The Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, also known as the Church of our Saviour on the Spilled Blood, is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg, Russia. The spilled blood is that of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, who was assassinated on this site in 1881. As a memorial to his father, Alexander III had the construction of this church begun in 1883 and work was finally completed during the time of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the royal family as well as many private donors.
Inside the church is a shrine over the site of the assassination embellished with topaz, lazurite and other semi-precious stones. There are some architectural similarities with St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Cathedral has more than 7500 square metres of mosaics designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in pictures of Saints and scenes from the Bible.
After the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, and its interior was badly damaged. The Soviet government closed it in the early 1930s. During World War II, the church was used as a temporary storage site for the corpses of those who died both in combat and of starvation and illness. It sustained further damage as a consequence. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for potatoes!
In July 1970, restoration of the church was begun and it was finally reopened in August 1997. However, it is not used as a full-time place of worship, rather as a Mosaic Museum and a memorial to Tsar Alexander II.
It is an amazing place and well worth the entry fee. I encourage you all to go and see it when you are next in Saint Petersburg.
This page shows the only interiors of this Cathedral. For exteriors and other photos of Saint Petersburg, please see our Saint Petersburg