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The Resurrection Cathedral (Church on the Spilt Blood)

     The Church of the Resurrection of Christ is a superb example of Russian architecture and decorative art of the 19th century. The church stands out from the classical ensemble of St. Petersburg city centre introducing vibrant colours into the strict elegance and mathematically precise architectural forms of Classicism. The unusual design and decoration of the church is a good reason to consider the building one of the most interesting architectural and artistic monuments in our city.

     The church was built on the spot where on March 1, 1881 Emperor Alexander II was assassinated, this gave the church its second, more commonly used name – “the Church on the Blood”. The 144 mosaic coats of arms on the bell tower represent the regions, towns and provinces of the Russian empire. They were intended to reflect the grief shared by all Russians in the wake of the murder of Alexander – the Liberator tsar. It is almost the only surviving monument dedicate to Alexander II in Russia. In 1930 the church was closed down. The misuse in Soviet period caused so much damage to this magnificent architectural monument, that the restoration of it, started in 1970, has been still going on. In 1998 the church was opened to public as a museum.

      Colourful mosaics and elaborate stone carvings are the main features of the church’s exterior, which emulates traditional 17th century Russian style. Inside more than 20 types of minerals, including Jasper, rhodonite, porphyry and Italian marble are lavished on the mosaics of the iconostasis, icon cases, canopy and floor. All in all, the facades of the church are adorned with more than 400 square metres of mosaic, whereas both inside and outside there are over 7000 square metres which makes the church the world’s largest mosaic museum.



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