St. Isaac’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Isaac's Cathedral, St Petersburg
St. Isaac’s Cathedral, St Petersburg

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is a massive domed cathedral built in the nineteenth century after a design by August Montferrand. Its magnificent dome, one of the city’s most famous symbols, is visible from miles away. St Isaac’s is the fourth largest domed cathedral in the world after St Peter’s in Rome, St Paul’s in London and Sta Maria del Fiore in Florence. St Isaac’s, amazing by its dimensions even today, is 101.5 m high, 111.3 m long (with porticoes) and 97.6 wide. The inner diameter of the dome is 21.8 m and the outer one 25.8 m. The pediments rest on 112 monolithic granite columns – each of portico’s columns is 17 m high and weighs 114 tons. The cathedral can accommodate about 14,000 people. It was designed by the outstanding architect of the first half of the nineteenth century Auguste Ricard de Montferrand.

Interior - Saint Issac's Cathedral, St. Petersburg
Interior – Saint Issac’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg

St Isaac’s Cathedral is cross-shaped. Its compact rectangular block is crowned with a gilded dome surmounted by an octagonal lantern resting on a high drum. The four belfries make a transition from it to the basic volume more gradual. The central dome and the small tops of the belfries are inspired from the traditional five-domed design characteristic of Russian architecture. The porticoes of the Corinthian order projecting on the facades lend an air of grandeur and majesty to the entire edifice. Large arched windows with massive surrounds pierce the quiet planes of the walls; the corners of the building are adorned with pilasters. The exterior of St Isaac’s has an easily traceable imprint of Renaissance and Baroque models, especially as regards the abundance of decor. The walls of the church are decorated with magnificent frescoes and mosaics. The iconostasis is decorated with a unique stained glass window.

Address: 4, Isaakievskaya Square
Metro: Admiralteyskaya
Open: Daily 10 am to 7 pm. Last admission is at 6 pm. Evening openings of the Colonnade in the summer only (May 1 – September 30): 6:15 pm to 10 pm. Entry Ticket need to be purchased
Closed: Wednesday
Telephone: +7 (812) 315-9732

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