Saint-Isaac cathedral, Saint PetersburgSaint-Isaac cathedral, Saint Petersburg

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  • Off the path Explo
    30 %
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    1.5 / 5
    This church is very famous in Russia!
  • Article Quality
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    Article Quality rate
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Nice description and tips Fritz!
    • Score
      3 / 5
      Yes! Would aplan be useful?
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Yes, many!
    • Score
      5 / 5
    • Score
      5 / 5
  • Explo Popularity

The 3rd largest cathedral in the world!

Grandiose, this building impresses by the richness of its decoration and by the technical feat has represented its construction.

My experience, Explo description: 

The cathedral was built between 1819 and 1858 by the French architect Auguste de Montferrand (who lived in Saint Petersburg during the 40 years of construction). It was built on a swampy and very unstable ground, necessiating 24,000 stilts to support the weight of the building.

This was the last workshop of the era of serfdom: among the 400,000 workers who worked there, one quarter died of disease or accident...

In 1931, the Soviets transformed the cathedral into the Museum of Atheism!

Since, the Cathedral was given back to the Orthodox Church, and only major feasts are celebrated there.

The golden dome of St Isaac is 102m high. It is visible from most parts of the city; it is an excellent viewpoint!

Inside, you can admire hundreds of half-precious stones, rare marbles and stuccoes. 400kg gold were used, 16 tons of green malachite, 11 square metres of blue lazurite, 14 varieties of marble. St Isaac is a "treasure of colored stones".

Icons are drawn in mosaics, rather than in frescos, in order to avoid the ravages of moisture.

Interesting: have a look at the artwork showing the establishment of monolithic columns of 17m high.

My personal recommendations: 

Climb the 262 stairs to reach the top of the dome, where you can enjoy a magnificent panorama over the city and the Gulf of Finland.

A tip to eat: 

500m from the cathedral, Cafe Stolle: Dekabristov ulitsa, 19.
Open continuously from 9am to 21pm.

It is a fast food that offers "pirogui": kinds of stuffed breads (salted or unsweetened). Attention: from the outside they all look the same. Ask to see the slice before ordering. Excellent, fast, and not expensive. Take away also possible.

Useful information: 
Open hours: 

Closed on Wednesdays
Summer: 10am - 19pm
Winter: 11am - 18pm
Access to the dome and the colonnade: 11am - 17pm

Visit duration: 

1 to 3 hours.

Entry fees: 

Access to the interior is charged. Separated tickets should be purchased for visiting the interior and the dome / colonnade.

Audioguides are provided with tickets.

Fees are reduced for Russian people and students.
Interior: 320 rbs (8.2 €); photo 100 rbs (2.6 €)
Cupola: 200 rbs (5.1 €)