Russia St Petersburg Architecture Cathedral Old Trinity Cathedral

Old Trinity Cathedral

Peter the Great issued a decree on the construction of a church “as a sign of thanksgiving to the Holy Trinity of God” (1703). First wooden church built on the site (1709–11). Expanded with the addition of a refectory with a bell-tower and chiming clock (1713). Site of the announcement of the conclusion of the Treaty of Nystad with Sweden and the proclamation of Peter I as emperor (1721). St Chariton Side-Chapel was added (1721). Dilapidated construction was replaced by a wooden church repeating the forms of the original by master Cornelis van Boles under the guidance of Ivan Slyadnev (1743–46). Burnt down (1750). Restored to its previous form by architect Semyon Volkov, using the wooden church dismantled during construction of the Summer Palace of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna (1753–56). Contained an icon of the Greek Mother of God allegedly painted by St Luke and a chandelier carved by Peter the Great from ivory. Reconstructed by Luigi Rusca (1802–05). Suffered in another fire (1913). Proposals to build a new church were rejected. Imperial Archaeological Society proposed restoring it as an “imperial holy object” and “symbol of the modern Russian Empire.” Restoration dragged on (until 1924) following the outbreak of the First World War (1914) and the revolution (1917). Closed down and destroyed (1933). Site was replaced with a public garden (after 1945).

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