Savior on Spilled Blood (Church of the Resurrection)
The Church of Savior on Spilled Blood – isn’t typical for St.-Petersburg with its strict European look.
Being a sample of Russian Orthodox Churches of 16 – 17 centuries the temple stands out due to its architectural design. This genuine Russian image of the Savior on Spilled Blood was built by the Russian Emperor Alexander III, who thus commemorated the tragic death of his father Emperor Alexander II. The architecture is in line with traditional Russian ecclesiastic design typical for Yaroslavl churches and St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.
The church is located in the heart of the city on the banks of the Griboedov Channel, a 10-minute walk from the Nevsky Prospect, close to the Mikhailovsky Garden and the Mews – right where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated by terrorists.
Alexander II introduced several major democratic reforms (the abolition of serfdom, the closure of the censorship department, the general military duty for citizens instead of 25-year military service for peasants). At the same time his rein was marked with revolutionary and lib movements. The emperor was attacked eight times, with the last attempt having been planned well and successfully carried out 1 (13) March 1981, when Alexander II was on his way from the Mikhailovsky Castle to the Winter Palace.
The memory of the Emperor was honored with a temporary wooden chapel replaced by the church later on. Out of many projects the one of Parland (the architect) and Archimandrite Ignatius (the abbot of the Trinity-Sergius Hermitage) was approved.
Construction started in October 1883, and the church was consecrated as the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in April 1907.
The Church of the Resurrection is of an asymmetrical elongated pentagonal shape. It’s crowned with the 9 onion domes decorated bright with white, green and yellow enamel going in diagonal stripes of different patterns. The East side of the altar is decorated with three vipers topped by small cupolas painted with copper gilt. The West side features a two-level bell tower with a massive gilded dome.
The entrance doors of the temple look like porches with pointed tents. Spectacular and colorful exterior complements the facade made of dark-red brick and decorated with ornaments, mosaic images, marble columns, cornices and corbel arches, marble granite plaque describing Alexander II’s merits and coats of arms of Russian counties. The Cathedral exterior features 400 square meters of outdoor mosaics, which makes is one of the biggest pieces of mosaic art in the world.
The interior of the Cathedral of the Savior on the Blood presents a unique collection of mosaics, gems and jewelry enamel. The mosaics designed in different styles by famous painters (“Virgin” by Vasnetsov, “Savior” by Nesterov, “St.Alexander Nevski” by Ryabushkin “Walking on Water”) make a monumental and expressive composition. The total area of exterior mosaics is about 7000 square meters.
The church is a memorial made of a jade to shadow the spot, where Alexander II was killed. The canopy decorated with gems and fenced with exquisite metal grilles spreads over a piece of pavement and the channel grid as part of the tragic event site.
In 1930 the cathedral was closed to be used as a warehouse for a long time. In 1971 the church was handed over to the museum, and St. Isaac’s Cathedral started restoration – it took 26 years to make it open for the visitors as a museum.
Working hours and admission fees
Open: September 16 – April 30 from 11:00-19:00, 1 May – 15 September from 10:00-19:00
The ticket office is closed at 18:00
The museum is closed on Wednesday.
Adults – 250 rubles
Concession fee – 50 rubles
Address: 2b Griboedova Channel, St. Petersburg
Phone: +7 812 315 16 36
Public transport: subway station “Nevsky Prospekt” or “Gostiny Dvor”
2 minutes walk from the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Griboedov Channel
Translation by Svetlana Serebryakova