Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
The Church of the Resurrection, known as the “Savior on Spilled Blood”, is a shining part of the St. Petersburg skyline.
Constructed in the memory of Alexander II, the church is a must-visit location in the Russian city.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is a former Russian Orthodox church. Construction began on the church after the assassination of Alexander II in 1881. The attack by the terrorist group People’s Will occurred at the exact spot where the church stands.
It was the intention of Alexander’s son, Alexander III, to create the church in his memory. The church displays a “traditional Russian” style, differing from the other structures of St. Petersburg.
The church would include the road section where the attack took place. To integrate the exact spot, construction needed to narrow the nearby canal.
The church took over 24 years to build. In addition, it reportedly went over budget by 1 million roubles. The church was a lavish project, funded by Imperial families and private donors.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood stands out against the St. Petersburg landscape. The city’s architecture is principally in the style of Baroque or Neoclassical. In contrast, the Savior on Spilled Blood resembles the St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. This style is an example of medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism.
St. Basil’s influence is obvious in the color and extravagance of the exterior. The five gold-adorned domes at the top of the church shine stand out from the city’s strict structural conventions.
After the Revolution, the church suffered a series of disasters. Damage from looters and World War II led to rumors of demolition.
In July 1970, Saint Isaac’s Cathedral took over the management of the church. Under new control, they initiated significant plans for reconstruction. Proceeds from Saint Isaac’s funded the restoration. The project was extensive and took 27 years to complete.
In August 1997, the church reopened to the public.
VISITING CHURCH OF THE SAVIOR ON SPILLED BLOOD
The interior of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is just as impressive as the exterior. The cathedral boasts one of the largest mosaic collections in Europe. With more than 600 mosaics of icons and images, the cathedral displays work by 32 different artists.
To the end of the cathedral, opposite the altar, stands Alexander II’s elaborate shrine. The design is extravagant. Four columns serve as the base of the shrine, over with the simple cobblestones of the old road. Towards the top, small rectangular columns unite the carved stone awning. Semi-precious stones embellish the monument and contrast with the exposed floor below.
Visitors can enter the Savior on Spilled Blood and see the mosaics and shrine for themselves. Tickets to the church cost 250 rubles for adults. The church opens every day from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (closed on Wednesdays). During the summer months, the church extends opening times until 10:30 p.m.
The visit usually takes less than 1 hour and is an interesting stop during a day of sightseeing.
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