As part of her plan for the modernization of Russia, Catherine the Great envisioned the construction of several great cities to serve as centers of industry and progress. During a state visit by the Austrian emperor Joseph II, the two rulers laid the foundation stones for one of these cities; Catherine laid the first stone and Joseph the second. Despite Catherine's enthusiasm, however, Joseph remained skeptical: "I have finished in a single day a most important business with the empress of Russia," Joseph later remarked. "She has laid the first stone of a city and I have laid the last."
[Sure enough, the city, like most of the others, was never built.]