St. Isaac's Cathedral is the largest, the richest and the most famous cathedral in Russia and the 4th largest domed cathedral in Europe. It is also the most "visible" building in St. Petersburg. Its golden dome is so huge that you can clearly see it from the side window of the airplane or from board the ship when you arrive. It was constructed in the 19th century as a principal cathedral of St. Petersburg. It is 101.5 meters high and its area is 4 000 square meters - enough to accommodate 12 000 people. The construction took 40 years.
The interior is richly decorated with paintings belonging to the brush of the leading Russian artists, mosaics so intricate that you can hardly tell them from a painting, exquisite combination of semiprecious stones, gilded sculptures and bronze bas-reliefs. You can find 14 types of coloured Italian marble in the decoration of the interior. The columns of the main icon-stand are made of malachite and lapis-lazuli.
Apart from the luxurious decoration the Cathedral is also famous for its unique engineering design. During the guided tour we will tell you how using the engineering techniques of the 18th century the builders managed to strengthen the basement of a building so huge, put up solid granite columns weighing more than a hundred tons, construct a dome which is 25.8 meters in diameter. You will also hear a lot of interesting facts about the history of the construction of the Cathedral, people who took part in it, the historical events the building evidenced and the complicated life the Cathedral has to face today, trying to combine the status of the State important museum and an active church at the same time.
If you are willing to take beautiful pictures and are adventurous enough to afford a climb of 226 steps (no elevator) we can also offer you to go up to the Colonnade of the Cathedral. After struggling a breathtaking climb you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the city from the height of 43 meters, with the whole panorama of St. Petersburg lying in front of your eyes.
For more information about the St. Isaac's Cathedral please click here.
We recommend including the tour of St. Isaac's Cathedral into the city tour. The visit will take about 30 minutes or an hour if you wish to go to the Colonnade as well.
NB! During the high season the Colonnade works late in the evening, or sometimes even overnight.
...The Cathedral hall is awesome and The altar is magnificent. The different mosaics and paintings OF saints, Virgin Mary, and last supper are treasures and pleasant to look at. The dome and The frescos ON The ceiling are nicely preserved and restored. A must place to see and good for prayers and meditation. Thanks to our guide Anna for the pleasure of seeing such beauty! (Alex, Houston, Texas)
St Isaac cathedral tour
...The St. Issac's in central St. Petersburg truly is a memorable structure. The columns alone make you wonder on how banking was capable of moving material like that in those days. Underlined by the fact that it is possible to climb the roof of the cathedral, make it an even more worthwhile sight, as the beautiful city reveals more of its obvious glory. Absolutely worth the trip! (Greg Self, Brisbane, Australia)
St Isaac cathedral St Petersburg colonnade
...Exceptional cathedral. Love the fact that you can go up and walk around the roof. View from there is amazing and you understand that everything actually seem so close! It is so worth it. You can also see a little inside the St Isaac cathedral from the rooftop windows while taking a stroll around the roof. Preferably go when there is a nice weather or not so windy - it is more enoyable on the roof. (Annica Sandin, Stockholm, Sweden)
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