Alexander Nevsky

Alexander Nevsky (1220 – 1263) - Prince of Novgorod and Kiev and Grand Prince of Vladimir. Born in Pereslavl-Zalessky, in Yaroslavl  Region.
 

Alexander Nevsky is best known for stopping the advance of the Swedes and the Teutonic Knights into Russia. Alexander scored a significant victory against Swedes  at the confluence of the Rivers Izhora and Neva (1240), whereby he got his honorific, Nevsky. However, several months later he was expelled from Novgorod for interfering in city affairs. Not long afterward, Pope Gregory IX began urging the Teutonic Knights to Christianize the Baltic region, even though there were Christians already there. In the face of this threat, Alexander was invited to return to Novgorod and, after several confrontations, he defeated the knights in a famous battle on the frozen channel between Lakes Chud and Pskov in April, 1242. Alexander eventually stopped the eastward expansion of both the Swedes and Germans.

 

He was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1547. On May 21, 1725, the empress Catherine I introduced the Order of Alexander Nevsky as one of the highest military decorations. During the Great Patriotic War (July 29, 1942) the Soviet Order of Alexander Nevsky was introduced to revive the memory of Alexander's struggle with the Germans.

Sergei Eisenstein made one of his most acclaimed films, Alexander Nevsky, on Alexander's victory over the Teutonic Knights. Music for the film was written by Sergei Prokofiev, who also reworked the score into a concert cantata. Alexander's phrase from the movie, Whoever will come to us with a sword, from a sword will perish, (a paraphrasing of the biblical phrase He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword) has become a slogan of Russian patriots. A nuclear ballistic missile Borei class submarine currently being built for the Russian Navy bears his name.

 

The Church of Alexander Nevskiy were built in the historical part of Pereslavl in the 1740s, The monument in honor of the famous townsman was placed on the Red Square in the middle of the 20th century (by S. Orlov).