Shore excursions in St. Petersburg

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St.Isaac's cathedral in St.Peterburg-the largest Cathedral in Russia

St.Petersburg was the capital of Russia during two centuries. In that time Russian tsars and aristocracy lived in the city and it was possible to construct large and beautiful buildings. St.Isaac's Cathedral is one of the most impressive construction of 19th century in St.Petersburg. The Cathedral was constructed as the main church of Russia. All major religious services in the country were held in this Cathedral. It could hold up to 14,000 people. Nowadays St.Isaac's Cathedral is the forth largest domed cathedral in Europe after St.Paul's in London, St.Peter's in Rome and Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

It is dedicated to Byzantine monk who lived in the 4th century and was canonised by Russian orthodox church. The feast day (the church calendar day) of St. Isaac was the birthday of Peter the Great. Russian tsar constructed small church dedicated to his Patron Saint. This church was reconstructed several times.

The construction of present Cathedral was commissioned to young French architect Auguste Ricard de Montferrand. He was the only one master who promised to meet all conditions of Russian tsar and to preserve old parts of the church, which was on this place before.

As a result he made a lot of mistakes. The special Committee was formed to correct this mistakes. It took 5 years. All together the construction of Isaac's Cathedral lasted in 40 years.

Outside the Cathedral of St. Isaac is decorated with heavy granite columns, massive bronze doors, bronze statues, bas-relieves and gilded domes.

The interior of the Cathedral is impressive too: walls and columns are decorated with malachite, lapis lazuli, 14 tipes of marble, different tipes of precious stones and minerals; an enormous stained-glass figure of Christ by the Iconstand; mosaic images of Saints, pictures, murals, mosaics and statues made of bronze.

After Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 the Cathedral was closed for worships and in 1931 was opened as a museum.

During the siege of our city in case we have not got enough time to evacuate all items from different museums, they were housed inside the St. Isaac's Cathedral
In that time the Cathedral suffered enormous damage. Some of the granite columns and walls still have traces of Nazis artillery shelling. The interior decoration of the Cathedral suffered badly from changes of temperature and humidity.

Restoration was hold soon after the Second World War. Now it is one of the beautifulest museums of St.Petersburg. During the excursion it is possible to see magnificent decoration of the Cathedral and to climb 562 steps to the dome of St.Isaac's. From the observation level of the Colonnade of the Cathedral you can receive the wonderful view of St.Petersburg.

Wednesday - day off

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