Fast Facts

  • Location: St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Attraction Type: Cathedral
  • Significance: One of the largest churches in Russia.
  • Best time to Visit: Summer
  • Visiting Hours: Check with the local guide.
  • How to Reach: St.Petersburg is well connected by road, rail and air service to Moscow and other parts of the Russian Federation.
  • Nearest Airport: Pulkovo International Airport

Built by Tsar Alexander 1 and dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, the patron saint of Peter the Great, St. Isaac’s Cathedral is easily the most imposing structure in St. Petersburg if not the whole of Russia. Over 40 years, designs were made by celebrated architect Auguste de Montferrand and the construction was engineered by William Handyside, to give final shape to this Rinaldiesque cathedral. Indeed the designs were so influential in the 18th century that the Capitol building in Washington and the Cathedral in Helsinki had supposedly been copycats.

Coming from outside, you would be forgiven for expecting it to be any other cathedral. Made out of gray and pink stone, it is imposing but is nothing out of this world. However, once you enter, it is quite a different story. Starting from doors made out of bronze and covered in reliefs, the huge dome with the sculpted dove and huge Corinthian columns made of marble to the expansive iconostasis containing many precious stones and mosaics, nothing will cease to amaze you.

Things to Do:
The cathedral was made into a museum under Soviet rule. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the authorities made it into a church again. The artifacts from the museum are still there for the public to see. The following are the sights inside the cathedral that you cannot afford to miss:

  • The Relics of Saint Andrew and the Cross and the Life-Giving Tree.
  • Our Lady of Korsun icon
  • Our Lady of Tikhvin icon
  • Image of the Savior from the days of Peter the Great.
  • The stained glass windows

There are 103 wall paintings and 52 pictures on canvas. Made by celebrated artists like N.M. Alekseev and 21 others, the paintings are there for us to appreciate. Hence take your time and enjoy the artistry.

Other Activities:
One of the most striking features that you find inside the cathedral is the exquisite stonework. From the columns to the busts, extensive use of malachite, granite, lazurite, marble and other precious stones quarried from places as far as Afghanistan was made. It makes you stop and appreciate the craftsmanship of the people who worked on them.

St. Petersburg is one of the biggest cities in the Russian Federation. Hence finding accommodation is not a problem. Searching online is a good way to start. Some of the hotels are given below:

  • Grand Hotel Europe,
    Nevsky Prospekt, Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa 1/7,
    St. Petersburg, Russia.
    Phone: +7 812 329 6000
  • Nashotel
    11 ya Liniya, Vasilevsky, Ostrov
    St.Petersburg” 199178
    Phone.: +7 (812) 323-22-31

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