Vitberg, Aleksandr Lavrent’evich
Born Jan. 15 (26), 1787, in St. Petersburg; died there Jan. 12 (24), 1855. Russian architect. Studied painting at the St. Petersburg Academy of Art (1802-09) and studied architecture on his own.
Vitberg designed the plan of a grandiose and monumental ensemble (a cathedral, sloping approaches to the Moskva River, and an esplanade) to commemorate the victory in the Patriotic War of 1812 (the competition for this project was held in 1815). He conceived the ensemble in the ponderous forms of the late Empire style, with symbolic elements. The foundation was laid in 1817 on Vorob’ev Hills (now Lenin Hills) in Moscow, but the monument was never constructed. From 1839 to 1864 the pseudo-Gothic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Viata, where Vitberg lived in exile from 1835 to 1839 and where he became close to A. I. Herzen, was constructed on the basis of his plan.
REFERENCESHerzen, A. I. Byloe i dumy. [Leningrad] 1949. Chapter 14.
Snegirev, V. L. Arkhitektor A. L. Vitberg. Moscow-Leningrad, 1939.