Mar 23

St. Isaac’s cathedral Saint Petersburg

Amazing St. Isaac’s cathedral

St. Isaac’s cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia, undoubtedly, is one of the most famous Russian Orthodox churches and one of top attractions of the city. Its golden dome, dominating the skyline of St. Petersburg, can be seen from any part of the city’s center. What is more, you can even distinguish its sparkling cupola from far away, even from the shore of Gulf of Finland in the town of Peterhof.

St. Isaac’s cathedral history

St. Isaac’s cathedral was started in 1818 and finished 40 years after. It is a fine example of the late classical style built to the design of French architect Montfferand. It is not the first church dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia erected in the city. Present day cathedral is the fourth one, as 3 previous did not survive for different reasons.

Cathedral of St Isaac
St. Isaac's cathedral tour

The cathedral was initiated by the Russian emperor Alexander the I after the Victorious end of the war against Napoleon. Finished under his nephew, it became the largest Russian Orthodox church in the city and in Russia as well. Even now, it amazes travelers by its sizes: it has the fourth largest dome in the world after cathedrals of St. Peter in Rome, St. Paul’s cathedral in London and Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

St. Isaac’s cathedral Interior

The cathedral of St. Isaac was built to the design of the French architect. Thus, when you enter it you can feel the influence of European culture, in fact, the influence of Catholicism. St. Isaac’s is richly decorated with sculptures and this is not typical of the Russian Orthodox churches, however, it is a feature of Catholic basilicas. Its interior is magnificent and breathtaking. Different types of marble and semi-precious stones, malachite and lapis lazuli columns, sophisticated icons that are in fact mosaic works and painting everywhere around create an incredible atmosphere.

St. Isaac’s observation ground-see best views of the city

Not only the cathedral’s interior is unforgettable and marvelous. Such is also its famous observation ground. It offers the best views of St. Petersburg overlooking the city. From there you can see the Gulf of Finland, the Neva river, the Palace square with the Winter palace, the church of the Savior on spilled blood, the Holy Trinity cathedral and St. Nicolas cathedral, St. Isaac’s square and many more.

You will have to climb over 200 steps but be sure: it is 100 % worthy doing. Once you do this, you will be amazed but the most beautiful views of St Petersburg.

Some advice for the lazy ones: If you do not want to climb so many steps, you can always choose another option like roof top restaurants or bars.

View from the collonade of St Isaac's