In the very heart of the city, where the Griboyedov Canal crosses Nevsky Prospect, a majestic view of Kazan Square opens up. A beautiful temple, having stretched a wide arc of the colonnade, as if it embraces both a square with a fountain and the whole Nevsky.
Kazan Cathedral was originally built as a court, ceremonial, as it occupied a central place in the capital of the empire, and became its original symbol. It was built for the most revered icon in our city and is named after him. The history of the construction of the temple began with a small wooden chapel, and ended with the construction of a grand cathedral. The church was consecrated on September 15, 1811, but the events of the next, terrible 1812, changed the history of the cathedral and its status. It became a unique monument of feats of arms of the Russian army over Napoleon, the burial place of Field Marshal Kutuzov. The chapel was built for the replica of Kazan Icon of the Mother of God, which appeared in St. Petersburg in 1710.
The miraculous icon was brought from Moscow, and its history relates us to the XVI century, when it appeared in the city of Kazan for girl Matron. The shrine remained in Moscow until it was transported to the new capital, St. Petersburg. In 1800, the construction of a new church was entrusted to the architect Andrei Voronikhin. Voronikhin lived in the family of Count Stroganov and, although he was considered his serf, he was not deprived of attention.
It was rumored that Andrei was the illegitimate son of the count. Voronikhin received an architectural education, in Moscow he studied with the famous Russian architects – V. Bazhenov and M. Kazakov, and when he received his freedom, he spent several years in France and Switzerland, studying the new style – Empire. They lit up the finished church 10 years later, and a year later the war with Napoleon began, and fate decreed that the Kazan Cathedral became a monument to the Patriotic War of 1812. The appearance and interiors of the cathedral are amazingly majestic and rich and the two wings of the colonnade are unique in the history of Russian church architecture. Cathedral’s colonnade includes 96 columns, set in four rows, and opens onto Nevsky Prospect, its wings are ended by monumental portals. This architectural solution allowed A. N. Voronikhin to solve the problem confronting all builders of temples on Nevsky.
The avenue stretches from west to east, in the same way Orthodox churches are organized – in the west – the entrance, and the altar – in the east. The colonnade allowed to make the north side of the cathedral, be for show. The cathedral’s middle entrance doors are bronze, and the “heavenly doors” of the 15th century Florentine baptistery were taken as a model. The interior of the cathedral is striking in its magnificence – a colonnade of 56 columns of pink Finnish granite with gilded capitals and bronze bases.
The Kazan Cathedral is the resting place of Michael Kutuzov, the commander-in-chief of the Russian army in the war against Napoleon. From the moment of burial, the cathedral takes on the significance of the main monument of Russia in honor of the victory in the war of 1812. 114 trophy French banners and standards adorn the walls of the temple.
In 1837, two monuments to field marshals Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolly were installed on the square in front of the Kazan Cathedral. In 1932, the cathedral was closed for the faithful, and in the same year the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism of the USSR began to operate here.
The museum collection contained the most valuable collections of religious objects of various religions, documents, as well as paintings and sculptures. Since 1991, services have resumed in the cathedral. Now it is completely handed over to congregation and again became the main cathedral of St. Petersburg. The Museum of the History of Religion is transferred to a building on Pochtamtskaya Street.
Information About the Excursion
|6:30 am - 8:00 pm|
|Metro / Subway|
|Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiniy Dvor|
|Metro Station "Nevskiy Prospekt"||3, 7, 22, 24, 27, 191|
|Metro Station "Nevskiy Prospect"||1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 22|