Kazan Cathedral at Night

Kazan Cathedral is not a museum but a church and as such talking is kept to a minimum: it is a place of prayer and contemplation…

Is one of the grandest churches in St Petersburg with its colonnades of 96 columns embracing Nevsky prospect like the outstretched wings of a gigantic eagle. Kazan Cathedral was built between 1801 and 1811 to house a venerated icon Our Lady of Kazan by Andrey Voronikhin (a serf of Count Stroganov).

Although it was erected during the reign of Alexander I and is considered to be a monument to our victory in the war against Napoleon (1812-1814) its’ inspiration came from Alexander’s father Paul I, and it was his idea that Kazan cathedral should be designed and built by Russian artists, despite being modeled on St Peter in the Vatican.

During the Soviet period it was a museum of Religion and Atheism (which is now a separate museum). In 1837 the statues of two military commanders appeared in front of the cathedral: Mikhail Barclay de Tolly and Mikhail Kutizov (his grave is inside cathedral and he was buried here with full honors on the spot where he prayed before setting off to war).