Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor (Russian: Исаа́киевский Собо́р) is a large architectural landmark cathedral that currently functions as a museum with occasional church services in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint. It was originally built as a cathedral but was turned into a museum by the Soviet government in 1931 and has remained a museum ever since, with church services held in a side chapel since the 1990's. In 2017, the Governor of Saint Petersburg offered to transfer the cathedral back to the Russian Orthodox Church, but this was not accomplished due to the protests of St Petersburg citizens opposing the offer.
The church on St Isaac's Square was ordered by Tsar Alexander I, to replace an earlier structure by Vincenzo Brenna, and was the fourth consecutive church standing at this place. A specially appointed commission examined several designs, including that of the French-born architect Auguste de Montferrand (1786–1858), who had studied in the atelier of Napoleon's designer, Charles Percier. Montferrand's design was criticised by some members of the commission for the dry and allegedly boring rhythm of its four identical pedimented octastyle porticos. It was also suggested that despite gigantic dimensions, the edifice would look squat and not very impressive. The members of the commission, which consisted of well-known Russian architects, were also particularly concerned by necessity to build a new huge building on the old unsecure foundation. The emperor, who favoured the ponderous Empire style of architecture, had to step in and solve the dispute in Montferrand's favour.
|Monday||10:30 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Tuesday||10:30 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:30 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Friday||10:30 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:30 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:30 AM – 6:00 PM|
Luka Panourgia | Feb 16, 2018
Remarkable art and details. Captivating atmosphere. There is a tower to go up from where you have bird's eye view. From up there you can see main buildings of Saint Petersburg: Church of the Savior on Blood, Hermitage etc.
Susan Merlo | Dec 9, 2017
Stunning building. Impressive architecture and one of the largest cathedrals in the world. My favorite one in Russia. Open from 10:30 to 18:00, except Wednesday. The adult admission fee to the cathedral was RUB 250 and the Colonnade RUB 150 or an All-in ticket for RB 400 for both (prices October 2017). You can easily buy the tickets in a machine next to the ticket office. Accept cards and cash.
Ted Jung | Feb 17, 2018
You should visit this place to see how the size of cathedral is enormous. Also inside, you could see many interesting things to see. Please be aware of the ticket for the cathedral and the observatory aren’t same. You have to pay additional charge for the ticket. The entrances are different. But totally worth it.
Rachel W | Feb 26, 2018
Ok. Russia, hands down, has the most gorgeous cathedrals ever. This place has over 2.5k reviews of 5 stars. That alone should tell you everything you need to know. Visit this place. Visit it. Now! Lol. You won't regret it. There's so much character to each cathedral!! To all of them actually. This one was breathtaking and when I was there, there was a wedding taking place and photos being taken right outside. Can you imagine those wedding photos? OMG.
Nicholas Kaniaris | Feb 21, 2018
Great piece of engineering. Not really a church as much as an emperor's way of showing off his period and craftsmanship
Darren Galindo | Aug 1, 2017
Amazing! The price to go up to the top is super worth it! Spectacular views of the city all around! The stairs seem like a lot but it's not that bad. I made it to the top with a baby strapped to me and it was actually pretty easy. This place is definitely worth spending some time at. I haven't been to the museum, but it's not that much more than going to the top and it looked pretty cool inside. The architecture is stunning.
Romeo Noproblem | Apr 19, 2018
Amazing human’s made architecture . beautiful paintings on the walls & roof. every paintings had some interesting stories. lots of peoples all the time. Models describe how to build the cathedral. should spend more than 1 hour inside. suitable for everyone. should be quiet and don’t use flash when take a picture.
SUPER SPIRITS | Apr 20, 2018
Stunning cathedral. You can pay 150 rub to get to the top and enjoy the view of the city. The top opens til 4 am in summer, not sure about winter. I really loved it. You should go there at least once.
Reut | Apr 14, 2018
Nice panoramic view from the colonnade, fast tickets machines beside the cashier. Free tours inside on Russian ( may be other languages ) ever hour or two.
HL RFareham | Jun 11, 2018
Stunning. I suppose I need to say more but what else is there to say? Magnificent? A work of art? It took the architect his whole working life to see its completion but what a legacy to leave. The wartime pictures are pretty sobering to see veg being grown outside during the Blockade.
Masoud Adeli | Jun 8, 2018
One of the most beautiful and glorious places in Saint Petersburg. Specially when you go inside the cathedral. There are plenty of amazing, terrific and gorgeous paintings and artwork in the building. The good news is that there is a minimal restorative work done for most of them. It was easy to go inside the museum even without E- tickets.
Anton CJ | May 29, 2018
Monumental building with interesting history and decorations in the cathedral. The climb up to the viewing platform (about 300 steps) is not daunting if you pace yourself. Too bad that the viewing binoculars are now closed (May 2018). We spent over two hours within the cathedral with the English audio guide. Much more interesting than St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
Jeff Lebowski | May 25, 2018
A beautiful sight of Saint Petersburg. Outer architecture is astonishing, and is indeed one of the 'must-see' locations of the city. The building has an interesting story as well, regarding it's defense in WWII, and it is displayed inside, with some historical photos of the time. There is an entrance fee, that is not pricy at all, but since there is no restroom, so in case you need to go, either wait, or go outside to a public restroom and then buy another ticket in (each ticket is usable only once).
Ernst Toerien | Jul 10, 2018
A very imposing building which took 40 years to build. If you just walk around it, you catch a glimpse of the richness of the Russian Empire. The shrapnel marks left on the pillars shows something about the pain and death this city went through during the Second World War (Great Patriotic War). Climbing the stairs, if you are not afraid of heights, opens a nice vista on the city. Because the way the city was build, you can see very far, because you are higher than most buildings in the city. The inside is worth a visit as well. Don't miss out. Go and see it.
Masoud Adeli | Jun 19, 2018
One of the most beautiful and glorious places in Saint Petersburg. Specially when you go inside the cathedral. There are plenty of amazing, terrific and gorgeous paintings and artwork in the building. The good news is that there is a minimal restorative work done for most of them. It was easy to go inside the museum even without E- tickets. If you buy tickets to colonnade, there are more than 200 steps to climb up !
Ami Buczek | Jun 23, 2018
First a word of caution: when I tried to purchase my tickets a younger man was working and I initially told him two tickets, he said 800 rubles. I gave him a 1000 rubles he then asked for 300 rubles I asked him total 800 rubles right? He said yes and then seemed to do something for a few minutes I thought he was trying to get the tickets printed. A few minutes later he asked again for 300 rubles. I said two tickets for 800 rubles, I gave you a 1000 rubles so I need 200 rubles back and the tickets. He said 300 rubles again so I asked for my 1000 back. At that point he immediately gave me the tickets and my 200 rubles, nothing had to be printed. I still wanted to see the colonnade so I accepted that I finally got the ticket for the set price, but the interaction was frustrating and I think he was trying to scam me. The colonnade: the view was amazing. You had to climb up around 200 steps to get to the top, both going up and down the steps were numbered at every tenth step so you could keep track of your progress. The up and down were two different staircases so you didn't run into each other. We went for the white nights and the view was amazing. I just wish it was open even later but seeing the view with the sun so low was gorgeous. All around the price and frustration of dealing with the cashier was well worth the view of Saint Petersburg.
Alex Kyhto | Jul 1, 2018
Get a tour guide! They are free. This cathedral is breath taking for many reasons. One of them is the fact that the external pillars are made from a solid piece, not assembled together. Each one was raised in 45 minutes, insane!
ana purna | Aug 8, 2018
a very impressive church with all the details of the decor. a walk up to the dome gives breathtaking view of the city. but it’s unbelievable that a place that big, receiving so many tourists everyday cant be bothered to prepare toilets for the visitors.
Prashant Kumar | Jul 31, 2018
What's good This is among the best of Petersberg. The structure is gigantic and you are allowed to move to the attic. What's not good The main church closes early. What to do View from attic is View to behold. Enjoy the artwork on the walls.
Wander is a travel search engine that allows you to find the perfect travel destination that fits your budget and preferences.