The Bashkir’s Monument in Wijhe

In 1810, Napoleon annexed the Netherlands to his French Empire. Within just a few weeks during November-December 1813, the Russian general Alexander Count von Benckendorff (1781-1844) managed to break French rule with a daring campaign. His horsemen of the Russian 1st Bashkir Regiment – fearless archers – were among the first to advance to Amsterdam and The Hague.

This monument marks the location where in November 1813 the Bashkirs set up their bivouac. On Fortmond they built a ship-bridge across the River IJssel. For one month, this bivouac was their base of operations. Afterwards it was a transit-center, until early 1814 the ship-bridge became unusable.

Commissioned by Tsar Alexander I, Benckendorff has made an essential contribution to the formation of our current monarchy. This statue is an artistic impression of him by Alexander Taratynov. The spatial structure around the statue refers to an army tent of the Bashkirs’ bivouac.