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Picture from Saint Petersburg, Russia: Saint Isaac's Cathedral and Museum in Saint Petersburg

Saint Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia
Saint Isaac's Cathedral (Museum) in Saint Petersburg, Russia.                                                                    © Jenny Smit


Saint Isaac's Cathedral
is a Russian Orthodox cathedral in Saint Petersburg. It was ordered by Tsar Alexander I, to replace a church that was first commissioned in 1707 by Peter the Great. It was built in 1818-1858 by the French architect Auguste Montferrand. It is a late neoclassical building. 
 

The Cathedral was consecrated to St. Isaac of Dalmatia, the patron of Peter the Great who was born on the feast day of the saint. The Cathedral has the form of a cross, crowned with a magnificent central dome that is gilded with over 100 kg of gold. The structure is mainly built from granite and marble.

The weighty mass of the Cathedral (300,000 tons) and its gilded dome dominate the skyline of
St. PetersburgIt was the city's main church and the largest cathedral in Russia in the 19th Century. Today Saint Isaac's Cathedral is still the fourth tallest cathedral in the world. It can hold 14.000 people at the same time.

 

In 1919, the Soviets emptied the building of all valuables. Later, the cathedral was converted into a museum. Today the Cathedral is still a museum. However, with the fall of communism, worship activity has resumed in a chapel of the cathedral.

 

The equestrian Monument to Nicholas I stands on Saint Isaac's Square in front of the cathedral. Unveiled in July 1859, the statue was the first equestrian statue in the world with merely two support points (the rear hoofs of the horse).


 

Links

The State Museum and Monument Saint Isaac's Cathedral
this is the official web site of the state museum - currently, it is available in russian only.
St. Isaac's Cathedral
history of st. isaac's cathedral.

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Pictures from Saint Petersburg, Russia: Saint Isaac's Cathedral and Museum in Saint Petersburg, Images from Russia and travel guide to Russia.