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View to St Isaac's Cathedral from Palace embankment St Isaac's Cathedral, one of the most prominent landmarks in the silhouette of St Petersburg, towers at the crossing of St Isaac's Square and Decembrist's (formerly Senate) Square on the left bank of the Neva. Its gilded dome, covered with 100 kg of pure gold, soars over 100 meters into the air, making it visible far out onto the Gulf of Finland. St Isaac's is the fourth largest domed cathedral in the world after St Peter's in Rome, St Paul's in London and Sta Maria del Fiore in Florence. St Isaac's, amazing by its dimensions even today, is 101.5 m high, 111.3 m long (with porticoes) and 97.6 wide. The inner diameter of the dome is 21.8 m and the outer one 25.8 m. The pediments rest on 112 monolithic granite columns - each of portico's columns is 17 m high and weighs 114 tons. The cathedral can accommodate about 14,000 people.It was designed by the outstanding architect of the first half of the nineteenth century Auguste Ricard de Montferrand.
St Isaac's Cathedral dome In accordance with Greek canons assimilated by Orthodox architects, St Isaac's Cathedral is cross-shaped in plan.Its compact rectangular block is crowned with a gilded dome surmounted by an octagonal lantern resting on a high drum. The four belfries make a transition from it to the basic volume more gradual. The central dome and the small tops ofthe belfries form the traditional five-domed design characteristic of Russian architecture.

The porticoes of the Corinthian order projecting on the facades lend an air of grandeur and majesty to the entire edifice.Large arched windows with massive surrounds pierce the quiet planes of the walls; the corners of the building are adornedwith pilasters. The exterior of St Isaac's has an easily traceable imprint of Renaissance and Baroque models, especially asregards the abundance of decor.
St Isaac's Cathedral in winter The weighty mass of St.Isaac's Cathedral dominates the skyline of St.Petersburg. Its gilded dome, covered with 100 kg of pure gold, soars over 100 meters into the air, making it visible far out onto the Gulf of Finland. It is now the third biggest Cathedral in the world.

St.Isaac was the patron saint of the Romanov family. The present version of St.Isaac's, the fourth, was constructed from 1818 to 1858. The original St.Isaac's, a small wooden church, was located near the Admiralty. Peter I and Catherine I were married here in 1712. Soon afterwards it was agreed that the decrepit structure did not suit the emerging grandeur of the capital and in 1717 a stone of St.Isaac's was built on the spot now occupied by the Bronze Horseman. Then in the 1760s Catherine II decided she wanted a huge marble St.Isaac's, and construction began on the third version in 1768. This dragged on until it was hastily completed in 1802, but the result was different from the original plan and was neither pretty nor well built. When rotten ceiling plaster fell from high on an Easter service in 1816, Alexander I decided to get the St.Isaac's business finished once and for all.
St Isaac's Cathedral in autumn By the time the cathedral was completed in 1858, its cost had spiraled to more than twenty million rubles — as well as the lives of hundreds of laborers.
Mosaic paintings and icons, ornate marble slabs, as well as columns decorated with malachite and lapis-lazuli dazzle the eye inside the cathedral. St.Isaac's was closed in early 1930s and later turned into a museum. Nowadays, church services are held on major occasions only.
Address: 1 Isaakievskaya Sq.
Open: 11.00 - 18.00
Closed: on WED

+7 (812)  312-19-44
+7 (812) 913-08-32 Julianna Office open
from 11:00 till 19:00
Tel.: +7 (812) 913-08-32


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