Church Of The Savior On Blood, Saint Petersburg, Russia

 

I lost my heart to St. Petersburg, a beautifully preserved imperial city built in the 18th and 19th centuries. The majestic and magical city has an indescribable aura of unreality snow-covered in winter. Among its networks of canals, we discovered world-class museums, luxury department stores, classy cafes, colourful Baroque palaces and churches with impressive domes. It comes as no surprise that Russia’s cultural capital is frequently compared to Venice.

Apart from the sumptuous palaces and the stunning yellow and white classical facades, I was utterly fascinated by the pre-eminent symbol of the city: The Church Of The Savior On Blood. The church’s name may vary between guidebooks and include The Resurrection Church and The Church of the Resurrection of Christ.

Designed by Alfred Parland in the style of 16th and 17th-century Russian churches, the gingerbread church with glazed sugar-candy domes located on the banks of the Moika, was originally erected in memory of Tsar Alexander II who was assassinated by a group of revolutionaries, the People’s Will, in a planned bombing.

His son, Alexander III, immediately commissioned a church to be erected on the spot where the Emperor was mortally wounded. Built between 1883 and 1907, the marvelous Russian-style church was officially called the Resurrection of Christ Church (a.k.a. The Church Of The Savior On Blood). Interestingly, the cobblestones where the tsar’s blood was spilled on are preserved inside, underneath an ornate marble canopy.

With nine domes resplendent with jeweler’s enamel, the roof covered with polychromatic tile and the gilded cupolas of the bell tower gleaming brightly, this precious jewel is absolutely unrivaled.

The interior of the church is overwhelmingly beautiful for its profusion of Italian marble and rich assortment of Russian semiprecious stones. The incredibly detailed mosaics were designed and created by the most prominent Russian artists of the time. Such mosaics form an extensive collection of Christian images representing 277 names and 68 biblical and evangelic scenes.

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