St. Isaac's Cathedral is the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg. St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg is an outstanding monument of late classicism. The cathedral was built in 1818-1858 by the architect Auguste Montferrand, Emperor Nicholas I supervised the construction. The history of the church dates back to 1707, when near the Admiralty was built a small wooden church in honor of St. Isaac of Dalmatia. Day of the Saint falls on the birthday of Peter I (May 30 on the Julian calendar). Later St.Isaac's Church was built in stone in the style of Petrine Baroque, and in 1768 — 1802 there was a construction of the third St. Isaac's Cathedral (architect A. Rinaldi), which was never completed. In 1818-1858 the cathedral existing nowadays was built by the project of architect A. R. de Montferrand. The cathedral was one of the world's largest domed buildings (the diameter of the dome is 21.8 m). Height of St. Isaac's Cathedral is 101.5 m. An area of 4000 sq m of the cathedral can accommodate up to 12,000 people. St. Isaac's Cathedral, as well as almost all Orthodox churches, is five-domed. On the porticoes of the drum of the dome are installed 72 solid granite columns weighing from 64 to 114 tons. For the first time in the construction practice the columns of this size were raised to a height of 40 meters. It took about 100 pounds of pure gold for gilding of all the domes of the cathedral. Belfries of St. Isaac's Cathedral are located at the corners of the main building. In 1848, in the north-west of the cathedral bell tower was installed a main bell weighing about 30 tons, decorated with images of Russian monarchs. During the construction of the cathedral there were used forty-three types of minerals. The base of the cathedral is faced with granite, and the walls — with gray marble. Porticoes are decorated with figures of the twelve apostles. Figures of angels are located around the main dome and above the roof of the cathedral. There are gables adorned with high reliefs by sculptor I. Vitali on all sides of the building. The interior walls of the building and the floor tiles are laid out by Russian, French and Italian marble. The walls of the building are faced with white marble with finishing panels of green and yellow marble, jasper and porphyry. The eminent painters and sculptors such as K. Briullov, F. Bruni, P. Basin, V. Shebuev, I. Vitali, A. Loganovsky, P. Klodt. were involved in the design of St. Isaac's Cathedral. There are three altars in the cathedral. The main altar is dedicated to St. Isaac of Dalmatia, the altar on the right — to St. Catherine, and the left altar — to St. Prince Alexander Nevsky. There is also set the Foucault Pendulum in the cathedral, showing us that the Earth moves. Nowadays, many tourists climb to the colonnade of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Here from the height of 43 meters one can enjoy the panoramic view of the city. St. Isaac's Cathedral is one of the symbols of St. Petersburg and one of the masterpieces of world architecture.
Excursions with St. Isaac’s Cathedral
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The bridges of St. Peter