St. Isaac's Cathedral was once the main church of St. Petersburg and the largest church of Russia. It was built in 1818-58 by a French-born architect Auguste Montferrand, who was commissioned to build the most spectacular church - a prime landmark of the Russian Imperial capital. One hundred and eighty years later the gilded dome of St. Isaac's still dominates the skyline of St. Petersburg. Although the cathedral is smaller than a newly rebuilt Church of Christ the Savior in Moscow, it has by far more inspirational facades and interiors.
The facades are decorated with sculptures and massive granite columns (made of single pieces of red granite), while the interiors dazzle the eye with mosaic icons, paintings and columns made of malachite and lapis lazuli. A large stained glass of "Resurrected Christ" located inside the main altar is truly fascinating. The church, designed to accommodate 14 thousand standing worshipers, was closed in the early 1930s and reopened as a museum. Nowadays, church services are held hero only on major occasions.
Foreign visitors can buy their tickets at the right door of the southern facade (not at the ticket booth). We recommend that you also climb about 300 stairs to get a bird-eye view of St. Petersburg from the "Collonade" observation point at the bottom of the dome.
Address: 1 Isaakievskaya Ploschad, St.-Petersburg
Metro: Nevsky Prospekt/Gostiny Dvor
The Cathedral is open:
Thursday to Tuesday, 11 am to 7 pm, last admission is at 6 pm
The Colonnade observation point is open:
Thursday to Tuesday, 11 am to 6 pm, last admission is at 5 pm
Adult - 50,000 rubles Student - 25,000 rubles
The Colonnade Observation Point
Adult - 18,000 rubles Student - 9,000 rubles
Discounted rates are available for visitors from CIS countries