Cathedrals, Empresses and Tsars

Late neoclassical with a hint of Byzantinium.

Last day in St Petes dawns, gloomy and overcast

So what to do? Well a quick visit to St Isaacs cathedral and a side trip to the statue of Peter the Great seemed in order. 🙂

St Isaac’s is a big sleeping mastiff of a building, crouching on 11,000 oak pilings it looms, brooding, above the St Petersburg city-scape. The views from the rooftop are great although in winter it’s a little bleak up there. After the trip to the roof, and saying hi to the ravens, we headed across the Senate Square to check out the bronze horseman, the equestrian statue of Peter the Great erected at the direction of Catherine the Great. Just the making of the statue is a tale in itself, with a cast of characters ranging from an eighteen year old French sculptress to a greek Lieutenant Colonel engineer of the Russian Army. And of course there’s a poem by Pushkin, in Russia, I’ve discovered, there’s always a poem by Pushkin.

All in all a good way to bring our stay in St Petersburg to an end. Next stop Helsinki then points north for the Manchester of Finland, see you there.

Interior of St Isaacs

Interior of St Isaacs with G contemplating a miniature of St Isaacs, the religious images started out as paintings, some by Karl Bryullov, but as the paintings started to decay in the cold and damp they were replaced by mosaics at the direction of the architect Montferrand.

Interior of St Isaacs looking up

Interior of St Isaacs looking up into the barrel vaults of the naves.

The interior of the dome, somewhere up there is a white dove.

The interior of the dome, like life, somewhere up there is a white dove.

View from the dome walkway over the Neva

View from the dome walkway over the frozen Neva.

View from the dome.

View from the dome and a hint of St Isaacs square to the left.

Petro Primo Catharina Secunda - To Peter the First from Catherine the Second.

Petro Primo Catharina Secunda – To Peter the First from Catherine the Second. The bronze horseman statue, a big damn statue on a big damn stone.

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