7 of the most BEAUTIFUL churches in St. Petersburg (PHOTOS)

In the city with the most European architecture in Russia, you won't find cute little wooden churches as we are used to seeing all over Russia. Each local church is a true architectural masterpiece, completely unique and unlike any other.

1. St. Isaac's Cathedral

The largest church in St. Petersburg and one of the largest Orthodox churches in the country. Before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, it was a cathedral and a real spiritual center of the country. The construction, designed by architect Auguste de Montferrand, lasted for 40 years and the result was a church of incredible beauty in the style of classicism.

2. The Kazan Cathedral

The colonnade of this early 19th-century cathedral can be seen from Nevsky Prospekt, the city's main street. This is the church's calling card and it cannot be confused with any other church in Russia. The idea of building such a temple belonged to Paul I. He wanted it to be similar to the majestic St. Peter's Cathedral in the Vatican. It’s dedicated to the icon of Our Lady of Kazan.

3. The Church of the Savior on the Blood

This church was built on the site of the fatal wounding of Emperor Alexander II. In 1881, terrorists threw a bomb under the feet of the monarch. Inside the church, part of the sidewalk and the fence of the canal, where the event took place, have been preserved. The church is unique both in the decoration of the façade and the interior, where every single wall is lined with mosaic images.

4. St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral

This is the first naval cathedral of the Russian Empire, whose parishioners were military sailors. The church was built in the mid-18th century and it is the brightest example of Elizabethan Baroque, completely different from the church architecture of Russia, which was seen before it. 

5. Peter & Paul Cathedral

The cathedral was built in the early 18th century in the Peter and Paul Fortress and it is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Since 1725, Russian emperors have been buried in this temple. The spire of the Peter & Paul Cathedral stretches higher than all other buildings in the historical part of St. Petersburg. Strict geometric forms of the church speak of Peter the Great’s style of architecture.

6. Trinity Cathedral

The huge blue dome with golden stars can be seen from different parts of the city. The temple was built with the money of Nicholas I and it was he who preferred to paint the dome in this way. The construction was completed in 1835 and the Empire style of this church reveals the strongest European influence.

7. Smolny Cathedral

Empress Elizabeth ordered her favorite architect and Baroque specialist, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, to build a convent and an institute for noble maidens on this site. The Grand Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg were also built by him, so the tender blue Smolny Cathedral is very similar to these luxurious residences. However, the construction was delayed for almost a whole century, because of wars and the death of the customer. The church was finished already during the reign of Nicholas I.

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