Fabulous Mosaics and Magnificent Architecture of St. Petersburg’s Churches
We arrived to the entrance of the Dam of St. Petersburg around 7:30 this morning. This is a fantastic 16 mile long harbor wall capable of holding back the storm surge in inclement weather. It was intended to protect St. Petersburg and the Neva Bay from the Bay of Finland. It was completed in 2011. There are many, many ancient forts along the waterway to St. Petersburg which provided protection for the City over its long history.
Our first tour today was a Highlights tour of the City of Czars. It was a wet, cold and very windy day with the temperature hovering around 50 degrees. We were told that is actually snowed here a few days earlier when the high temperature reached only 32 degrees. And this is mid-June!
We toured 3 Churches including St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Our Savior of the Spilled Blood, and the Peter and Paul Cathedral. There are churches everywhere in this city. Unusual considering during the Soviet Times, as they call it, religion was suppressed.
These are all Roman Orthodox Churches with fabulous mosaic icons on the inside and very ornate exteriors. The golden central dome of the St. Isaacs Cathedral can be seen for miles and was visible to us on our cruise up the Neva Bay and eventually the Neva River (where we are docked, right in the City). There are columns in the cathedral of blue lapis-azul and green malachite and 14 different types of marble around the building.
The Cathedral of Our Savior of the Spilled Blood was built on the exact location where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. Its ornate exterior is very distinctive and very stunning.
During Soviet Times it was used to store theatrical props. It seems many of the city’s churches had other uses during these times. Our guide told us there is over 7,000 square meters of mosaic in the church.
It was stunning!
Our final Cathedral was Peter and Paul which is the final resting place of many Romanov tsars and their relatives who ruled from 1613 to 1917.
The architecture of St. Petersburg can only be described as magnificent.