture site is suitably located   in a small round square close to a busy street where the park and staircase of Saint Peter (parc et degrés de Saint Pierre) were previously located. The monument is only few steps away from the Holy Cross Church (Collégiale Sainte-Croix). The church keeps a portion of the cross which, as a legend says, was used to crucify Apostle Peter.

Peter I’s first visit to Belgium (then known as the Austrian Netherlands) was in April 1717 when he traveled from Holland to France. On his way back from Paris after an official visit to Liege where Peter was grandly received by the local authorities (as he was an ally of the Austrian Emperor Charles VI), the Tsar spent a month in Spa (from June 26, 1717). The “cure” Peter received in Spa had cured him, and he expressed his gratitude to the resort for the treatment by giving the town a marble plaque with a long text in the Latin language.  It was in Spa that Peter became keen on healing waters, paving the way to the development of resort business in Russia.

The monument to Peter the Great in Liege was opened on June 21, 2017 in dedication of the 300th anniversary of the arrival of Peter the Great in the Prince-Bishopric of Liege to visit the cities of Liege, Maastricht and Spa.

The bronze life-size sculpture of the Tsar (the monument is 2.15 meters tall) stands on a low square pedestal inscribed in French: “Pierre le Grand – 1682-1725 – à Liege en 1717”. Peter the Great has a key in his left hand symbolizing cognition. His right hand is raised to his chest expressing gratitude to the residents for the warm welcome and his right shoulder bears the sculptor’s signature.

The author of the monument is Honored Artist of Russia, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Arts Alexander Taratynov (born on June 13, 1956). The creation of the monument was financed by Russian companies Lukoil and Gazprom on the initiative of Grand Liege non-commercial organization in Liege and Advisor to Burgomaster of Liege for Health and Youth Policy, Chairman of the Peter the Great Foundation Valery Dvoinikov.

The inauguration was attended by the Ambassador of Russia to Belgium Alexander Tokovinin, Governor of the Province of Liege Hervé Jamar, Grand Duke George M. Romanov, Honorary Governor of the Province of Liege and government member Michel Foret, Vice-President of the Government of the Province of Liege, deputy Katty Firquet, representative of Burgomaster of Liege Willy Demeyer, and many Russian and Belgian journalists.

After the opening ceremony, the municipality of Spa invited the guests to a reception at the pavilion of Spring of Peter the Great (Pouhon Pierre le Grand) in Spa which has Peter’s bust given as a gift by Russian aristocrat, Prince Anatoly Demidov. The reception was followed by a gala dinner with several speeches and toasts to expanding contacts between “Peter’s” cities in Belgium and Russia.



Monument to Peter the Great (Monument de Pierre le Grand)


11, rue Saint Pierre, 4000 Liege, Belgium
11, rue Saint Pierre, 4000 Liège, Belgique