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Entries / St. Isaac's Cathedral

St. Isaac's Cathedral

Categories / Architecture/Architectural Monuments/Religious Architecture (see also Religion.Church)
Categories / Religion. Church/Places of Worship (see also Architecture and Urban Planning)

ST. ISAAC'S CATHEDRAL, located at 1 St Isaac's Square, an architectural monument of late Classicism and the largest church in St. Petersburg. The first wooden church, which stood at the approximate location of the Bronze Horseman now, was consecrated in 1707 in honour of St. Isaac of Dalmatia, on whose feast day (30 May, old style) Peter the Great was born. In 1712-22, it was replaced with a stone church designed by architect G. I. Mattarnovi in the Petrine Baroque style, and completed in 1727. The main iconostasis was done by I. P. Zarudny. The construction of the cathedral was completed in 1739-42 by architect P. A. Trezzini. On account of the foundations sinking, services were discontinued in 1759. In 1768-1802, on the newly created St Isaac's Square, a cathedral faced with marble and featuring three side-altars and a belfry was built in the Classicist style (according to the project by A. Rinaldi, builders A. F. Wist, and from 1798 - V. Brenna). The new cathedral was not congruent with the architecture of central St. Petersburg, and in 1809, an architectural contest was announced. The new cathedral was built in 1818-58 (architect A. A. Montferrand) and consecrated as a metropolitan cathedral. The construction was supervised by a special commission; from 1841 prominent Russian artists (F. A. Bruni, K. P. Bryullov, V. K. Shebuev) and sculptors (I. P. Vitali, P. K. Klodt, A. V. Loganovsky) worked on the decor of the church. The building is adorned with four eight-column porticoes and crowned with a metal gilded cupola on a dome drum, encircled with monolithic granite columns. The height of St Isaac's Cathedral is 101.5 metres, its dimensions (with porticoes) are 111.5 х 97.6 metres. Along with SS. Peter & Paul Cathedral and the Admiralty, St Isaac's Cathedral is a major focal point of the St. Petersburg skyline. Outside and inside, the building is faced with marble of different shades; the interiors are decorated with malachite, lapis lazuli, gilded bronze and mosaics. The stained-glass window behind the altar was created by craftsman M. E. Einmiller to the drawing of L. von Klenze in Munich. St Isaac's Cathedral treasured the revered Icon of Our Lady of Tikhvin and Icon Our Lady of Korsun and the Icon of the Holy Face by F. F. Ukhtomsky (1693). Annually, on 30 August, a religious procession takes place from the St. Isaac's Cathedral to Alexander Nevsky Lavra. From 1896, the cathedral has had a fraternity that ran several charitable establishments; from1911, it was also the home of the Society of Gonfaloniers. In 1928, St Isaac's Cathedral was closed down. In 1930-37, it housed the Anti-Religion Museum. From 1937, it has been a memorial museum. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45 the cathedral was damaged, and restoration works were completed in 1947-51 and in 1954-63 (architect A. L. Rotach). In 1992, services started to be held again on an irregular basis, and since August 2002 regular services have been held in the left side-altar. In 2001-03, the facade of the Cathedral was restored. St Isaac's Cathedral gives its name to St. Isaac's Square and the adjacent park.

References: Бутиков Г. П., Хвостова Г. А. Исаакиевский собор. 2-е изд. Л., 1979; Антонов В. В., Кобак А. В. Святыни Санкт-Петербурга: Ист.-церков. энцикл. СПб., 1994. Т. 1. С. 105-109; Толмачева Н. Ю. Исаакиевский собор. СПб., 2003.

V. V. Antonov.

Brenna Vikenty Franzevich (Vicenzo)
Bruni Fedor (Fidelis) Antonovich
Bryullov Karl Pavlovich
Einmiller M.E.
Klenze Leo von
Klodt von Jurgensburg Peter Karlovich
Loganovsky Alexander Vasilievich
Mattarnovi Georg Iogann
Montferrand Auguste Augustovich (Henri Louis Auguste Leger Ricard de)
Peter I, Emperor
Rinaldi Antonio
Rotach Alexander Lukich
Shebuev Vasily Kozmich
Trezzini Pietro Antonio
Ukhtomsky F.F.
Vitali Ivan Petrovich
Wist Alexander Franzevich
Zarudny Ivan Petrovich

St.Isaac's Square/Saint Petersburg, city, house 1

Бутиков Г. П., Хвостова Г. А. Исаакиевский собор. 2-е изд. Л., 1979
Антонов В. В., Кобак А. В. Святыни Санкт-Петербурга: Ист.-церков. энцикл. СПб., 1994

The subject Index
Bronze Horseman
SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral
Alexander Nevsky Lavra
St. Isaac's Cathedral


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