Catherine the Great was loved by the people of Russia, and her reign is often referred to as the golden age of Russia. Alexander II wanted to honor the empress and had the Monument to Catherine the Great built. The sculpting began in 1862 and wasn't completed until 1873. The statue shows Catherine the Great wearing an ermine coat. She carries a laurel wreath in her left hand and a specter in her right hand. Around her neck she wears the order of St. Andrew.
There are nine other statues towards the base of the monument, and they represent the sphere of influence of the Empress, including Prince Griogory Potemkin and Field Marshall Alexander Suvorov. The only other female statue aside from Catherine is Princess Catherine Dashkov who was the founder of the Russian Academy of Science. The statue of Catherine the Great was replaced by a statue of Lenin after the 1917 Revolution, but it was put back again after the end of the Soviet regime.