St. Isaac's Cathedral is the largest of all the churches in St. Petersburg. The most important monument of Russian architecture of the nineteenth, the cathedral was finished in 1858, and is located in the square of the same name, near the Hermitage, the famous museum. Second largest Orthodox church in the worldWith one of the largest domes in the world, St. Isaac's Cathedral is a wonderful example of Russian neoclassicism, a must visit if you are near St. Petersburg.
- Where is it and how to get there
- Hours and prices
- Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- What to see and how to visit St. Isaac's Cathedral
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Where is it and how to get there
- On foot: just over a kilometer from Ladozhsky station, it can be easily reached on foot, for a journey time of 15 minutes. Once out of the station, turn left onto Gorokhovaya St. and continue for approximately 900 meters; at the crossroads with Admiralteyskiy pr., turn left. After about 200 meters the Cathedral will appear on the left. Get directions
- By metro: line 5 Admiratelskiy stop.
Hours and prices
- every day from 10:30 to 18:00, except Wednesday. From the end of April until the end of September, the closing time is extended to 22 pm.
- Best time to avoid queues: early in the morning
- Cost of admission to the cathedral: 250 rubles equal to € 3,20. In summer, for a difference of 150 rubles, equal to € 1,92, it is possible to visit the Colonnade of St. Isaac's Cathedral even at night. This route is the flagship of the initiatives organized during the white nights period, from the beginning of June to mid-July, when the night hardly exists. For an additional 200 rubles, € 2,56, it is possible to rent the audio guide inside the same cathedral. Buy online: entrance ticket to St. Isaac's Cathedral
- Reductions: Governors aged 7 to 18 pay 50 rubles (0,64 cents) for admission to the cathedral
- Free: children under 7
Tours, guided tours and tickets online
What to see and how to visit St. Isaac's Cathedral
St. Isaac's Cathedral is 101,5 meters high, and has 112 columns of red granite on the outside. However, what strikes the observer's eye the most is its dome, built with three layers one on top of the other: the inner part is made of metal as well as the outer one, covered by copper sheets. The particular golden tint of these is due to the fire gilding process: that is, the gold was fixed on the copper, making the mercury evaporate with the high temperatures reached.
They contribute to making the Cathedral special, even the benches 400 sculptures, which decorate the inside and the outside. Of all, "The adoration of the magi" by Vitali, located on the south pediment and "The resurrection" by Lemer, which is instead on the north pediment, cannot be missed. The bas-reliefs carved on the east and west pediments are also the work of the same masters. The oak portals, with bas-reliefs depicting some episodes in the history of Christianity, are instead inspired by the doors of the Baptistery of Florence.
The interior of the Cathedral is lined with ben 14 marbles, and from over 43 types of stone. Here you will find both the bust dedicated to Giulio Foletti, the architect of the Cathedral, made with all the different types of marble used for the construction of the structure, and a wooden model, the work of a certain Salin, a slave who thanks to the talent shown from the construction of the model, he was freed by his master. The greatest artists of the Empire collaborated in the creation of the works now exhibited inside the cathedral, or which were irretrievably lost, due to the humidity and low temperatures that were inside. After climbing the 262 steps leading to the dome, you will have the opportunity to admire one Breath-taking view, from where it is possible to admire the whole city.
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Visit time: It is advisable to dedicate at least 2 hours to the visit.
- Buy the card: The Saint Petersburg CityPass offers free admission to the Cathedral and other attractions in the city
- Watch out for temperatures: if you decide to climb the dome in winter, cover yourself well.
Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
The works for the construction of St. Isaac began in 1818 and ended in 1858. Dedicated to the homonymous Byzantine monk, thanks to its 101 meters it is visible even from kilometers away. Its construction was particularly difficult, given the instability of the waterlogged ground. The problem was solved by the French architect August Montferrand, who lined the base with 24.000 poles to support the future 300.000 tons of the current church. The church, classified as a museum, stands out for the majesty and opulence of its interiors, thanks to the gilded stuccos, frescoes and mosaics. Among them stands out a fresco of 800 square meters, by Karl Bryullov, depicting the Virgin surrounded by angels and saints.
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