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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User Reviews

Ahmet ─░hsan Kaya (2 months ago)
Impressing cathedral both from the inside and outside. The pillar structure that can be seen from far away from the cathedral is also dominant in the interior design. A must see place in St. Petersburg.
Zahid Iqbal (2 months ago)
Must visit. 10-15 min walk from Church of spilled blood, the Kazan cathedral is seat of the Orthodox bishop of St. Peters burg. It is consecrated to the Virgin of Kazan, the most revered icon of Russia. Try to visit in evening 5:30/6pm during the evening prayers.
tejas kotwal (2 months ago)
Must visit. 10-15 min walk from Church of spilled blood, the Kazan cathedral is seat of the Orthodox bishop of St. Petersburg. It is consecrated to the Virgin of Kazan, the most revered icon of Russia. Try to visit in evening 5:30/6pm during the evening prayers. The experience is just magical. This is a place of worship.
Martin Albers (8 months ago)
Impressive orthodox cathedral at Nevsky Prospect. Picturesque from the outside as well as from the inside. A bit dark though compared to other churches. Sometimes they display orthodox artifacts. Entrance is free, currently you're required to wear a face mask. Proper clothing should be chosen as usual in religious places.
Alexander Hart (9 months ago)
Kazan Cathedral is right in the middle of the Tourist District of Saint Petersburg. As a visitor you are free to enter, if you're woman you are asked to cover your head, and as a man you are required to remove your headgear. Its a fascinating church, at first I was astonished at the faithful lining up to touch and bless the The Lady of Kazan Icon, it truly as though I was stepping back into time, something ancient. Even though the cathedral was finished 1811.
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