Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg

Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect in St. Petersburg

We invite everyone to a lecture “Peter the Great as a reformer of the church” given by Dmitry Andreyevich Karpuk, candidate of Theology, associate professor, head of postgraduate study at the St.Petersburg Theological Academy, in the conference hall of the crypt of the Kazan Cathedrals at 1 pm on September 11. Access to the crypt is through the service parking lot of the cathedral from the side of Kazanskaya street. Free entrance! Information by phone: +7(981)930-08-01 Read more “

The procession on the day of the Transfer of the Relics of the Saint Blessed Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky

September 12 commemorates the Day of the Transfer of the Relics of the Saint Blessed Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky – the heavenly patron and defender of the northwestern borders of our Motherland. The name of the prince Alexander is inextricably linked with St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, since it was here that he gained his most significant victories. He became famous as an able and successful military commander who did not suffer a single defeat, and as a wise ruler and politician who laid . Read More “

Schedule of services at the Kazan Cathedral for September 12

Schedule of live services from Kazan Cathedral

TIMETABLE OF LIVE VIGILS TIMETABLE: September 10. All-Night Vigil 6 p.m. September 11. Week 13th after Pentecost. Beheading of the Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord John. 9:40 Divine Liturgy. September 12. The Transfer of the Relics of the Holy Great Prince Alexander Nevsky. 8:15 Divine Liturgy. The service is celebrated by Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, accompanied by bishops and clergy of the archdiocese. After the conclusion of the service . Read More “

We invite you to a lecture by Archimandrite Augustine (Nikitin)

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A funeral service was held in the Kazan Cathedral on the Memorial Day of Metropolitan Nicodemus (Rotov)

On the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God and the Ever-Virgin Mary, 5 September, after the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Archpriest Konstantin Golovatsky served a funeral mass for the ever-memorable Metropolitan Nicodemus (Rotov). The ever-memorable Vladyka passed away on September 5, 1978. Read more “

Divine Services for the Week of the 12th Week after Pentecost were celebrated in the Kazan Cathedral

On the eve of the Week of the Twelfth Week on Pentecost, September 3, Archpriest Nicholas Preobrazhensky, co-serving with clergy, celebrated the all-night vigil in the Kazan Cathedral. On September 4th, the very week of the Twelfth Week on Pentecost Archpriest Nicholas Preobrazhensky, accompanied by clergy, celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Kazan Cathedral. The service was broadcast live on the Cathedral’s Youtube channel. Archpriest Sergii Kudryashov delivered the sermon after the Eucharistic liturgy. At the end of the Liturgy there was a prayer service for the preservation of God’s creation. The annual Day of Special Prayer for God’s Creation, which is celebrated on the first Sunday in September, was established by the decision of . Read More “

On the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Kazan Cathedral a Divine Liturgy was celebrated

On August 28, the week of the 11th week after the Pentecost, the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God and the Ever-Virgin Mary, Archpriest Nicholas Preobrazhensky together with clergy served the Divine Liturgy in the Kazan Cathedral. The service was broadcast live on the Cathedral’s YouTube channel. After the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy a Moleben was performed before the start of the new school year. After the service, Archpriest Nicholas congratulated the worshipers on the holiday and addressed them with a sermon. Read More “

Metropolitan Varsonophy celebrated an all-night vigil with the Office of the Burial of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Cathedral of Kazan

In the evening of 28 August, Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga celebrated the all-night vigil and the Office of the Burial of the Most Holy Theotokos in the Kazan Cathedral. His Eminence was accompanied by Bishop Veniamin of Ardatov and Atiashevsk, Secretary of the Diocesan Administration Archpriest Sergius Kuksevich, Archpriest Nikolai Preobrazhensky, Archpriest Andrei Gerasimov, Keymaster of the Cathedral, Archpriest Alexander Pashkov, Chairman of the Parish Council, Priest Pavel Ermoshkin, and clergy of the Cathedral. The cathedral choir, directed by Svetlana Rumyantseva, sang the liturgical hymns. The service was broadcast live on the cathedral’s channel at . Read More “

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Metropolitan Varsonophy on faith and trials: “There will be sorrow, there will also be joy.”

Church services are now conducted behind closed doors, without the participation of the congregation. You can only participate in them remotely, though online. However, the connection with their pastors the faithful, of course, have not lost – a spiritual, spiritual connection. On June 3, 2020, Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga will celebrate his 65th birthday. A good occasion to talk about time and about destiny, about faith and the sudden . Read More “

Metropolitan Varsonophy: testify to the faith

On the eve of the Holy Resurrection of Christ, Metropolitan Varsonofy of St. Petersburg and Ladoga gave an interview to the newspaper St. Petersburg Diary (№75 (2041) April 24, 2019). – You have been at the head of the Metropolis of St. Petersburg for five years. What has been achieved during this time? – The main measure of achievement for us is how many people we have been able to lead to a godly life, whether there are fewer sins committed thanks to our ministry. The material life is so addictive . Read More “

List of articles by Tatyana Kotul in the Kazan Cathedral newspaper

List of articles by Tatyana Kotul in the Kazan Cathedral newspaper Issue #9 (189), 2021 page. 11. History of the Kazan Cathedral, in persons: Archpriest Dmitry Rozhdestvensky (1855-1923) – a regular priest (from 1895), Sacristan (from 1913 to 1923), acting dean (1923) of the Kazan Cathedral. Issue #8 (176), 2020 p. 11. CHRAMOSADERS +5 photos: “Church in honor of Saints Zosima and Savvatiy Solovetsky”, “Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in . Read More “

St. Petersburg, Kazanskaya Ploshchad, 2 Secretary: (812) 314-46-63 sobor.go@mail.ru Shift: (812) 314-58-56 (from 8 to 21)

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg is one of the largest churches in the city. It is located in the heart of the Northern Capital and overlooks Nevsky Prospekt and the Griboyedov Canal. Kazan Cathedral enjoys great popularity among tourists, both local and foreign. Such attention is due, primarily, the majestic appearance, architecture and interior decoration of the temple. The main feature of the Cathedral of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God – this is the second name of the temple – is that it is very similar to St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican. This similarity often impresses travelers so much that at some point it begins to feel as if you are not in St. Petersburg, but 1000 km away, near the most famous shrine of the Eternal City.

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Video: Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg


The Kazan Cathedral is a functioning temple, which means that interest and attention to it is much more than just a tourist attraction. For Orthodox believers it is a special place where they can attend a church service, soak up the unique energy of the temple, where literally every corner is like a living, but silent witness of its rich chronicle, in which there is a place for the tragic pages. And, most importantly, it is this cathedral that holds the main sacred thing of St. Petersburg – the Kazan icon of the Mother of God. And it is also a monument to Russian military glory, whose status it acquired after the Patriotic War of 1812.

As we can see, religion and history, architectural heritage and memory of the valiant defenders of the Fatherland are intertwined here. And all this monumentality, carried through the centuries, makes the church truly unique, which the city on the Neva is proud of as its priceless heritage. But to experience its spiritual atmosphere, you must visit the Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg in person, and this opportunity is used by very, very many people.

History of the Kazan Cathedral

In the second half of the XVIII century Emperor Paul Petrovich, at that time still the heir to the throne, traveled through Europe. When he came to Rome he was struck by the majesty and beauty of St. Peter’s Cathedral and how harmoniously it fitted in the colonnaded square in front of it. In 1799, when he had already ascended the throne, the tsar wished that a similar church be built in St. Petersburg. Not in the habit of putting his ideas on hold, Catherine the Great’s successor immediately announced a competition for the best design for the cathedral. By his idea, it would replace the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, called by the people Kazanskaya. It was built in the 30s of that century and had time to deteriorate. The miracle-working icon of Our Lady of Kazan, revered as one of the main relics of the country, was kept there.

Many talented architects took part in the competition. But since the main condition was that the future temple was similar to the aforementioned Roman cathedral, which the emperor liked so much, of all the submissions selected the project of Andrei Nikiforovich Voronikhin, a young but very talented architect, who, incidentally, came from the former serfs. However by some wicked irony of fate the tsar never had a chance to see the course of the construction work itself or the commissioning of the building. The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone of the future cathedral took place on 27 August 1801, three months after the officers had murdered Paul I in his own bedroom in the Mikhailovsky Castle. By the way, the ideological inspirer and organizer of the attempt was the governor-general of the capital and, at the same time, the head of the secret police, P. A. Pahlen. Thus, the son and heir of the tsar, the incumbent emperor Alexander I, who had been killed by the conspirators, was present at the foundation-laying ceremony.

The place for the construction of the temple was on a stretch from west to east near Nevsky Prospect, which complicated the task facing the architects. In Orthodox churches, as you know, the altar always looks to the east, but the main facade with the entrance – in the opposite direction, that is to the west. It was impossible to break the existing traditions, which is why the northern side (or side facade) of the building was facing Nevsky Prospect, not the western facade. How to get out of the situation? Voronikhin found an ingenious solution: he attached a majestic semicircular colonnade to the side facade and visually transformed it into the main one. The colonnade opened in the direction of the main thoroughfare of the city – Nevsky Prospect. There were 96 columns in all, and they were placed in four rows, at the same time becoming a reminder of similar structures, closing the square in front of St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican.

St. Peter's Cathedral, history and architecture

After the defeat of the French in the Patriotic War of 1812, 27 banners of Napoleon’s defeated army were deposited in the church. Later the Kazan Cathedral became the storehouse of other trophies, namely, flags and keys of many European cities and fortresses, obtained by the Russian army in the campaigns of 1813-1814. In the cathedral, or rather, at its wall, the famous military leader Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, Field Marshal-General of the Golenishchev-Kutuzov family, found his final rest. It was he, a disciple and companion of Alexander Suvorov, was commander in chief of the Russian army during the war and became the first full Cavalier of the Order of St. George.

With Kazan Cathedral associated with the names of other famous people. On November 8, 1893, under its vaults the great Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who was among the first Russian musicians to write church music, was buried there, which was prompted by his own religious and artistic feelings and the feeling of urgent reforms in this area in the last quarter of the XIX century. And earlier, back in 1773, Tsesarevich Pavel Petrovich was married here. There were also tragic moments: when in March 1913 the cathedral celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty, there was a crush, which killed at least 34 people.

The Soviet-era persecution of the church did not spare the Kazan Cathedral. The interior of the cathedral suffered greatly as a result of the seizure of church valuables in 1922. Only silver alone, according to very rough estimate, was taken out of the cathedral about two tons. A unique iconostasis made of this precious metal was used for melting, and then where that silver disappeared to is still unknown. A year later the church was taken over by the so-called Renovationists, and at the end of January 1932 it was shut down altogether. In autumn of the same year the Kazan Cathedral was placed under the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism. In the first half of the 1950s the interior was restored, and in the early 1960s – the facades.

The Kazan Cathedral became, so to speak, “itself” at the end of Gorbachev’s perestroika. On May 25, 1991 in its left side-altar services were renewed, and the main side-altar was sanctified only a year later. At the end of April 1994, a cross was erected on the dome. And the date of March 29, 1998 is forever inscribed in the annals of the cathedral as the day of its full consecration after years of oblivion. The ceremony was performed by the former Metropolitan Vladimir (Kotlyarov) of St. Petersburg and Ladoga, who since March 19, 2014, has become honorary abbot of the city’s Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God. One of the largest churches in the Northern capital received the status of a cathedral in 2000.

Architectural features and interior furnishings

Kazan Cathedral, which has a number of columns, but only one dome, differs from other churches by its architectural features. It is more reminiscent of the Pope’s residence than of a typical Orthodox church in northern Russia. However, despite its resemblance to its “Vatican brother,” it really has greatness, splendor, beauty, and originality.

Approaching the northern facade, you will see four sculptures: Prince Vladimir, John the Baptist, Andrew the First Called and Alexander Nevsky immortalized in bronze. Sculptor S. Pimenov worked on the first and last statues, and the other two, respectively, I. Martos and V. I. Demut-Malinovsky. Italian motives are discernible not only in the external appearance of the temple as a whole (as we have already noted, it is similar to the Cathedral of St. Peter in the Vatican), but also in the details. For example, the bronze doors on the north side of the building, cast and embossed by Vasily Yekimov, were copied from the doors of the baptistery (baptistery) in Florence. The sculptor had planned to put statues of the archangels Michael and Gabriel on stone pedestals on either side of the colonnade, but his idea was never implemented.

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The interior decoration of St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral looks more like a hall in a royal palace than a church hall in the usual sense. If it were not for the rows of tall granite columns that unite the space of the hall, it would seem endless. The light pouring in from the windows creates an optical illusion as though the dome of the temple were soaring high and might seem to soar to the skies. Invariable attention of visitors, especially Orthodox believers and representatives of many other Christian denominations, is attracted by icons. Their authors are V. Borovikovsky, V. K. Shebuev, A. Ivanov, O. Kiprensky, F. P. Bryullov, A. Yegorov, S. S. Schukin, and others.

But the greatest interest, of course, is the main relic of the cathedral – the Kazan icon. Its history dates back to the distant year 1579, when a terrible fire destroyed most of Kazan. Two weeks after the fire raged, according to legend, a girl named Matrona Onuchina dreamt of the Virgin Mary, commanding her to go to the ashes and find her icon there. In the place to which the Virgin Mary pointed, at a depth of nearly a meter, was indeed the holy image… Later on, Tsar Peter I and his army prayed to God before this icon as they prepared for the battle of Poltava in 1709. Later, in 1737, a copy of the miracle-working icon was transferred to St. Petersburg and placed in the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God on Nevsky Prospect. In 1811, the Kazan icon, which had become, as mentioned at the start, one of St. Petersburg’s main Orthodox sacred objects, was placed in the new Kazan Cathedral.

In general all the important historical events in our country, in one way or another, were connected with the Kazan Cathedral. For example, M. I. Kutuzov left for the active army units only after he performed a solemn prayer service in the church. And it was here in June 1813 that the ashes of the great commander were brought, who, as noted above, was buried here as well. On the parade ground are two bronze monuments: to Field Marshal Kutuzov and Mikhail Bogdanovich Barclay de Tolly – Russian commander, Minister of War of the Russian Empire in 1810-1812, Field Marshal General and the second (after Kutuzov) full Cavalier of the Order of St. George. Both monuments fit harmoniously into the architectural and sculptural ensemble of the Kazan Cathedral of the Mother of God. They were cast according to models of the sculptor B.I. Orlovsky. Commanders are depicted full-length, on their shoulders – cloaks. And here the resemblance ends: Kutuzov is depicted giving a signal to his troops to attack, and Barclay de Tolly seems to be standing in suspense.

It is impossible not to mention the facades of the Kazan Cathedral, lined with Pudost stone – lime tuff with a small volume, mined near the village of Pudost, Gatchina district, Leningrad region, which is frost-resistant and porous and easy to work. By the way, this stone has very unusual properties, which are not present in other finishing materials: it changes color depending on lighting and weather, becoming either gray or yellowish-gray. Initially the facades were decorated with reliefs made by F. Gordeev, I. Martos, I. Prokofiev, V. Demut-Malinovsky and S. Pimenov. Two pedestals on the sides of the famous colonnade have survived to this day. They had been previously occupied by plaster statues of angels, which were to remain in place until 1824. They were supposed to be replaced by their bronze counterparts, but that never happened.

Notre Dame de Paris

The northern gate of the majestic temple was also made of bronze – it was cast in accordance with the model of the “heavenly doors” of the Florence baptistery (XV century). As for the columns of the Corinthian order – they are made of pink Finnish granite, and the capitals are decorated with gilding – there are 56 of them inside the cathedral. In the past, the interior was decorated with many bas-reliefs, but by our time only two have survived. Let us call them: “The arrest” (by J.D. Richette) and “bearing the cross” by F.F. Schedrin. What about the others? They were removed as early as 1814, the reasons are unknown. In 1899-1900, a public garden was laid out in front of the Kazan Cathedral, which became a sort of addition or, if you want, a finishing touch to its original and internationally recognized image.

Services in the Kazan Cathedral

After the October Revolution in 1917, the new authorities did their best to make one of the leading churches of the city on the Neva lose not only its historical and military, but also its religious importance. In addition to opening a Museum of the History of Religion, the cross was removed from the dome, and the icon of Our Lady of Kazan was transferred to the Cathedral of Saint Prince Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles, or Knyaz-Vladimirsky Cathedral. It only returned to its former place in 1991. Then, as already mentioned, the temple was reopened for services. A little later the golden cross was again placed on the dome, which solemnly shone as a symbol of the triumph of the forces of good over the forces of evil.

In 2003, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, in the workshops of the Baltic Shipyard masters cast a four-ton bell for the temple, which is over two meters high and is the largest among its “brothers”. In our time in the Kazan Cathedral are often held services with the participation of the higher ranks of the Russian Orthodox Church. Cross marches in honor of the saint patron of the Northern capital of prince Alexander Nevskiy became a good tradition. They are held annually on September, 12, the route runs from the Kazan Cathedral along Nevsky Prospect and further to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.

Both believers and tourists note that entering the temple, they have a feeling of calmness and peace, all worries and alarms seem to remain behind its threshold. Many believe that the influence of the holy walls, which absorbed the energy of different times and sincere, heartfelt prayers of believers, is also evident.

For tourists’ information: despite the fact that the Kazan Cathedral is active, it continues to be one of the main attractions of St. Petersburg, and no one cancelled excursions to this sight. In its building there is a special corner, where you can sign up for a tour guide. In addition, everyone can buy here icons, candles, bottles for blessed water and memorable souvenirs. And, of course, you can touch the famous icon of Kazan Mother of God. But you will have to be patient to wait your turn – the number of pilgrims to her has not decreased these days.

Working time

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg is open daily from 7:00 to 20:00, that is, until the end of the evening service. The entrance is free.

How to get there

Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg is located at: Nevsky Prospect, 25.

The temple is located directly opposite the exit from the subway, the nearest subway stations are “Nevsky Prospekt” and “Gostiny Dvor”.

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