Our Lady of Vladimir Church


The Our Lady of Vladimir Church is an active Orthodox Church located on St. Vladimir Square in St. Petersburg. The cathedral is devoted to the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, one of the most revered icons in Russia. 

The Our Lady of Vladimir Church was built on Market Square in the period from 1761 to 1769 on the site of a wooden church of the same name built in 1747. The church was consecrated on April 9, 1783. The five-domed church is a monument of architecture of the transitional style from Baroque to Classicism.  The church includes the Upper (cold) Vladimir Church and the Lower (warm) St. John of Damascus Church. Currently, services are offered only in the upper church. 

The exterior decoration of the cathedral is made in the Baroque style. The facades are decorated with Corinthian columns, the windows are adorned with stucco decorations, and the north and south facades are decorated with broken arched arcades. In the northwest and southwest corners of the site, there are located stone chapels, built in the Baroque style. To the north of the cathedral, there is a bell tower, which facades are designed in the Classicism style. The bell tower is crowned by a dome with a lantern. The sails of the central dome are decorated with sculptural images of the evangelists. The iconostasis of the XVIII century, moved in 1808 from the Church of the Anichkov Palace, is preserved in the Upper Church. 

The arches of the Lower Church had previously been covered with magnificent paintings, which, like the iconostasis of the Lower Church was lost in the middle of the XX century. The main decoration of the Upper Church is the iconostasis of the main altar in the name of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God miraculously extant from the depths of the XVIII century and belongs to the unique works of religious art, the preserved number of which nowadays does not exceed a few dozen across Russia. The iconostasis of the Our Lady of Vladimir Church is an example of the work of the St. Petersburg  Baroque style. The iconostasis is decorated with icons from the front and inner sides of the altar. The main shrine of the cathedral is the Icon of the Vladimir Mother of God, the Vernicle Icon sanctified by the St. John of Kronstadt as well as the image of St. Seraphim of Sarov with his relics. 

The cathedral and the bell tower play a big urban planning role. The monumental building of the Our Lady of Vladimir Church finalizes the perspective of Zagorodny Prospekt and still retains the value of the architectural dominant of the district of Vladimir Square. The famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky was a parishioner of the church in the last years of his life.

In 1932, Our Lady of Vladimir Church was closed, and the building housed the Lenmashuchet factory. In August 1989, the church was restored and returned to churchmen, and on April 7, 1990, it was consecrated. In May 2000, the Our Lady of Vladimir Church received the status of Cathedral.

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