Kazan Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, probably the most venerated icon in Russia. The construction was started in 1801 and continued for ten years (supervised by Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganov). Upon its completion the new temple replaced the Church of Nativity of the Theotokos, which was disassembled when the Kazan Cathedral was consecrated. It was modelled by Andrey Voronikhin after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Although the Russian Orthodox Church strongly disapproved of the plans to create a replica of a Catholic basilica in Russia's then capital, several courtiers supported Voronikhin's Empire Style design.

After Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, and the commander-in-chief Mikhail Kutuzov asked Our Lady of Kazan for help, the church's purpose was to be altered. The Patriotic War over, the cathedral was perceived primarily as a memorial to the Russian victory against Napoleon. Kutuzov himself was interred in the cathedral in 1813; and Alexander Pushkin wrote celebrated lines meditating over his sepulchre. In 1815, keys to seventeen cities and eight fortresses were brought by the victorious Russian army from Europe and placed in the cathedral's sacristy. In 1837, Boris Orlovsky designed two bronze statues of Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolly in front of the cathedral.

In 1876, the Kazan demonstration, the first political demonstration in Russia, took place in front of the church. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the cathedral was closed. In 1932 it was reopened as the pro-Marxist 'Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism.' Services were resumed in 1992, and four years later the cathedral was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. Now it is the mother cathedral of the metropolis of St. Petersburg.

The cathedral's interior, with its numerous columns, echoes the exterior colonnade and is reminiscent of a palatial hall, being 69 metres in length and 62 metres in height. The interior features numerous sculptures and icons created by the best Russian artists of the day. A wrought iron grille separating the cathedral from a small square behind it is sometimes cited as one of the finest ever created.

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Founded: 1801
Category: Religious sites in Russia

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Fajar Sastrowijoyo (2 years ago)
An active cathedral with daily service on 10 AM and 6 PM. The Our Lady of Kazan icon is very famous and draw lines of people praying every day.
Hugo Philippe (3 years ago)
This cathedral is huge! At first I thought it was some sort of palace, as the columns in front don't make it look like a place of worship in the way I am used to. Currently (December 2018) it is closed, but you can still stop by should you walk from the isaak cathedral to the sacred blood cathedral, which is very close.
Toncho Tonchev (3 years ago)
Good place to get in and not just to look around but to sit and think and pray. The building is built to honor God and inside we need to look for Him ( not only there of course). Go visit and search your heart. Is God live in you?
Rares Chioreanu (3 years ago)
Very beautiful architecture. The place is simply huge and beautifully painted inside. The best part is that the entry is free, which is not very common at tourist attractions.
石田君 (3 years ago)
The appearance of the church is very magnificent for taking pictures, especially when the weather is good. No tickets are required, although the sacred place does not have many spectacular murals. (Photographing is prohibited inside)
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