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Cathedrals and churches of Saint Petersburg - St.Nicholas Cathedral

The Naval Cathedral, bearing the official name of St. Nicholas and the Epiphany Cathedral is one of the symbols of St. Petersburg, blessing it as a city of naval glory. Originally built in wood, the church was soon replaced with a stone cathedral. After Peter the Great returned from Astrakhan, he dreamed about building a marine church like St. Nicholas Church in Astrakhan, but this dream was never realized. Built in 1753 – 1762 by the architect Savva Chevakinsky as a marine regimental church in the shape of a Greek Cross, the two-storied cathedral is adorned with five gilded domes (which were re-gilded later by the funds of parishioners) and small cupolas crowned with crosses and features luxurious exterior characteristic of the reign of Elizabeth Petrovna.

St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral consists of two separate churches. The lower Saint Nicholas Church is located on the ground floor, while the upper Epiphany Church is on the first floor. The altar of the upper church was consecrated in the presence of the Empress Catherine II, who told the newly built church to be called a cathedral. The main shrine of the cathedral - a Greek icon of St. Nicholas made in the XVII century with a portion of his relics - is located in the lower church. The showpiece of the interior is the two-tiered carved iconostasis which is decorated with the icons created in the byzantine tradition by the great master I.Kanaev. The Colonnade is decorated with carvings in the form of garlands of flowers and foliage. Being a memorial place of seamen and Naval officers killed in wars, the cathedral walls bear marble slabs with the names of the perished, and since 1989 this tradition is continued by the mounting of a tablet commemorating dead submariners. Cathedral is surrounded by the beautiful park in which one can find a granite obelisk crowned with a figure of an eagle – that is a monument to the heroic crew of the Emperor Alexander III battleship killed in the Tsushima battle on May 14, 1905 that was created by architect Yakov Filote and sculptor Alexander Aubert.

NB! You can visit this cathedral during our individual tours to the temples of St.Petersburg.

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