Saturday, June 7, 2014

inSPIREd Sunday

May 2011 - St. Petersburg Russia

It was just spectacular to round a corner in the bustling city of St. Petersburg, with all its canals and see this cathedral.
We had an especially beautiful spring day.

Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is known to Petersburgers as the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood - or even just the Church on the Blood - as it marks the spot where Alexander II was fatally wounded in an assassination attempt on March 1, 1881. Designed by Alfred Parland in the style of 16th and 17th-century Russian churches, the Church of the Resurrection provides a stark (some would say jarring) contrast to its surroundings of Baroque, Classical and Modernist architecture.

Alexander II died of wounds inflicted in an attack by the terrorist group People's Will. Immediately, his heir, Alexander III, declared his intention to erect a church on the site in his father's memory, and moreover to have this church built in "traditional Russian" style - in distinction to what he saw as the contaminating Western influence of Petersburg.

Eventually, after Alexander had rejected several architects' designs, Archimandrite Ignaty gave the job to Parland, but made the design himself. The church's final composition drew heavily from St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow and the Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev. Construction began in 1883, and Ignaty died shortly afterward, leaving Parland to complete the job.
No baptisms, funeral services, weddings, or other traditional church services were held in the Church on the Blood, as this was not in Alexander III's plans. However, weekly requiems (for Alexander II) and sermon readings attracted large numbers of worshippers.

After the Revolution, the church - despite becoming an official cathedral in 1923 - was looted. It was closed in 1932, and essentially turned into a garbage dump. Rumors abounded that the church would be torn down. Damage from World War II and the Siege of Leningrad can still be seen on the church's walls.

After World War II, the church was used as a warehouse for the Small Opera Theatre. The valuable shrine was almost completely destroyed. Four jasper columns with mosaic mountings in them, and a part of the balustrade were all that remained.


  1. Beautiful... and yes, there seem to be blemishes that I assume are from that period of time.

    I'd love to see St. Petersburg, particularly the Hermitage.

  2. A wonderful series of photos! The church is so beautiful! And all the historical facts you shared ... gorgeous!

  3. These are gorgeous shots! That is one place I would like to go one day!

  4. These are gorgeous shots. That is one place I would like to go one day! Blogger seems to be losing my comment so I hope it works this time.

  5. awesome. would love to see this beauty in person. ( :

  6. Spectacular!
    Tom The Backroads Traveller


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