The Smolny Cathedral is a part of the architectural ensemble of the Smolny Convent, located in St. Petersburg, on the left bank of the Neva River. The Smolny Cathedral and Smolny Convent are built in the Baroque style under decree of Empress Elizabeth, who had intended to retire to a monastery in her old age. The ensemble was built by the architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, it was the last work of the great architect. Construction of the cathedral started in 1748, and the interior decoration was completed only in 1835. July 20, 1835 Smolny cathedral was consecrated as a cathedral of all educational institutions in the name of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 1764, in the spare areas of the monastery was opened Russia's first school for girls of noble origin — Institute for Noble Maidens. The Institute was founded by I. Betskoy — one of the most educated and active nobles during the reign of Empress Catherine II. Over time, the Smolny Institute became the most prestigious institution for women. The Empress became a patroness of the Institute, she personally attended the final examinations. In 1806-1808, to the south of the Convent was built a special building in the classical style by project of architect Giacomo Quarenghi for the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens. The composition of the Smolny Cathedral penetrated by vertical dynamics. Rastrelli enriched relief of facades with three-quarter columns, not used earlier in architecture of St. Petersburg. The ensemble of the convent features scenic wealth, close in spirit to old Russian architecture, combined with strict symmetry and regularity of Petersburg. The Interior decoration of the Smolny Cathedral was directed by architect V. Stasov. The interior of the cathedral was simple but solemn: a huge church hall was decorated with marble, there were built three magnificent iconostasis, the faceted crystal balustrade was set in front of the altar, and the pulpit was decorated with the finest fretwork. After the Revolution of 1917, the interior of the cathedral was significantly damaged: the iconostasis, crystal balustrade and preaching pulpit were broken and plundered. The cathedral was turned into a storehouse. In 1990, there were opened the concert and exhibition complex in the Smolny Cathedral, which is still located there. The Smolny Convent of the Resurrection is the Brightest example of late Baroque, it is considered one of the most beautiful buildings not only St. Petersburg, but in Russia.
Excursions with The Smolny Cathedral
Do not miss your chance to get a first glance at the stronghold of Empire ambiance, the royal city of St. Peterburg. During our city tour you will have a look at its prominent sights and monuments, elegant ships cruising under massive brigdes of Neva
A relatively young city, St. Petersburg was founded in 1703, and has been playing key role in the history of Russia ever since.
Our sightseeing tour will acquaint you with the main architectural and historical monuments of Saint Petersburg. You will