Churches in St Petersburg Russia | Ultimate Guide to Orthodox, Catholic Cathedrals

Planning a trip to see the Churches in St Petersburg, Russia? Planning the trip can be very confusing for first-time visitors. So we’ve put together this Ultimate Guide to all the Churches in this beautiful city.

This guide provides the location of must-visit cathedrals, churches and mosques of Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Famous Churches in St Petersburg, Russia 

Churches in St Petersburg Russia

Churches in St Petersburg Russia

St. Petersburg, the “Venice of the North,” has a rich history of more than three centuries. St. Petersburg is regarded as one of Russia’s most attractive cities. The city is filled with gorgeous churches, cathedrals, boulevards, parks, squares, palaces, and the famous Neva River. The city’s architecture embodies its role as an important European capital for several important historical events.

The city’s churches are also an important part of this history. The atmosphere is spiritual and exceptional. It is also known for being the birthplace of Peter the Great, one of the most famous tsars in Russian history. There are about 275 churches and related religious places in Saint Petersburg, Russia. But one of the most famous churches in St Petersburg would have to be the Church of the Savior on Blood.

Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood

Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood

Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood

The Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood (Церковь Спаса на Крови in Russian) is a church in Saint Petersburg, Russia, located in the city center. It is located on Palace Square, at the corner of Nevsky Avenue and Gorokhovaya Street. I am currently reading the book “The Last of the Tsars” by Edvard Radzinsky and find that I can add a little bit of information here and there, based on my visits to Russia.

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the most famous churches in Russia and I finally got to go in and see what it was like. The church is called Spilled Blood because in 1881, in a public ceremony, Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by a bomb in this church.The actual site of the assassination was replaced in 1883.

The Church of the Savior on Blood was built in 1883 to honor the Russian soldiers who were killed in the 1812 Battle of Borodino.

Visiting Hours: Thursday – Tuesday 10:00 to 18:00. Closed on Wednesday

Things to do:

  • Take a glance at the Holy Gates.
  • Behold the Cathedral’s magnificent mosaics, particularly the Christ Pantocrator
  • Take a photo at the Griboedov Canal
  • Buy souvenirs

The Chesme Church (Of the Nativity of John the Baptist)

The Chesme Church St Petersburg

The Chesme Church St Petersburg

The Chesme Church (Чесменская церковь in Russian) is one of Saint Petersburg’s most beautiful Orthodox churches and a truly unique example of Russian architecture influenced by the early Gothic revival.

The Chesme Church is located in the very center of Saint Petersburg, in between the Summer Gardens and the Neva. It is tucked away in a small street called Chesmensky pereulok.

The Church was commissioned by the wife of the Governor of Russia, Countess Alexandra Bestuzheva-Ryumin (1789-1850). The building was started in 1848 and the structure was completed in 1850. The Church was designed by the architect, Vasily Stasov (1793-1878). It was one of Stasov’s first major works and was built by the Italian architect and engineer, Andrei Mikhailov. The church was built in the Neo-Gothic style that was popular in Europe at that time. The church’s design bears a resemblance to the Temple of the Sibyl.

Book your tickets here: http://chesma.spb.ru/

Working Hours: Every Day 09:00 to 19:00

Things to do:

  • Admire the buildings in the Candycane style
  • Visit the War Veterans’ Cemetery and the Rasputin’s Coffin

Cathedral of St Andrew the First-Called

Cathedral of St Andrew the First-Called

Cathedral of St Andrew the First-Called

Saint Petersburg is a city of many buildings, parks, and monuments. One of the oldest of these churches is the Cathedral of Saint Andrew the First-Called. The Cathedral of St. Andrew the First-Called was ordered to be built by the Tsar, Peter the Great himself.

The original wooden church in this area was built around 1732. It only had a single storey, and lasted until 1761, when it was struck by lightning and burnt down.

The current building of the church was eventually constructed in 1781, in the same place where the previous wooden structure was located.

Working Hours: Every Day 09:00 to 19:00

Things to do:

  • Take a look at the renowned silver domes
  • Keep an eye out for pigeons
  • The Pink Facade is something to behold

Catholic Churches in St Petersburg Russia

Even though the main religion of Russia is Orthdox Christianity, there is a beautiful Catholic church that you can find in St Peterburg as well.

The Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria

The Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church in Saint Petersburg is one of Russia’s oldest Catholic churches and the country’s only church with the status of basilica.

The Catholic Church of St Catherine

The Catholic Church of St Catherine

The church was founded in 1714 by the first Russian Catholics, who were from Poland and Lithuania. The church was built in the style of a Russian country church. It has always had a strong Polish influence since the 17th century.

It was originally built in the 18th century by the Poles, who were very influential in this region. The church is known for its beautiful architecture, which is evident in the two onion domes on top of the church. Today, this church is still run by the Poles; it is one of the very few Polish churches that are still in operation.

The original plans to build the church were developed around 1738 under the Russian Empress Anna, however the actual construction wasn’t completed until 1783. It was consecrated in the name of St Catherine, the patron saint of one of the Empresses of Russia, Empress Catherine II.

In 1984, there was a severe fire at The Church of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and a lot of decorations and relics were lost in that fire. The church only resumed its normal operations in the early 1990s.

Things to do:

  • Revere the church’s main façade. The Arched Portal is supported by its columns.
  • Take a trip back in time to view the proper altar, which has been maintained in its original form.

Many Other Orthodox Churches in St Petersburg Russia

There are a lot more Orthodox Churches in St Petersburg, of course, since that’s the main religion of the country. While it’s impossible to write an article about all of them, here are some of the ones that I thought are worth a mention and a visit:

Isaac’s Cathedral

St. Isaac's Cathedral

One of the most significant tourist sites in St. Petersburg is the St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Исаакиевский Собор in Russian). The cathedral itself is a very beautiful building, but its location makes it even more special.

The cathedral will get you one of the best views of the Neva River. St. Isaac’s Cathedral is a large Russian Orthodox church in the center of St Petersburg. The cathedral was built from 1818 to 1858 to commemorate Emperor Alexander II. The structure is a “must-see” sight in the downtown region.

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is the largest in Russia and the former main church of the city. It was built in a neo-classical style and is one of the finest of its kind. The cathedral used to act as the main church of the city and was the largest church in the city.

Today, it’s closed for regular religious services, and is mostly used as a museum. It is only occasionally used for major, special religious occasions and events.

Working Hours: Thursday – Tuesday 10:30 to 18:00. Closed on Wednesday

Things to do:

  • Explore the artwork and frescoes
  • Take a look at the Golden Dome
  • There are beautiful 112 pink granite columns
  • Inside, there’s a video and a replica of the structure
  • For breathtaking views, climb to the top of the dome

The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul

The Cathedral of Peter and Paul differs from old Muscovite churches in a number of ways. As a rule, they were built of large glass bricks, their roofs were gilded, and there were two golden domes on the church, which were supposed to represent the heavenly Jerusalem.

On the old painting the architects of Peter and Paul’s Cathedral were considered to be Italian masters Grolli and Grolli, and they were given the right to build the temple of the same name in Florence.

In 1712, a special stone church was erected in Moscow on the bank of the Moskva River. It was a tribute to the memory of the third Russian monarch, Peter the Great. The Peter and Paul Cathedral takes up the center of the Peter and Paul Fortress and is the burial place of the Russian Emperors and Empresses.

The cathedral was constructed in a European style. The building’s exterior displays the appreciation of the European architecture that at that time reigned in Russia.

The Cathedral of Peter and Paul is the main Orthodox church of St. Petersburg. It was built on the orders of Peter the Great. The massive structure was constructed from 1712 to 1733 and took over the reign of the tallest Orthodox church in the world.

Working Hours: Daily 10:00 to 18:00. Saturday 11:00 to 18:00. Sunday 10:00 to 17:45.

Things to do :

  • Visit the Romanov Rulers’ Royal Tombs
  • Enjoy the world’s highest orthodox bell tower
  • From the top of the bell tower, you can get a great view over St. Petersburg

The Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt

Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt

Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas in Kronstadt

Kronstadt is one of the most unique parts of Saint Petersburg – a huge fortress with a naval port and a shipbuilding yard.

It’s considered to be its own separate town, to the west of St Petersburg, on an island, connected to the mainland by 2 bridges. It was founded by Peter the Great as a Russian naval base. Kronstadt has a rich history and several landmarks are worth seeing. The main building is the Naval Cathedral or St. Nicholas Cathedral.

The Griboyedov Canal is crossed by Staro-Nikolskiy Bridge, and St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral is located above it. You can view seven additional bridges from the bridge. This cathedral is dedicated to St. Nicholas, a patron saint of sailors. The cathedral has a five-tier iconostasis and there is a crypt underneath the cathedral that was constructed to hold the remains of the Romanov family.

My travel to Russia and its capital city centers around the rich and diverse architectural history of the city. The city has a well-preserved collection of buildings

Working Hours: Daily 07:00 to 19:00

Things to do:

  • For a spectacular perspective, climb to the pinnacle of the cathedral
  • Buy the English-language audio tour
  • Interior and Exterior designs are stunning and Instagram-worthy

Kazan Cathedral

Kazan Cathedral, St Petersburg

Kazan Cathedral, St Petersburg

Now, this is an impressive cathedral. The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (Russian: Казанский кафедральный собор) is the most sacred place in all of Russia. This cathedral includes an icon known as Our Lady of Kazan, which is thought to be miraculous. This cathedral was modeled on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, built from 1801 to 1811, is located in St. Petersburg, Russia, at the intersection of Nevsky Prospect, Bolshaya Morskaya Street, and Maly Konyushennaya Street.

Situated directly on the Neva River, it is one of the main landmarks of the city and was built to commemorate the Russian victory over the Swedish army in the Great Northern War. The interior is stunning with its gleaming gold dome, intricate ceiling frescos, and stunning chandeliers.

Official Website here: http://kazansky-spb.ru/

Working Hours: Daily 09:00 to 19:45, Saturday 06:30 to 19:45

Things to do :

  • Discover the neoclassical structure
  • Take a look at the colonnades from a distance
  • Don’t forget to visit General Kutuzov’s grave
  • Relax in the plaza that surrounds the building’s shoulders

Smolny Cathedral

Smolny Cathedral St Petersburg

Smolny Cathedral St Petersburg

Although much of the architecture in St. Petersburg is influenced by European styles, some of the most impressive structures, such as the Smolny Cathedral, were designed by Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who came to Russia as a child with his father. His father had been invited to the country by the Tsar, Peter the Great himself.

In 1835, the construction of the cathedral was completed. It was supposed to have a bell tower at the top, but those plans never ended up going ahead. Still, the building is beautiful and its colors really stand out.

The grounds around the cathedral have been beautified and it’s really amazing experience to walk through the surrounding area in any time of the year – winter, summer or in between.

Working Hours: Daily 10:00 to 16:00

Things to do:

  • Admire the blue and white buildings of the Baroque period
  • Take a lot of photos because this is one of the most picturesque cathedrals in the world
  • Climb the stairwell to the bell tower for a spectacular view

We hope you enjoyed this post about the churches in St Petersburg Russia. We have found them to be a great place to visit when in the area.

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