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Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan - the main church of St. Petersburg

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan is a shining example of the synthesis of classical and Russian architecture.
The history of the Cathedral was started in the early 18th century with a small wooden church. It was built in St.Petersburg by the order of Peter the Great. Tree hundred years ago Russian tsar ordered to transfer the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Kazan in St. Petersburg. The icon was well-known from the 16th century.
Later small wooden church was rebuilt in stone by Russian architect Voronihin. The Cathedral of St. Peter in Rome was used as a model for new Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan in St. Petersburg. In 1811 the new Cathedral was consecrated. The interior decoration of the Cathedral was made by the best Russian artists and sculptors as Borovikovsky, Shebuyev, Kiprensky, Yegorov, Ivanov. Before the revolution gold and silver gifts, and religious objects were kept in the Cathedral.
Several years later at the end of the War against Napoleon in 1815 the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan was converted into a museum dedicated to Russian victory. Russian commander-in-Chief M. Kutuzov was buried in the Cathedral. Near his grave are kept flags of defeated French army and keys of French cities taken by Russian troops during the war.

Russian tsars, members of the royal family, Russian aristocracy and poor people participated in religious services in front of this old icon during a lot of centuries. Russian people believed that the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Kazan helps Russian army and city in which it is located from the 16th century. During the Second World War in the most dangerous days of the siege of the city this icon helped to St. Petersburg for the last time. Soviet Commander-in-Chief tree times turned around St. Petersburg on the plane with this icon.The city was besieged by Nazis 900 days and nights, was bombed 19 hours a day, died of starvation, but was not captured by enemies. Who knows, maybe it really happened because of the help of this miraculous icon.
In Soviet times in 1932 the Cathedral was closed and robbed. Than it was opened as a museum of religion and atheism. Sixty years later, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan was returned to believers.
Nowadays the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan is the main Russian Orthodox Cathedral in St. Petersburg and is one of the beautifulest Cathedrals in the city.

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