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A Look At Russian Architecture: Смольный Собор – Smolny Cathedral                  

18 April, 2015

A Look At Russian Architecture: Смольный Собор – Smolny Cathedral

The beautiful blue and white cathedral situated by the Neva bank was initially built to house the daughter of Peter The Great, Elizaveta Petrovna, who was going to become a nun after being forbidden from taking the throne.

But after a while, Elizaveta ended up ascending to power. The construction went on for several years after that. The Smolny Cathedral is known today as one of the greatest masterpieces of Rastrelli, who also created the Зимний дворец (Winter Palace), Екатерининский дворец (Catherine Palace) and the Большой Петергофский дворец (Grand Palace in Peterhof). The square in which the Smolny Cathedral sits today is called Площадь Растрелли (Rastrelli Square), in honor of its creator.

When visiting the cathedral, do not forget to climb the stairs to see the view from the bell towers. Some say the view from St. Isaac’s Cathedral is more impressive, but I still think it’s worth the workout.

Nowadays the cathedral is used as a concert hall, and the buildings surrounding it are used as offices and governmental institutions.

Next Saturday, April 25th, the Chamber Choir of Smolny Cathedral, Soloists of Chamber Choir of Smolny Cathedral and their Symphony Orchestra will be performing The Queen of Spades by P. Tchaikovsky (click here to know more: http://eng.cathedral.ru/koncerti1/5/666.). The choir only performs once a month, but there are other performances going on throughout the month. To know what other concerts they have planned for the next couple of months, please go to: http://eng.cathedral.ru/koncerti1.

When the weather allows it, I recommend you to go on a bus tour that takes you around Smolny Cathedral, but also St. Sampson’s Cathedral, St. Isaac’s Cathedral and The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood.

The only downside is that it is located quite far from the nearest metro station – Чернышевская (Chernishevskaya). But for Russians, this walk is nothing. All you need to do is get out on Chernishavskaya metro station and walk towards Шпалерная улица (Shpalernaya ulitsa). When in Shpalernaya, just make a right and walk down that street. At the end of the street will be the Smolny Cathedral.

This post was brought to you by Ana, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz

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