Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, the resting place of the Romanov tsars, within Peter and Paul Fortress, the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia

Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, the resting place of the Romanov tsars, within Peter and Paul Fortress, the original citadel of St. Petersburg, Russia

 

“The Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul [Russian: Петропавловский собор] is the oldest church in St. Petersburg, and also the second-tallest building in the city (after the television tower).  It is intimately linked to both the history of the city and to the Romanov dynasty, as it is home to the graves of nearly all the rulers of Russia since Peter the Great.” – saint-petersburg.com

 

The spire is visible across St. Petersburg, particularly along the Neva River, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

The spire is visible across St. Petersburg, particularly along the Neva River, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

“Work began on the first, wooden church to be erected on the site just one month after St. Petersburg was officially founded, and the church was consecrated on April 1, 1704.  In 1712, the current, stone Peter and Paul Cathedral started to be built, to a design by Domenico Trezzini.   This one took slightly longer to build – 20 years, in fact – and was consecrated on June 29, 1733.” – saint-petersburg.com

The Peter and Paul Cathedral marked a radical departure from traditional Orthodox churches, being built in early Baroque style.  Its rectangular shape, bell-tower, and landmark needle are all features borrowed from the protestant churches of Western Europe – the influence of Dutch architecture is particularly visible – all of which was in accordance with Peter’s wishes.” – saint-petersburg.com

 

Gilded capital of one of many support columns, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

Gilded capital of one of many support columns, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Central altar gate, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

Central altar gate, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Close-up of the central altar gate, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

Close-up of the central altar gate, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Upper portion of the central altar gate, extending into the central dome, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

Upper portion of the central altar gate, extending into the central dome, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

Gilded figures on one of the support columns, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

Gilded figures on one of the support columns, Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

“One major attraction is the graves of most of the Romanov rulers of Russia from Peter the Great onward.  Peter’s grave is at the front right, and people still leave fresh flowers on it.   Also here are both Catherines, Elizabeth, all three Alexanders, Paul, Peter III, Anne – and now both Nicholases as well, as the remains of Nicholas II and his family were re-interred in the small Chapel of St. Catherine on July 17, 1998.” – saint-petersburg.com

 

Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral contains the graves of the dynasty of the Romonav tsars, St. Petersburg, Russia

Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral contains the graves of the dynasty of the Romonav tsars, St. Petersburg, Russia

 

3 thoughts on “Saints Peter and Paul’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia

    • We were first in St. Petersburg in the summer of 1994, just prior to the Good Will Games there. The government had spent a lot of money to superficially clean up the city (including whitewashing buildings, a la Tom Sawyer’s friends who helped him in the eponymous book), but the underlying economic problems couldn’t really be hidden — nor the concern of the residents. This trip showed considerable investment in the infrastructure since then, particularly in museums and churches frequented by the growing numbers of tourists (there is a lot of history and culture packed into a small UNESCO World Heritage Site). The locals, however, are still “under the gun” — now, from a weak economy due to the drop in the price of oil and the sanctions following the country’s exploits in Ukraine.

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  1. So many of the wood structures burned down. Glad they decided to build this current (1712) Peter and Paul cathedral in stone – to last.

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