The heaviest column in the world required 1,700 men to be raised

The Alexander Column, also known as the Alexandrian Column, is still standing. The monument is forty-seven and a half meters high, the tallest of its kind in the world, and is crowned by a statue of an angel carrying a cross, made by the Russian sculptor Borís Orlovski, and its physiognomy bears a remarkable resemblance to that of Emperor Alexander I.

A column of solid Finnish red granite that was erected in Saint Petersburg to commemorate the Russian victory over the Napoleonic army. The column is made from a unique piece of red granite about twenty-five and a half meters long and approximately three and a half meters in diameter.

The French architect Auguste de Montferrand used 2,400 men (1,700 dedicated to the actual lifting) for less than two hours.

Without the aid of modern cranes or engineering machines, the column was erected in less than two hours by three thousand men under the guidance of William Handyside, and is so perfectly placed that it does not need any accessories at the base.

As Vaclav Smil explains in his book Energy and Civilization, this massive piece of granite was quarried from Finland and transported on a purpose-built barge.

These monumental works of engineering defy all intuition, as also happens with the pyramids of Egypt, and for this reason, sometimes, there are those who hold magufa theories about their construction (aliens, magic, etc.). Actually, the Alexander Column, beyond its spectacular nature, is further proof of how small our brain is to understand things that are too big or complex.

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