A decision to build a grand cathedral on St Petersburg's main street - the Nevskiy Prospekt - was taken in 1799 by Pavel I. Despite none of the designs entered for the tender being approved, an unususual design submitted by the young architect Voronihin a year later was to the Emperor's liking.
Construction work started soon after in 1801 as newly crowned Alexander I oversaw the laying of the first stone. In September 1811 the cathedral was consecrated. The design was based on the grand St Peter's Cathedral in Rome which is why the look of the Cathedral differs so much from the vast majority of traditional Russian Orthodox constructions. Initial architect designs had plans for a mirror image Cathedral to be erected directly opposite, but these were quickly changed in favour of one grand building.
The Cathedral's extremely opulent interior is staggering, but make sure you pay attention to some of the highlights:
Throughout the Year
St. Petersburg, Kazan square, 2.