Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly statue

  Esplanāde Park     more than a year ago
The man with the poshest and most foreign-sounding of possible names was actually a German-speaking descendant of a Scottish family that settled in the Baltic region of what was then the Russian Empire. Although he was born in present-day Lithuania he was raised farther north in parts of Latvia and Estonia, which were then known as Livonia. He distinguished himself as an officer in the Russian army and fought in battles all over Europe, most famously as the Commander-in-Chief of the largest Russian army tasked with defending the homeland from Napoleon. He was eventually sacked, but then distinguished himself again at the Battle of Borodino and later commanded the forces that occupied Paris in 1814. He was made a field marshal and finally, a prince in 1815. Barclay de Tolly (1757 - 1818) was honoured with a statue in the Esplanade Park (just opposite the Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija) in 1913, but the original bronze monument was lost at sea when the city was plundered two years later. A new bronze statue was erected on the original granite pedestal in 2001.


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