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The Church of Our Saviour on Blood

The Church of Our Saviour on Blood

This marvelous Old Russian-style church was built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated on March 1, 1881. Built in 1883-1907, the church was designed in the spirit of sixteenth- and seventeenth century Russian architecture, inspired particularly by St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow.

The interior of the church, a memorial to the late Emperor Alexander II, was decorated with different marbles and several thousand square yards of mosaics. These mosaics were far from being ordinary; their surface was left unpolished, so that they reflect sunlight, which impressed worshipers and other visitors alike.

After the October Revolution of 1917 the church met the sad fate of most churches in the country. "The Savior" was closed for services in the late 1920s, then briefly used for an exhibition of revolutionary propaganda and soon started to fall into decay, being deprived of adequate maintenance. Several times it was suggested that the church be torn down, for it stood as an "inappropriate" symbol of Christianity amidst the largely atheistic country. It is by a true miracle that the church was saved. Since 1970 the church has been managed by the staff of the St Isaac's Cathedral. A long careful restoration began, which has lasted for over 25 years.

Now with scaffolding already removed, the bell-tower dome gilded, and the interiors carefully restored, the church opened its doors to visitors. The official opening took place in August, 1997 and you can now see this jewel in the crown of St. Petersburg in its stunning beauty.

A great site for taking pictures. Lots of souvenir stalls nearby.

(c) 2000