In St Petersburg you will definitely want to see one of those wonderful churches, and then... You will see the exquisite Smolny Cathedral, a masterpiece of Rastrelli’s baroque, the shimmering mosaics and marble floor patterns at the Church of the Savior on Blood, the ancient icon-painting and carved iconostases at the St Sampson`s Cathedral, erected by Peter I in gratitude for the victorious Poltava battle, the icons of golden mosaics and the columns of malachite and lapis lazuli in the grand St Isaac’s Cathedral.
These churches of ecclesiastic architecture differ from each other greatly, yet they are all part of the museum complex St Isaac’s Cathedral, also known as ‘the museum of four cathedrals”.
Built in the first half of the 19th century by the French-born architect Auguste Montferrand, the St. Isaac's Cathedral was to be the principal church of St. Petersburg and the largest cathedral in Russia. Nowadays, the Cathedral – still the largest church in St. Petersburg, which can accommodate over 14,000 persons, and a monumental building in the neoclassical style, which facades are decorated with sculptures and massive columns, each made of single pieces of red granite. Also, the Cathedral - one of the greatest cupola churches in the world. Its golden dome remains one of the key elements in the modern view of the center of the city.
At the present time the Cathedral serves mainly as a museum. A visit inside the cathedral gives a chance to explorer its stunning marble interior, columns made of malachite and lapis lazuli, incredibly detailed mosaic icons, paintings and luminously colored stained glass windows. Also inside the Cathedral visitors can admire a unique iconostasis, beautifully decorated with malachite and lapis lazuli, and the main altar with the rare stained glass window of the "Resurrected Christ".
During the summer evenings (from 1st May to 30th September ONLY) the colonnade of the Cathedral offers its visitors a stunning panoramic view of the city. As an additional option for extra charge, during the tour visitors can climb up 300 steps to the observation walkway to admire breathtaking city sights at sunset.