St. Isaac’s Cathedral

St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg is an excellent example of Russian cult art. It is one of the most beautiful and significant vaulted structures. Saint Peter in Rome, Saint Paul. The height of the temple is 101.5 meters. The area is 4000 m2. The temple can accommodate up to 12,000 people. Before the 1917 revolution, St. Isaac’s Cathedral was the main cathedral of St. Petersburg, and only after 1937 it became a historical and art museum.

General Information

How to get to St. Isaac’s Cathedral?

The nearest metro is Admiralteyskaya. This station is located at the intersection of Malaya Morskaya Street and Brick Lane. On Malaya Morskaya Street, go left 2 blocks (about 500 meters) and you will find yourself in St. Isaac’s Square, where the cathedral is located.

You can also arrive from the metro stations: Sennaya Ploshchad, Sadovaya and Spasskaya. These metro stations have access to Sennaya Square. From Sennaya square, you must go on the Grivtsov lane to the Moika embankment, turn left. After metro 50-100, you will find yourself in St. Isaac’s Square and you will see St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

But most tourists combine a visit to the cathedral with a walk through the center of St. Petersburg. St. Isaac’s Cathedral is located near the Bronze Horseman, the Palace Square and the Nevsky Perspective.

There are two standard excursions in St. Isaac’s Cathedral: an excursion to the cathedral and a walk through the colonnade. Tickets for the cathedral and the colonnade are sold separately.

The interiors of St. Isaac’s Cathedral surprise with its beauty and rich decoration. The cathedral houses guided tours, which are included in the entrance fee. A group of approximately 15 people meet at the entrance, which usually takes between 5 and 10 minutes, after which the tour begins during which the history of the cathedral begins, construction begins, the guide talks in detail about the technologies and materials that were used in the construction of the cathedral.

Since St. Isaac’s Cathedral is one of the tallest buildings in the city, excursions to the cathedral’s colonnade are always popular with tourists. The colonnade offers a beautiful view of the city center: Neva, St. Isaac’s Square and Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress.

Opening hours of St. Isaac’s Cathedral – summer 2019

10:30 a.m. at 6:00 p.m.
Rest day – Wednesday
The lockers close at 17:30
From April 27 to September 30 from 6:00 p.m. at 10:30 p.m., there are night excursions “Art Decorations of St.

Isaac’s Cathedral” (see ticket prices at night). Rest day – Wednesday

Opening hours of the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral – summer 2019
From May 1 to October 31
From 10:00 to 18:00 every day.
The box closes at 17:30.
The “Evening Colonnade” excursions take place every day from April 27 to September 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (see ticket prices at night).
From November 1 to April 30
10 a.m. at 6 p.m.
Free day – the third Wednesday of the month
The box closes at 17:30.

The cost of tickets for St. Isaac’s Cathedral – summer 2019

  • for adult visitors: 350 rubles.
  • for children under 7 years old – free.
  • for children from 7 to 18 years – 100 rubles.
  • for students from Russia and Belarus – 100 rubles.
  • for pensioners from Russia and Belarus – 100 rubles.
  • for students from foreign countries (it is necessary to present an ISIC card) – 200 rubles.
  • Ticket prices for the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in 2019
  • for all categories of visitors – 200 rubles
  • Ticket price at night
  • St. Isaac’s Cathedral at night – 400 rubles for all categories of visitors
  • Colonnade at night – 400 rubles for all categories of visitors.

The History of the construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Peter the Great was born on May 30, the day of St. Isaac of Dalmatia, a Byzantine monk. In 1710, an order was given in his honor to build a wooden church near the Admiralty. Here Peter married his wife Catherine. Later, in 1717, the construction of a new stone church began, which was dismantled due to the sinking.


In 1768, by order of Catherine II, the construction of the next St. Isaac’s Cathedral begins, designed by A. Rinaldi, which was built between San Isaac and the Senate Square. Construction was completed after the death of Catherine II in 1800. Later, the temple began to deteriorate and fell “out of court” before the emperor.

After the Patriotic War of 1812, by order of Alexander I, the design of a new church began. The project of the architect Montferrand intended to use part of the construction of the cathedral of A. Rinaldi: the preservation of the altar and the domed pylons. The bell tower, the altar ledges and the western wall of the cathedral were to be dismantled. The south and north walls were preserved. The cathedral increased in length, and its width remained the same. The building in the plan has acquired a rectangular shape. The height of the arches also did not change. It was planned to build porches with columns from the north and south sides. The construction should be crowned with a large dome and four small ones at the corners. The emperor chose the design of the five-domed church in the classical style, written by Montferrand.

Construction began in 1818 and lasted 40 years. One of the tallest domed structures in the world was built.

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is currently the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg and one of the tallest domed structures in the world. Its history began in 1710, when a wooden church was built in honor of St. Isaac of Dalmatia, a Byzantine saint, whose memorial day is the birthday of Peter the Great. In it, in 1712, Peter married Yekaterina Alekseevna, his second wife. Later, the wooden church was replaced by a stone church. The third temple was erected in the second half of the 18th century, however, immediately after the completion of the work, it was declared inappropriate for the front building of the city center. Emperor Alexander I announced a contest for the best project for restructuring. After 9 years, the project of the young French architect Auguste Montferrand was approved, and work began.

The construction of the cathedral lasted 40 years and required a great effort. However, the result exceeded all expectations. The monumentality of the cathedral stands out for its square construction. During construction, 43 mineral rocks were used. The basement is covered with granite and the walls are covered with gray marble blocks about 40-50 cm thick. On four sides, St. Isaac’s Cathedral is framed by powerful eight-column porches decorated with statues and bas-reliefs. A golden dome rises above the enormous size of the cathedral in a drum surrounded by granite columns. The dome itself is made of metal, and its gilding took about 100 kg of pure gold.

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is sometimes called the colorful stone museum. The interior walls are clad in white marble with green and yellow marble panels, jasper and porphyry. The main dome was painted from the inside by Karl Bryullov, Vasily Shebuev, Fyodor Bruni, Ivan Vitali and many other famous artists and sculptors who also worked inside the church.

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