Famous fellow countrymen frozen in bronze and granite are not only a historical landmark of the city. The monuments of Voronezh reflect the current spiritual life of the capital of the Chernozem region. Their presence ennobles the surrounding space, creates a special atmosphere around it. Sculptural compositions with literary and musical figures are a center of attraction for the citizens as well as for guests, who are looking for something to see in Voronezh for the short time their visit lasts.
Read about Voronezh’s military monuments in our another article.
1. White Bim with the Black Ear
White Bim with the Black Ear is a monument to dog’s loyalty, like Hachiko in Japan – standing on the square in front of the puppet theater since 1998. A pedigree setter made of metal is waiting for its owner, sitting on paving stones, without any pedestal. A huge clock next to the dog counts down the minutes, going on into eternity. You can approach the dog and stroke him, scratch behind his bronze ear – he still has his eyes on the horizon, hoping for his owner to return. The author of the famous novel – the writer Gavriil Troyepolsky – was born and buried in Voronezh. Voronezh masters I. Dikunov and E. Pak created a touching monument to the dog at their own expense. Bim is “registered” at the following address: 50, Revolution Avenue – on the square near the puppet theater “Shut”.
2. Monument to Pushkin
Every self-respecting cultural center of Russia has a monument to Pushkin. In Voronezh, it appeared on the 200th anniversary of the poet’s birth – in June 1999, thanks to the efforts of sculptors I. Dikunov and E. Pak. The spot for the bronze Pushkin was chosen successfully – “the path to him will not overgrow”. People flock to the Opera and Ballet Theater for performances, make appointments on the square and just rest on the benches under the light of lanterns made in the style of the Pushkin era. The poet’s statue is located in a rotunda, the shining silhouette stands out against the background of the white wall. One of the coziest places in Voronezh is located at Lenin Square, 7.
3. Monument to Nikitin
The monument to the poet I.S. Nikitin in Voronezh is the only monument in Russia dedicated to the mournful singer and spokesman of the folk spirit. The poet did not live long, but managed to become a center of literary life in his native city. The bronze figure of the poet with a stack of books at his feet decorated Voronezh Theater Square in 1911. The monument was created with donations from ordinary people: the largest contribution was only 20 kopecks. The bronze sculpture survived the occupation years by a miracle, when the fascists exported all the monuments of the city for remelting. Today, the poet’s sadly thoughtful silhouette adorns the square named after him, next to the “Proletariy” cinema.
4. Nikitin’s Busts in Voronezh
A whole section of Voronezh’s cultural life in the 19th century is connected with the name of I.S. Nikitin – he sang poems about the nature of his native region, opened the first bookstore and library in the provincial town. Today A.I. Nikitin’s museum works in the house 19A on Nikitinskaya Ulitsa – on the site of the inn, which was kept by the poet to feed his family. The chamber atmosphere of the museum was supplemented in 1964 by a grey granite bust of the poet, made by Voronezh masters A.S. Meshcheriakov and B. S. Shamardin.
Another bust of I.S. Nikitin was installed in 2009 near the Literary Museum at 3, Plekhanovskaya Street. The white-marble monument is in harmony with the provincial baroque style, in which the elegant building of the former Bourgeoisie Board is built.
5. Monument to Koltsov in Koltsovsky Square
The marble bust of the poet A. Koltsov is one of the oldest monuments of the city, it is more than 150 years old. In summer it looks especially picturesque: surrounded by flowerbeds and a lush foliage, the snow white silhouette rises on a black marble pedestal. The poet on the obelisk resembles an ancient hero, the pedestal is decorated with a hexagram, wreaths and floral rosettes. The author of the monument is a famous 19th century St. Petersburg master A. Triscorni. Koltsovsky square with the poet’s bust is a favorite place of rest for the residents of Voronezh and its guests.
6. The Granite Giant of Voronezh
The poet Alexei Koltsov – “an artist of Russian folk music” – is a significant person in the cultural image of Voronezh. In 1976, an impressive monument to the poet appeared in the city, madeby the Soviet sculptor P. I. Bondarenko. The Granite Giant in a KGB overcoat thoughtfully looks at the city from a height of 10 meters. The multi-colored monument in the severe style of socialist realism hardly fits into the urban space. The sculpture repeatedly “moved” from place to place. Today the monument to Koltsov is located on Koltsovskaya Ulitsa, at the intersection of Koltsovskaya Ulitsa and Plekhanovskaya Ulitsa The fine lyricist of Pushkin’s school became the representative of tastes of the past Soviet era.
7. Monument to Esenin in Voronezh
The monument to Sergei Esenin fit into the city landscape in 2007, thanks to the efforts of actor S. Bezrukov, who performer the role of the poet in the series with the same name. He chose a site for the construction of a modest monument and donated money to erect the pedestal. The bronze sculpture of the poet loved by the city’s inhabitants was made by the People’s Artist of Russia A. Bichukov. It stands at the beginning of the shady square, at the intersection of Kardashova Ulitsa and Ulitsa Karla Marksa. It serves as a meeting place for lovers, as well as admirers of the poet’s work.
8. Monument to Bunin
I.A. Bunin was born and spent the first 3 years of his life in Voronezh, and always fondly remembered the places of his childhood. By the 125th anniversary of the Nobel laureate, a monument to the famous fellow countryman appeared in Voronezh. It was a gift to the city, made by the commercial bank “Voronezh”. In 1995, a finished sculpture of the writer was purchased from the Moscow master A. Burganov. It was installed in the center of the city, in a beautiful square, which began to bear the name of Bunin. The exact address of the monument is the intersection of Plekhanovskaya and Ordzhonikidze streets. The author of the bronze composition explains its symbolism in the following way: a fallen tree and a dog at the feet of I. Bunin symbolize its proximity to nature, his impeccably straight silhouette is a sign of aristocracy. The sad face of the writer conveys the tragedy of his farewell to his homeland.
9. Monument to Platonov
In the very center of Voronezh on Prospekt Revolyutsii – where the “Red Corps” of the VSU is located – there is a monument to A.P. Platonov, an original writer, a genius of the twentieth century. On an inclined pedestal, a bronze Platonov steps into eternity, with the oncoming wind waving the bottom of his coat. Onthe black stone behind his back, cast in gold, are the words: “… And without me, the people are incomplete.” The authors of this expressive monument are the Voronezh sculptors I. Dikunov and E. Pak. The writer’s fellow citizens collected the means for the creation of the monument from all over the world. The monument to Platonov is truly a national treasure, it fits into the city landscape and corresponds to the restless spirit of Voronezh and its inhabitants.
10. Monument to Mandelshtam
In the Orlyonok children’s park there is a monument to the poet of the Silver Age, O. Mandelshtam, which is not really a child’s monument seen the tragedy it remembers. Behind the fence of the park, at 13 Ulitsa Fridrikha Engel’sa, there is a house where the disgraced poet lived in exile from 1934 to 1937. Mandelshtam’s bronze silhouette is a symbol of despair, as if he was choking in the suffocating atmosphere of a foreign city. The words “Let me go, give me back, Voronezh…” are torn from the depths of his soul. But the Voronezh exile was not the most terrible period in the life of the poet – a year after its completion, he died in the extermination camps of Vladivostok. The monument in honor of the master of Russian language appeared in Voronezh in 2008, on the 70th anniversary of his death.
11. Monument to Marshak
In 2015, a monument to S. Marshak appeared in Voronezh – the first and so far the only one in the world. It was erected on the square in front of the house at 72, Ulitsa Karla Marksa. The writer lived here a hundred years ago. The bronze composition of a bulky figure of an adult and a trembling winged girl is made by the Voronezh sculptor M. Dikunov – this is how he saw the monument in his sleep. The poet looks closely at his child muse, which is captured by the contemplation of a bird in the hand of Marshak. Hundreds of people took part in the fundraising for the creation of a touching monument for a friend of their childhood.
12. Monument to Pyatnitsky
In the center of the city, right on Prospekt Revolyutsii, there is a monument to a native of Voronezh – M.E. Pyatnitsky, the founder of the world-famous Russian folk choir. The symbolic composition is made with great taste. The bronze bust of the choirmaster rests on a low pedestal of red Karelian marble, you can see the face of the artist in detail. It is full of peace and creativity. The semicircular marble rotunda behind the bust represents the scene on which the folk instruments – balalaika and harmonica – are left. Behind the stage there is a birch grove, an element of folklore from which the Russian folklorist drew his inspiration. The monument appeared in the city in 1988, to celebrate the 125th anniversary of M.E. Pyatnitsky, and immediately became a landmark to be visited by tourists.
13. Monument to Vysotsky
Vladimir Semenovich is loved in Voronezh. Where Vysotsky’s monument is located, his songs are always performed by local singers. And on the poet’s birthday – in the midst of winter – the singer’s naked torso is dressed in a red sweater, carefully handmade by Voronezh girls. The sculpture was created in 2009. M. Dikunov is the son of the famous creative couple I. Dikunov and E. Pak in Voronezh. The concept of the monument was not immediately accepted in the city. Many people were disturbed by the athletic composition, which was not how Vysotsky’s physique was in real life. But his sports songs prove otherwise – the poet was in an excellent physical shape. So the neighborhood of his monument with the Institute of Physical Education (Ulitsa Karla Marksa, 59) is quite justified in the end. By the way, Ulitsa Karla Marksa turned into a kind of boulevard of literary monuments of Voronezh. The silhouette of I.S. Nikitin opens the boulevard, followed by S.Y. Marshak, and the athletic figure of V.S. Vysotsky completes the pedestrian zone.
14. Monument to Mikhail Gorshenev
Mikhail Gorshenev, aka Potty, aka King and Jester, aka Punk for ever more – was a rock musician from St. Petersburg. He had ties with Voronezh because of his local fans. They obtained a permit from the city authorities to erect a monument to the idol who passed away untimely in 2014. Sculptor A. Terekhin created an interesting composition called “Music of the Fairy Tales”. Cracked by lightning, a guitar is mounted on a pedestal, the cracks on it making up the abbreviation “KiSh”. The instrument is supported by a book depicting a singer with a characteristic mane on his head; and on its pages you can find words of his song: “I am alive as long as I believe in miracles”. From the very beginning, the monument to Gorshenev in Voronezh was not very lucky: the neck of the guitar kept on falling off, and in the summer of 2018 the entire composition disappeared from the pedestal. Fans hope that it is going to be restored, and that on the day of the singer’s commemoration (July 19) the “Music of Fairy Tales” will take its rightful place in the Victory Park, in the Northern district of the city.
15. Monument to Durov
Anatoly Durov is a world-famous satirist and animal trainer. He settled in Voronezh in 1907 as a mature artist. The estate he bought in the city was called “Durovskaya Capital”. In the circus arena, he boldly ridiculed the vices of those in power, successfully using the performances of trained animals. The memory of the circus artist was immortalized in Voronezh by the representatives of the national communities of the city: Greeks, Georgians, Armenians and Germans. With their funds, a sculpture of this brilliant comedian was installed in the Voronezh Circus, embodying optimism and remembering his inexhaustible life force. The building of the circus is located at 121, Ulitsa 20-Letiya Oktyabrya.