Pearls of Russia
On Nevsky Prospect there's a building that immediately attracts your attention. Kazan Cathedral encircles a small square with a double row of beautiful columns - an impressive colonnade. The architect Andrei Voronikhin, who built this church in 1801-1811, was greatly inspired by Basilica of St Peter's in Rome. Kazan Cathedral was meant to be a Russian version of St Peter's and the main church of Russia. After the War of 1812 (during which Napoleon was defeated) the church became a monument to the Russian victory. The captured enemy banners were put in the cathedral and the famous Russian field marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, who won the most important campaign of 1812, was buried inside the church.
The cathedral was named after a "miracle-making" icon of Our Lady of Kazan, which the church housed till the early 1930s. The Bolsheviks closed the cathedral for services in 1929, and from 1932 it housed the collections of the Museum of History of Religion and Atheism, which displayed numerous pieces of religious art and served anti-clerical propaganda purposes. A couple of years ago regular services were resumed in the cathedral, though it still shares the premises with the museum (no "atheism" in its title any more!) When in St Petersburg - come to Kazan Cathedral to admire some great classical interiors...
Location: 2, Kazanskaya Square, Nevsky Prospect, St.-Petersburg