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Saint Petersburg

Saint Isaac's Cathedral

St. Isaac's Cathedral is an outstanding example of late classicism in which some new trends are already noticeable (Neo-Renaissance, Byzantine style, eclecticism), as well as a unique architectural structure and a high-level centrepiece for the city center.

The history of St. Isaac's Cathedral starts in the times of Peter I. Peter was born on May 30, which is the day of St. Isaac of Dalmatia, a Byzantine monk who was canonized. It was decided to build he temple in honor of the saint near the Admiralty. It was decided to establish the new church by converting the former drawing house of the Admiralty.  A small wooden building covered with wooden boards, with ten mica windows, appeared to the south from the wharf in the summer of 1707. It is here that on February 19, 1712 Peter I married Catherine.

The Cathedral is 101.5 meters high, while it is approximately 100 meters long and wide. The outer diameter of the dome is 25.8 m.  The building is decorated with 112 solid granite columns of various sizes. The walls are lined with light gray marble from Ruskeala. The columns were put in place with the use of wooden scaffolding designed by the engineer Agustín de Betancourt. The frieze of one of the porticoes features a sculpture portraying Montferrand, the architect of the cathedral.

The line in the northern frieze of the portico, «The king shall rejoice in Thy strength, O Lord,» can be regarded as a conceptual expression of the entire structure.

The statues located on the corners and at the tops of the gables depict Twelve Holy Apostles (sculptor Vitali).

The official tourist portal of St. Petersburg /

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Phone number: +7 (812) 315-43-61
Address: 4 St. Isaac's Square, Saint Petersburg

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