Cathedral of Saint Isaac is an outstanding monument built by Emperor Alexander I. The construction began in 1818 and it was completed in 1858 by Emperor Nicolay I. The cathedral was designed by an architect Auguste Montferrand (French architect) who died only several weeks after the last works on the cathedral were finished. Then as much as it is today Cathedral of Saint Isaac represents the most impressive landmark of Saint Petersburg, and one of the most important Orthodox religious sights. Even though this cathedral is comparatively smaller than the Church of Christ Savior in Moscow, its interior decorations are far more impressive.
The cathedral of Saint Isaac is decorated with 350 sculptures of angels, Christ’s disciples and evangelists, and 62 mosaics. Inside one can find three awe inspiring altars. The central one is dedicated to the Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, the right hand side altar is dedicated to the Saint Ekaterina, and the left hand side altar is dedicated to the Saint Alexander Nevsky.
With the height of 101.5m and the weight of 300.000 tons, this cathedral is the second tallest monument in Saint Petersburg (the first one is Cathedral of Saint Peter and Paul) Visitors get to see from the outside, 112 massive columns and the dome built in metal, the first one of this kind built in Russia. The interior decorations are enriched with over 400 kg of gold and 1000 tons of bronze.
The church was closed down in 1930 and reopened as a state museum. Even if there are almost 600 religious events held every year, the cathedral is still under the aegis of the state. It is interesting to note that is that this cathedral never in effect belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church. Even when Russia was an empire, the church belonged to the state. Only in 2012, the Russian government has decided to “pass” the temple on to the city of Saint Petersburg. The Russian Orthodox Church made a request that was approved by the city authorities that the temple be passed on under their auspices. However, the Saint Isaac’s Cathedral was to remain a museum forever and was to welcome people of all religions.
Ticket prices for the Cathedral of Saint Isaac
Regular price: 250 Rub (3.5 €)
ISIC card holders: 150 Rub (2 €)
Young people between 7 and 18 years old: 50 Rub (0.7 €)
Russian and Belarus citizens: 50 Rub (0.7 €)
Audio-guide (in Russian, English, German, French, Italian or Spanish): 100 Rub (1.5 €)
(!) Evening openings of the Colonnade (only summer period): 300 Rub (4.5 €)
Night openings of the Colonnade during the white nights: 400 Rub (6 €)
Working hours of the Cathedral of Saint Isaac
Every day from 10:30am to 6:00 pm
Wednesday - closed
From April 27th to September 30th from 6:00 pm to 10:30pm
Wednesday - closed
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