Shemyakin’s sphinxes Saint Petersburg

Image by Ekaterina Kalinina

Shemyakin’s sphinxes – Postmodern sculpture

This spot is special for the city. Sphinxes being the part of Egyptian culture are not rare in Saint Petersburg in spite of the distance between us and the country of their origin. These sphinxes were not brought here, they were made by local artist Mikhail Shemyakin to pay tribute to the victims of political repressions.

I believe that Shemyakin’s sphinxes are social monuments and contain impressive symbolism. One part of their faces looks like a skull. It is turned to Kresty, a notoriously famous prison, which is located on the other side of the Neva river. The human part of the face is turned to the rather luxury district of the city. Standing here is like being between death and life.

Shemyakin’s sphinxes are not an entertaining point. Even still, these creatures look weird and beautiful and the same time. Depending on your point of view you can see more human part of face or the more dead side. I think it is the most mind bending monument in the city.

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Details about this spot



Voskresenskaya naberezhnaya , 14, Saint Petersburg

Opening Times

24 hours daily


Winter in Antwerp
Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)