More and more sights in St. Petersburg become covered in
scaffolding, as they are prepared for the 300 years anniversary. The Peter
and Paul Cathedral turned out to be fully covered.
However, this does not hinder us in having a look at the interior. And that
is what we are doing today.
We start with the Grand Dukes' Burial
Vault (the cathedral and this later addition to it are now one
building). Here, there is an exhibition of various photographs, plans
and charts connected with the construction and restoration of the
In the next hall, one can buy souvenirs,
and there are also gravestones in the floor. The idea is that members of
the Tsar's family are - or were - buried here.
The Burial Vault was built from 1896-1908
after plans by D. Grimm, with the participation of A. Timoshenko and L.
I was told that during the Vault's construction, the original
architect made serious miscalculations, and because of this, Benois & co
were asked to assist.
Now to the Cathedral itself.
The Cathedral is remarkable in two ways: it was the first Cathedral
to be built in St. Petersburg (1712-1733), and almost all Emperors of
Russia are buried here, from Peter I (Peter II and Ivan VI Antonovich
In 1865, sarcophagi made from Carrara
marble (architects: A.A. Poirot and A.L. Gun) replaced the old
gravestones. Afterwards, the design was used also for later burials.
As you might remember, a performance took
place in the summer of 1998. It included bone digging on all TV
channels, followed by the funeral of Nicholas II and his family here.
The Church, it seems, didn't recognise that it was the remains of the
actual Tsar family that had been found.
Anyway, this is the place
where they were buried.
The chandeliers hanging from the ceiling
were made in the late 18th century from crystal, gilt bronze, and
The little balcony on the left is the
pulpit. The priest would read sermons from it. Perhaps sermons are read
even today - the Cathedral has an unclear status (it has been a museum
The sculptures above the balcony are the apostles Peter and Paul.
Behind it is the iconostasis.
We go a little closer...
The iconostasis was made from wood in
1722-1726, carved by the Moscow carvers T. Ivanov and I. Telega, under
the direction of I.P. Zaprudny.
It was assembled in the Cathedral and
covered in pure gold.
M.A. Merkuryev and his assistants painted
the icons for the iconostasis.
As written in the leaflet: "...the
iconostasis approaches the form of the triumphal arches put up in
Peter's time for celebrations of Russian weapons' victories..."
In 1865-66 the carved wooden shutters were replaced with copper gilt
cast iron ones.
In previous centuries, Swedish and
Turkish standards, city and fortress keys taken as trophies by Russian
soldiers, were kept in the Cathedral. In the early 20th century they
were given to museums, but copies have been kept in the Cathedral.
In the next album I plan to finally say goodbye to winter.