On Spassky Island

Saviour on the Spilled Blood Cathedral

Saviour on the Spilled Blood Cathedral (December 2011)

One of St Petersburg's most famous sights and a definite must-see is the stunning Saviour on the Spilled Blood Cathedral.  Officially the cathedral is known as the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral but it is more commonly referred to as the Saviour on the Spilled Blood as it stands on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.  Construction began in 1883 on the orders of Alexander II's son, Emperor Alexander III, and it was completed in 1907.  With its brightly coloured onion domes and romantic mediaeval Russian style, it resembles Moscow's St Basil's Cathedral in appearance although it is larger in scale.  As beautiful as it is on the outside, its interior is perhaps even more spectacular as each inch is covered with mosaics - over 7,500 square metres in total.  Famous artists of the time such as Mikhail Nesterov, Viktor Vasnetsov and Mikhail Vrubel participated in the work, which depicts bible scene and famous religious figures from Russian history.

In 1930 the cathedral was closed and during the Siege of Leningrad during the Second World War the building as used as a makeshift morgue.  Having been significantly damaged during the Revolution and the war, it was finally given protective status in 1968 and became a branch of the St Isaac's Cathedral Museum in 1970.  Today the cathedral is still run as a branch of St Isaac's Cathedral State Museum (Museum of Four Cathedrals) and really is worth visiting to see its interior.  


Location 2A Naberezhnaya Kanala Griboedova
Metro Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky Prospekt
Website http://cathedral.ru/
Clock 10:30 - 18:00. Closed on Wednesdays.