The massive St. Isaac's Cathedral dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg. Its gilded dome soars over 100 meters into the air, making it visible far out onto the Gulf of Finland.
The Cathedral was commissioned by Alexander I in 1818, ook more than three decades to complete and Its architect August Monferrand incorporated dozens of kinds of stone and marble into this enormous structure while lading its vast interior with frescoes, mosaics, bas-reliefs and the largest stained glass window in the Orthodox Christian world.
This is one of the largest domed building in the world!!
100kg of gold leaf was supposedly used to cover the 21.8m-high dome.
Also, this was the last neo-classical structure to be build in St Petersburg.
Its lavish interior, covering 4000 sq m with 600 sq m of mosaics and 16 tons of malachite, 14 types of marble, is not to be missed.
You can also climb the 43-m (262 steps) high colonnade for a skyline view of the city. You will need a seperate ticket for this though.
While not a "typical" style Russian Orthodox Church, St. Isacc's is quite beautiful and should be seen if only for its impressive enormity. The scale of this building will blow you away.
I especially liked the optical illusion in the main dome, in which a painted dove (representing the Holy Spirit) seemed to float above you so realistically.
As I already mentioned one can climb the Dome of the Cathedral and enjoy from up there a mangnificent skyline of the city....
The spiral staircase that leads up is a smaller version of the one in St. Peter and Paul in Vatican, in the end one has to take a metal shaky bridge/staircase, which you can see on the pic, but all the efforts will be highly renumerated.... believe me! :))
The church was built by the Auguste Montferrand, a French architect. The construction took 40 years (1818-1858). The interior was made of granite and offers a place for 14 thousand people. Now it is a museum and worships are held only on major occasions.
The golden cupola of St. Isaac's can be seen from almost every place in St. Petersburg. If you do not shy to climb up the 300 stairs you will be fascinated by a breathtaking view over the city.
The dome of this cathedral dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg. You can climb up the 300 stairs to the observation point at the dome and get a breathtaking view of the fascinating St Petersburg. But when we where there we decided not to climb up because the weather was not that good to have such a view of Pieter.
The church itself is a real marvel. Built by the French-born architect Auguste Montferrand to be the main church of the Russian Empire, the cathedral was under construction for 40 years (1818-1858), and was decorated in the most elaborate way. When you enter the cathedral you pass through one of the porticos - note that the columns are made of single pieces of red granite and weight 80 tons (about 177,770 pounds) each. Inside the church many of the icons are the most exquisite mosaics. The iconostasis (the icon wall that separates the altar from the rest of the church) is decorated with 8 malachite and 2 lapis lazuli columns. The cathedral, which can accommodate 14 thousand worshipers, now serves as a museum and services are held only on major occasions.
Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.. Closed on Wednesdays.
St.Isaac's Cathedral was built between 1818 and 1858 to A. Montferrand's design and named in honour of St. Isaac of Dalmatia, on whose day (30 May) Peter I was born. The cathedral has columns of Karelian granite and pediments with statues of the Apostles and the Evangelists. It is 101.5 metres high, and there is a marvellous view over St. Petersburg from the colonnades.
A closer look at the equestrian statue of Nicholas I. Erected in 1859, the Tsar and his horse stand on a base that is decorated with scenes from his reign as well images of Justice, Strength, Faith and Wisdom. The qualities are embodied with the faces of his wife and daughters.
The southern view from the dome is over St. Isaac's Square (Isaakievskaya ploschad). From left to right: the Astoria Hotel (dark grey) and St. Petersburg's City Hall (green roof) housed in the Mariinsky Palace.
In the centre of the photo, in front of the City Hall and overlooking the green space of the square, stands a statue of Nicholas I.
There are several benches in the square ~ it makes a lovely spot to admire the surroundings. Mom wasn't up for the stairclimb, but I caught her attention and waved from the dome.
This is the northern view from the St. Isaac's dome: the spire in the foreground is of the Admiralty, home to the Naval Engineering School. The second spire, in the distance, is that of Peter & Paul's Cathedral.
Off to the right of the photo is the Hermitage (the green and white building is the Winter Palace).
One of the big draws of St . Isaac's is the view over central St. Petersburg from the dome. If you enlarge the photo, you can see a few people on the last leg of the staircase (250-odd steps).
Buying a ticket for the colonnade was the first (and one of the only) frustrations I encountered on this trip. The day we visited, no one wanted to take my money. :-)
The bottom line is. . .tickets to both the museum/cathedral and colonnade are purchased inside St. Isaac's. The exterior kassas are for Russians only. . .if the staff inside tell you differently, they are simply being lazy and hoping that they won't have to go to all the trouble of giving you change and a stub. Stick it out through any confusion ~ it is worth it.
The interior of the church is decorated with blue (lapis lazuli) and green (malachite) columns, stained glass, coloured marble and a collection of religious paintings and statues.
The interior also holds an interesting scaled, cut-away model of the church and the system of winches that were used to raise the columns into place (each one weighs 114 tonnes).
St. Isaac's Cathedral took almost forty years to construct and decorate (1818 - 1858) and is located on the site of a previous church of the same name. It is one of the largest cathedrals in the world (4,000 square metres inside) and its construction on the soft marshland of St. Petersburg posed enormous problems for its architect, leading to the delay in its completion.
During the Soviet period, the cathedral hosted a Museum of Atheism. Even today, it is more museum than church. Cameras are permitted at a cost.
It's definitely worth a visit. . .both for the interior and for the views over the city (a separate ticket is required to climb the steps to the dome)
an unknown (in 1818) architect,called richard de montferrand,won a competition organised by alexander I to build the cathedral.it was so long (to 1858!)that the succesor nicholas Ist wanted a more grandiose church than the original one....
reopened in 1990,after a 62 years closing.
for non russian,very expensive entry!
The dome of this cathedral very much dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg. You can climb up the stairs to the observation point at the dome and get a breathtaking view of the St Petersburg.(There were no elevators in this era, so put on your walking shoes, you will have to climb 300 stairs).
The church was built by a French-born architect Auguste Montferrand to be the main church of the Russian Empire and was under construction for 40 years (1818-1858). The decoration is very elaborate with 80 ton columns made of single pieces of red granite. Many of the icons are the most exquisite mosaics. The cathedral, which can accommodate 14 thousand worshipers, is now a museum and services are held only on major occasions.