When standing in Saint Isaac’s Square (Isaakievskaya Ploshchad), your attention is fixed on the namesake cathedral. Then you notice this Monument to Nicholas I. The equestrian statue was designed by Auguste de Montferrand, sculpted by Robert Salemann and unveiled in 1859. There are four allegorical statues on the marble pedestal. Around the red Finnish granite base are reliefs of key events of his regime. Nicholas I was Emperor of All Russia from 1825 until 1855. His reign was characterized by a rigid adherence to the Russian Orthodox religion, absolute control of politics and extreme nationalism. Yet when he died, he left behind a weak military, economy and government.