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  Thursday, November 21, 2019
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A monument to Catherine the Great will soon appear in Zerbst
A monument to Catherine the Great will soon appear in Zerbst, her native town in the German heartland. St. Petersburg welders are making the bronze statue now, says Annegret Mainzer, president of the Catherine II international history society. Established in Zerbst, 1992, it currently brings together 130 researchers and cultural activists of Western Europe, Japan, the USA, Ukraine and Russia, report German-based media outlets. Catherine II the Great (1729-1796), nee Sophia Augusta Frederica the Princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, left her parental land as a girl of fifteen to stay in Russia to her dying day. She gave her hand in dynastic marriage to Grand Duke Peter, heir apparent to the Russian crown. He ascended the Imperial throne early in 1762 as Peter III. His ill-starred reign lasted only half a year, and was an unbroken sequence of bungles and noxious follies. In July the same year, his consort (whom he was threatening a disgraceful divorce) led a palatial coup that overthrew Peter. Catherine's long and memorable reign set in. Of prodigious intelligence and ambitions, and comprehensive erudition, Catherine of the frivolous habits was true child of the Enlightenment. During her reign, Russia made spectacular territorial acquisitions and scored brilliant diplomatic victories-largely her own. Her adoptive land to this day remembers that reign, 34 years long, as its Golden Age. World War II left Catherine's parental palace in Zerbst, East Germany, in ruins. Only the mews miraculously survived now to host a museum. It has on display a wealth of archive documents, and an impressive collection of the renowned Empress' portraits, painted and sculptured.
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