Smolny Cathedral

Smolny Cathedral

  source: spb-guide.ru

The picturesque white-and-blue lacy building of the Smolny Cathedral is located directly on the banks of the Neva. It is the central building of the Smolny monastery complex. Graceful bright blue building of the cathedral is decorated with lush snow-white open-work of stucco cornices, columns, pilasters and a number of other decorative items. The facades of the cathedral are abundantly decorated with gold giving the building rich elegant look. All this makes the Church a true masterpiece of Russian architecture in the style of Russian baroque. The height of the cathedral is 93.7 meters. Standing around the cathedral are four churches and blue-and-white structures.

The history of the church is rather interesting too. First of all, the name, which is very strange for a church. It turns out that the name was given by resin yards, which supplied resin to be used in the czar's ships. In their vicinity, in the place where the Neva makes a nice bend, the church was built for the daughter of Peter I, Elizabeth. The construction was entrusted to the architect Rastrelli, who started the construction in 1749. The construction of the Smolny monastery was carried out in an unprecedented scale. But the seven-year war with Prussia interrupted the process. The Empress died without seeing the consecration of the Smolny Cathedral. Rastrelli, who died in 1771, did not witness the end of the construction works. Only in 1935 the cathedral was finally completed. The huge church hall paneled with marble; three magnificent iconostasis were built; the balustrade of cut crystal was added before the altar; the chair was decorated with finest carving. No other building in St. Petersburg was so long under construction. The construction of the temple began in 1748 and the interior finish was completed only in 1835. Thus, it took 87 years to build it. In 1835 the Smolny Cathedral was consecrated in the name of the Resurrection of Christ. The Cathedral surrounded by beautiful openwork fence.