Russia is huge, as was our time there, so this will cover a few posts!
First up, the churches
St Isaac’s Cathedral – in WWII, they covered the dome with black paint, so it wouldn’t be a signpost for the city.
The Peter & Paul Cathedral is the centre of St Petersburg. Wherever you are, if you can see the spire, you can figure out where you are.
The Smolny Cathedral and Convent
The Trinity Cathedral
The Church of the Spilled Blood (also called Church of the Resurrection), build on the spot where Alexander II was fatally wounded.
All of Russia uses gold. A LOT of gold.
The arch built on the exact spot of the Tsar’s attack
Every decoration in the church is handmade mosaic.
The mosaics located in the spires. This one is Jesus.
This is the Virgin Mary
A close up of the design, to show the mosaic work.
The altar of the church (it blocks off the area where only men are allowed to worship)
a close-up of the door
Portraits – also entirely mosaic
All of the churches were repurposed during the Soviet years. The Church of Spilled Blood was used as a morgue for many years, and much of the inside was damaged by weather let in through broken windows. It was set to be imploded towards the end of the Soviet Era – they even had all the explosives ready – but it received a stay of execution when the Soviet Era ended. And thank goodness – it’s an absolute marvel.
Next up – the Palaces!