Photo by Andrew Kudrin  –  Link

Kazan Cathedral

Russia > St Petersburg

Kazan Cathedral origins

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.

Key sights

The Cathedral's extremely opulent interior is staggering, but make sure you pay attention to some of the highlights:

  • Icon of the Kazan Godmother - an extremely rare formal copy of the original icon takes its proud place in the Cathedral. The original is one of the Orthodox Church's most sacred icons and is rumoured to be secretly held in the Pope's private collection.
  • Statues of Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolly - the two statues stand on the square in front of the cathedral and were erected in celebration of Russia's victory over Napoleon.
  • "Carrying of the Cross" Sculpture - one of only two internal sculptures that have survived from the Cathedral's original construction is a unique piece of classical Russian architecture cast by the Russian sculptor Shedrin.
Opening Times

Throughout the Year

  • Sunday: 07:00 AM to 06:00 PM
  • Monday to Saturday: 10:00 AM to 06:00 PM
Price Information


  • General Free

St. Petersburg, Kazan square, 2.


Russia 190000

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