Saint Petersburg, Russia, Part V: Churches and Cathedrals
According to my rough estimate, there's a bazillion of cathedrals & churches in St. Petersburg. It feels like there's a cupola or a spire around every corner or visible in the distance in all directions.
Religious sights of St. Petersburg - fantastic page with tremendous photos (also about everything else in St. Petersburg as well).
Kazan Cathedral is one of the first ones that come into view since it's situated right on Nevskiy Prospekt. Our first hotel was just a short walk from it. It's a functioning church, so there are no pictures inside, but it's okay to quietly walk through.
It's a grand yet reserved cathedral with huge colonnade wings on both sides.
It's majestic both at night and during day time.
Directly across is the Singer house with a bookstore inside and a famous cupola up top with beautiful statues (. There's a cafe on the 2nd story with a great overlook of the Kazan cathedral. The canal between the Singer house and the light blue house on the right (that has the Nevsky Prospect Subway which is very handy) goes directly to the Savior on Blood Church.
Following the waterway. All the red canopies on the right are restaurants. One of which is the "Frikadelki" where we ate just about daily.
Up close. We didn't make it inside. Not really sure why, probably just too busy with everything else to see and do.
Everything is ornate. Even the fence next to the cathedral. There's a lot of stands with knick-knacks and souveniers nearby as well.
Just walking along Nevsky there are quite a few smaller churches. Our hotel window looked at the left tower of this Lutheran Church of Saint Peter & Saint Paul.
And another just about half a mile down the street, hiding behind two houses across from Gostiny Dvor. Beautiful area to just stroll around, enjoy the sights and weather (unless you go during the dark & depressing Dostoevsky style weather which is prevalent during winter).
A mile or two down the road is St. Isaac's Cathedral, which is by far my favorite. It's much more reserved than the Savior on Blood, yet a bit brighter and more imposing than the Kazan Cathedral. And being able to climb to the viewing gallery to the top is the icing on the cake (around the columns under the cupola - you can see a stairway on the right side).
Level of details on a lot of buildings, not just St. Isaac's is through the roof. Just look at that door!
View from the top is magnificient in all directions. Right in the middle there's a statue of one of the emperors on a horse.
Inside there's a really cool model of how the cathedral was built. It was no doubt an epic undertaking.
Looking under the cupola. It's extremely challenging to pick interior shots due to the sheer volume of content. It's a bit like trying to put the entire almost 1000 pages of "Lord Of The Rings" into a brochure...
The main altar.
Just outside the main altar.
St. Isaac's beautiful at night. It's a beautiful stroll from there along the Neva embankment back to the Winter Palace and the Spit of Vasilievsky Island. Or just about anywhere. It's all quite pretty and well lit. Plus the bridges are raised at night to let the water traffic through - very romantic and popular sight.
And I know I've posted this pic before, but it's just one of my favorite ones. That's how St. Petersburg felt to me - something spectacular to see everywhere you look!
From the top of St. Isaac's it's quite easy to see the Winter Palace (the white and green enormous building on the right). Behind the large spire, just to the left, the Cathedral of Peter and Paul in the Peter and Paul Fortress is visible, which is where we're going next. Such a walkable and pretty city. Huge, yet intimate. It's a rare combination.
Through the power of teleportation: St. Isaac's on the left with Peter and Paul Cathedral on the right.
It has to be one of the tallest buildings in St. Petersburg. Look at how tiny the humans are down below.
It's not as grand as the other cathedrals inside, but a little more restraint doesn't hurt it a bit. St. Isaac's has way too much gold and stuff inside in some areas, unlike the more reserved exterior. Here it's a little more reasonable.
Right next to my dorm was a Convent of Saint John of Rila that we walked by every day on the way to the University (it was 30 min walk from the dorms to the main campus).
A beautiful sight either walking or taking a river boat tour just about everywhere in St. Petersburg.
And let's move on to the closing chapter for all the stuff that didn't quite get placed anywhere else, but is worth mentioning and looking at.
Next up: Everything else