A national monument usually serves as a landmark to commemorate a special event or in honor of a specific person during the course of a town’s or country’s history.
The monuments are erected for public interest, often as a reminder of a historical event and also to serve as a reference for students as well as tourists wanting to learn more about a particular place’s colorful past.
National monuments can be of varying sizes, with some towering over cities and others just standing a couple of feet high.
Smallest National Monument
In St. Petersburg, Russia, there is a monument that can be found in the city which could well be considered as the smallest national monument in the world. The monument of Chizhik Pyzhik is a statue of a bird known as siskin.
This smallest national monument stands at only eleven centimeters tall and weighs approximately five kilograms.
The Statue of Chizhik Pyzhik was installed on a ledge along the riverbanks of the Moika River, close to the First Engineer Bridge and the Summer Garden. The local government of St. Petersburg installed this bronze statuette in the year 1994.
The location of the statue was picked-out because it is close to where the former Imperial Legal Academy used to stand. The school was established by Prince Pyotr Oldenburgsky in the year 1835.
Why the Siskin Bird?
Story goes that back in the days when the Imperial Legal Academy was still in operation, its students donned uniforms of green and yellow which somewhat resemble the colors of the Eurasian Siskin.
Apparently, the students loved to go out and visit a local pub where they would go drinking. This clandestine “affair” of the students with the local pub along the Fontanka Quay later on inspired a local folk song which referred to the students as Chizhik-Pyzhik and referenced their habit of drinking along the Fontanka.
The students in their yellow and green uniforms, the Eurasian siskin and the pub along Fontanka later on became the inspiration for the smallest national monument, Chizhik Pyzhik.
There is a superstitious belief surrounding this particular smallest national monument. It is said that whoever can toss a coin and have it land on the statuette without falling off will have his or her wishes come true.
It is also believed that if you toss a coin and it lands on this smallest national monument without falling off, you will be in for a bit of good luck.