Swedish Lion statue
The Swedish Lion statue is one of the most famous sights of Narva. It is also one of the unofficial symbols of the city. The lion stands on a pedestal and looks around the surroundings, as if guarding the approach to Herman’s castle.
History of the Swedish Lion statue
The statue of the Swedish lion was erected in Narva in 1936. The sculpture was made in Sweden and was an exact copy of the monument standing in front of the Royal Palace in Stockholm. It was erected to commemorate the victory of the Swedish army in 1700 as a result of which Peter the Great’s army was forced to retreat from the city.
The statue was originally erected on the field in the western part of Narva, where the decisive battle took place. The author of the monument was the famous Swedish architect Ragnar Östberg , who also designed the Stockholm City Hall. Swedish Prince Gustav Adolf took part in the opening ceremony of the monument.
During the fierce battles of World War II for Narva, the monument was destroyed under artillery fire. The Germans justified a bunker under the monument, thereby making it a convenient target. After the end of the war, the sculpture was not restored.
The opening of the renovated monument took place on November 18, 2000. The author of the new sculpture is the architect Vladimir Orlov. The bronze sculpture of a lion is set on a granite pedestal, and the total height of the monument is seven meters. The pedestal is carved with the Roman numerals MDCC, meaning the year 1700, as well as the inscription “Suecia memor”, which means “Sweden remembers”. There is a flower bed in front of the monument.
What does the monument symbolize?
Today, the Swedish Lion stands in a park located not far from the Narva Castle. The monument was restored on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the memorable battle and today it has acquired a different meaning. According to the current interpretation, the lion symbolizes friendship and openness to cooperation between modern Estonia and Sweden.