Kazan Cathedral

This striking and unique structure has plenty of stories behind it and its out-of-place appearance. This holy place is dedicated to the Kazan Icon of the Mother God, one of the most famous national shrines in Russia. The holy icon of Kazan stayed in Moscow until 1710 when, at the order of Peter I, it was moved to St. Petersburg. Under the architect Andrey Voronikhn construction began in 1801 and continued for a decade, ending with a structure resembling St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The Orthodox Church at the time was highly opposed to replicate a Catholic basilica in Russia’s capital, but the design recieved enough support for the project to materialise.

The cathedral reaches a height of 71.5m with its cross-topped dome. The main architectural feature of the interior design is the rows of 56 double Corinthian pillars. These granite monoliths were made from the rocks in the north of the Karelian Isthmus. Each column weighs about 30 tons and is 10.7 meters high. The cathedral’s floor is faced with various kinds of Karelian marble.

The Patriotic War of 1812 critically changed the fate of the cathedral. It had become the storage place of the War’s holy relics. War trophies, keys of conquered towns and marshals’ batons were brought into the cathedral. Mikhail Kutozov, regarded as the victor against Napoleon and the liberator of Russia, was buried here in 1813. The cathedral saw the first political protest in Russia in 1876. The church was forced to shut its doors after the 1917 Revolution, and reopened as the pro-Marxist Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism.

In 1992 religious services resumed and now regarded as the mother cathedral of the city. Tour to st Petersburg