History of the Church
Construction of the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood began in 1883 under the orders of Alexander III, in honour of his father who was fatally wounded on this spot two years earlier by political nihilists.
During the 1917 Revolution the church suffered significant damage and looting of its most valuable possessions. Then, in 1932, it was closed and fell into disrepair, being used as a morgue, and later as a warehouse for vegetables, earning the cynical nickname "Saviour on Potatoes".
World War II saw a bomb being dropped on the church, but it never exploded! The bomb remained hidden in the main dome until the 1960s, when it was removed and destroyed. Years later, the church was fully restored and it opened its doors again in 1997 as a museum alongside the nearby Saint Isaac's Cathedral.
The Church at a glance
From the outside, St Petersburg's Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, known locally as the Spas na Kravi, is a magnificent construction reminiscent of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. Vivid colours and copper onion-domes give the textured façade a fairytale feel.
Inside, the walls and ceilings are completely covered in over 80,000 square feet (7,500 square metres) of intricately detailed mosaics portraying different Biblical scenes. Its bright colours and flashes of gilt are perfectly in keeping with the striking style of Medieval Russian architecture.
One of the most intriguing parts of the church is the chapel of Alexander II, built to mark the exact spot where the Tsar was murdered.
The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, also known as the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, is one of Saint Petersburg's must-visit sights. Its impressive façade offers an unforgettable image, perfected only by its spectacular interior.
Thursday to Tuesday: 10:30 am to 6 pm (May to September until 10:30 pm).
Adults: ₽ 350 (US$ 4.70).
Students: ₽ 200 (US$ 2.70).
Children between 7 and 18 years old: ₽ 100 (US$ 1.40).
Children under 7 years old: free entry.