The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blooda is a Russian Orthodox church which currently functions as a secular museum and church at the same time. The structure was constructed between 1883 and 1907. It is one of Saint Petersburg’s major attractions.
The church was erected on the site where political nihilists assassinated Emperor Alexander II in March 1881. The church was funded by the Romanov imperial family in honor of Alexander II, and the suffix “on [Spilled] Blood” refers to his assassination.
02. Peter and Paul Cathedral
The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress. It is the first and oldest landmark in St Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Hare Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were originally built under Peter the Great and designed by Domenico Trezzini. The cathedral’s bell tower is the world’s tallest Orthodox bell tower. Since the belfry is not standalone, but an integral part of the main building, the cathedral is sometimes considered the highest Orthodox Church in the world.
03. St Michael’s Castle
St Michael’s Castle, also called the Mikhailovsky Castle or the Engineers’ Castle, is a former royal residence in the historic centre of St Petersburg. St Michael’s Castle was built as a residence for Emperor Paul I of Russia by architects Vincenzo Brenna and Vasily Bazhenov in 1797–1801. It was named for St Michael the Archangel, patron saint of the royal family. The castle looks different from each side, as the architects used motifs of various architectural styles such as French Classicism, Italian Renaissance and Gothic.
04. St Isaac’s Cathedral
St Isaac’s Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor is a large architectural landmark cathedral that currently functions as a museum with occasional church services. It is dedicated to St Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint. It was originally built as a cathedral but was turned into a museum by the Soviet government in 1931 and has remained a museum ever since, with church services held in a side chapel since the 1990s. In 2017, the Governor of St Petersburg offered to transfer the cathedral back to the Russian Orthodox Church, but this was not accomplished due to the protests of St Petersburg citizens opposing the offer.
05. St Petersburg Mosque
The Saint Petersburg Mosque, when opened in 1913, was the largest mosque in Europe outside Turkey, its minarets 49 meters in height and the dome is 39 meters high. It can accommodate up to five thousand worshippers. The architect Nikolai Vasilyev patterned the mosque after Gur-e-Amir, the tomb of Tamerlane in Samarkand. Its construction was completed by 1921.
06. Catholic Church of St Catherine
The Catholic Church of St Catherine is the oldest Catholic church in the Russian Federation, and the only church with the title of basilica. It is located on the Nevsky Prospekt and is a part of the Archdiocese of Moscow headed by Msgr. Paolo Pezzi.
Like many churches, the building is in the shape of a Latin cross. The transept of the church is crowned by a large cupola. The temple is 44 m in length, 25 m in width, and 42 m in height. The sanctuary has room for about 2,000 people.
07. Kazan Cathedral
Kazan Cathedral or Kazanskiy Sobor, also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, is a cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Nevsky Prospekt in Saint Petersburg. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, one of the most venerated icons in Russia.
The interior features numerous sculptures and icons created by the best Russian artists of the day. A wrought-iron grille separating the cathedral from a small square behind it is sometimes cited as one of the finest ever constructed.
08. Our Lady of Vladimir Church
Our Lady of Vladimir Church is a Russian Orthodox church, dedicated to Our Lady of Vladimir and located at 20 Vladimirsky Prospect, St. Petersburg, Russia. The avenue takes its name from the church. The current five-domed church was built next to Vladimirsky Market between 1761 and 1769. The church’s design, frequently ascribed to Pietro Antonio Trezzini, straddles the line between Baroque and Neoclassicism.
09. Alexandrinsky Theatre
The Alexandrinsky Theatre or National Drama Theatre of Russia was built for the Imperial troupe of Petersburg. It was opened on 31 August 1832 (190 years ago).
Since 1832, the theatre has occupied an Empire-style building that Carlo Rossi designed. It was built in 1828–1832 on Ostrovsky Square. The theatre was named after Empress consort Alexandra Feodorovna. The building is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
10. Trinity Cathedral
The Trinity Cathedral, sometimes called the Troitsky Cathedral, is a formerly Russian Imperial Army Izmaylovskiy regiment Russian Orthodox church, an architectural landmark – a late example of the Empire style, built between 1828 and 1835 to a design by Vasily Stasov. It is located due south of the Admiralty on Izmaylovskiy Prospekt.
11. Church of Ss. Simeon and Anna
The Church of Ss. Simeon and Anna is one of St. Petersburg’s oldest churches, and one of the finest examples of early baroque architecture in the city. The first wooden church was built on this site on the orders of Peter the Great in 1714, to celebrate the birth of his daughter Anna. Empress Anna Ionnovna, who came to the throne in 1730, also considered St Anna to be her patron, and instructed architect Mikhail Zemtsov to design a stone replacement for the wooden church. Zemtsov, a pupil of Domenico Trezinni, is considered to be Russia’s first home-bred architect, and the result of his work was this beautifully simple church, with soaring spire and polygonal cupola, painted in softly contrasting shades of yellow and white.
12. Circus Ciniselli
Circus Ciniselli was the first brick-built circus in Russia; it is situated beside the Fontanka. The building was opened on 26 December 1877, with a large stage (13 meters in diameter) and stables (housing 150 horses). The architect was Vasily Kenel. The Ciniselli family managed the circus until 1919, when they emigrated.
13. Singer House
Singer House, also widely known as the House of the Book, is located at the intersection of Nevsky Prospekt and the Griboyedov Canal, directly opposite the Kazan Cathedral. It is recognized as a historical landmark and has official status as an object of Russian cultural heritage.
The building was designed by architect Pavel Suzor for the Russian branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The management of the Singer Company initially intended to construct a skyscraper, but the Saint Petersburg building code did not allow structures taller than the Winter Palace (the Emperor’s residence). Suzor found an elegant solution to the 23.5-meter height limit: the six-story Art Nouveau building is crowned with a glass tower, which in turn is topped by a glass globe sculpture created by Estonian artist Amandus Adamson. This tower creates the impression of a substantial elevation but is subtle enough not to overshadow either the Kazan Cathedral or the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.