Temples in Sankt Petersburg | Travel guide

This post is number four in the series Complete Guide to St. Petersburg:

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Since we do not like visiting museums, as you probably guessed, it is the same with churches. However, we could not miss them in St. Petersburg, because they are important monuments in this city. What’s more, the architecture of those buildings is very interesting. We must admit that they really make a huge impression. They are powerful, and most of them covered in gold. Some of them are painted in pastel colours, others are in a natural shade of stone, but all have one thing in common – domes. Whether they are golden, colourful, turquoise or black, they are an inseparable element of architecture.

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Savior on the Spilled Blood Church

The church was built nearby the Griboedov Canal in the place where Tsar Alexander II was wounded as a result of the assassination. Hence, it bears the popular name “On Blood”. Built in a traditional Russian style, the cathedral is 81 m high and covers an area of ​​1642 square meters. Rich decorations both from the outside and inside make the building very impressive. Visible from a distance, the domes are gold-plated and enamelled, the remaining external elements are made largely of ceramics, mosaics, marble or granite. The interior is almost completely covered with a mosaic decoration designed by Wiktor Wasniecow, Mikhail Niestierow and Mikhail Vorubel. The mosaics depict scenes from the New Testament and images of saints. Ticket price: 250 RUB.

St. Isaac’s Cathedral

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is the largest Orthodox temple in St. Petersburg and the second largest in Russia (right after the Council of Christ the Savior in Moscow), built during the rules of Tsar Alexander I. The Cathedral was built in 40 years (1818-1858), and because the location was very wet, it was a big investment. At the behest of the tsar, the temple was not built from scratch, but the three dedicated altars and the walls of the older but unsuccessful temple by Antonio Rinaldi had to be preserved. Thanks to the use of many innovative solutions, the Saint Isaac’s Cathedral is the third largest dome temple in Europe – after the Basilica of St. Peter’s at the Vatican and St. Paul in London. After the October Revolution, the building was abandoned and then transformed into a museum of atheism. Later, after the fall of communism, the museum was closed and the faithful were allowed to participate in religious practices. Ticket price: 250 RUB to the Catheral, 150 RUB to the colonnade.

The Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God

The Orthodox cathedral, located at the Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg, was dedicated to the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. The monumental building is kept in a neoclassical style, and a colonnade of 90 Corinthian columns makes a great impression. The Church has an important place in Russian history because it played a very significant role during the Patriotic War in 1812. After the invasion of the Napoleonic army against Russia, the commander-in-chief of the defensive forces – Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov – turned to the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God for help, and the newly built temple was devoted to her care. After the victorious end of the defensive war, it began to be seen as a monument dedicated to the victory of Russia over Napoleon. Mikhail Kutuzov was buried here after his death in 1813 – his tomb is in the crypt under the north chapel. In 1815, keys from 17 cities and 8 European fortresses were deposited in the church sacristy. The further stories of the Council are very violent. Over the years, it was devastated, taken over by the movement of Live Church, and then closed. In the Church’s building, the Museum of History of Religion and Atheism was opened, which in 1990 was renamed the Museum of the History of Religion. In the years 1950-1956, interior renovation works were carried out, and in the years 1963-1968 – facades were renewed. From May 25, 1991, the celebration of sacred liturgies began. In 2000, the temple received the status of the cathedral of St. Petersburg and Nicosia eparchy. Entrance is free of charge.

St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral

The author of the church’s designs is one of the most recognized architects in eighteenth-century Russia – Sawev Chievsky. The cathedral stands out from other buildings in the area mainly due to five domes. The church was particularly associated with the Russian Navy. The square in front of the temple was the place of military parades.
The church destroyed during the war was rebuilt shortly after its end. Throughout the period the temple remained active. Entrance is free of charge.

Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God

The church was established on the site of an older wooden church under the same name, built in 1747. In 1756, from the initiative of the parishioners of the church, Empress Elżbieta Romanowa agreed to collect funds for the construction of a new brick church.
Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God is a cross-domed, two-story temple topped with five domes located on round drums. Facades of the building are decorated with rows of Corinthian columns. The whole represents the baroque style passing into the Classicist. Particular reverence is given to the faithful copies of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, an icon of the Image of Chris and the icon of Saint. Serafina from Sarowa with a relic particle. Entrance is free of charge.


The mosque in St. Petersburg was for many years the only mosque in the city. It is one of the largest in Europe. It is very fascinating in our opinion that the mosque at the time of building was the largest European mosque (except Turkey), it was also the northernmost mosque in the world. It can gather as many as 5,000 people. Measures 45 m in length and 32 m in width. The mosque dome has a height of 39 m, the upper parts of the minarets and the portal are decorated with turquoise ceramics that look really beautiful. Entrance is free of charge.

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