2. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is the largest Orthodox Church of St Petersburg. It was built in the XIX century dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia. The cathedral is a Late Neoclassical. In addition, it is a city dominant: along with a dome the church towers over the city more than 100 meters.

The Cathedral was built by the French architect Auguste de Montferrand (1786–1858), who lived in Russia for 41 years. It’s interesting, that the cathedral was being constructed for 40 years. The guides in St. Petersburg can tell you a curious legend. The legend says that the architect got a prophecy that he will die when the Cathedral is finished. And by a strange coincidence, during the construction of the church the various obstacles were constantly occurring. Finally, the Cathedral was completed. In a month after that- the architect died in the presence of Russian Emperor Alexander II.

Only best artists were being invited for the construction of the cathedral: Fedor A. Bruni, Karl Briullov, Ivan Buruhin, Vasily Shebuev, Franz Riss, and sculptors – Giovanni Vitali, Petr Klodt. The Exterior of the Cathedral is decorated with sculpture. The Interiors are decorated with natural stone – marble, lapis lazuli, malachite and mosaics. In the Cathedral you can also see the stained glass windows and a rich collection of paintings on biblical subjects as well.

3. Palace Square

Palace square and Alexander Column

The architectural ensemble of the square was formed in XVIII-XIX centuries. Its territory is more than 2 times the territory of the main Square in Moscow. The square is surrounded by the Winter Palace, the General Staff (1819–29), and the Guards Corps Headquarters (1837–43). Next to the Winter Palace there is the Small Hermitage building, which is located not in the Palace square, but it is included in an architectural ensemble of the palace square.

The palace was constructed by a lot of architects, most notably Rastrelli, in what came to be known as the Elizabethan Baroque style but it was completed already during the reign of Empress Catherine II. After the construction of the Winter Palace until 1905 it was forbidden to erect buildings higher than the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. Interior decoration of the Winter Palace is in the French Rococo style and it amazes visitors with its pomp.

The centre of the square is decorated with the Alexander Column (1830–34), it was erected after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon’s France.

The column is the tallest of its kind in the world.

A double triumphal arch is the centre of the bow-shaped Empire-style Building of General Staff (architect Carlo Rossi).

The triumphal arch was erected after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon’s France.

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