Kazan Cathedral

The original Church of the Nativity of the Virgin was built from stone with a high bell-tower by Mikhail Zemtsov on Nevsky Prospekt (1733–37). Consecrated in the presence of Empress Anna Ioannovna. Miracle-working icon of Our Lady of Kazan was transferred there from the Trinity Cathedral on Petersburg Island. The future Paul I was married in the church (1773). Fell into dilapidation (late 18th century). Paul I announced a competition to design a new building similar to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome (1799). Charles Cameron and Jean-François Thomas de Thomon submitted entries, but the commission was awarded to Andrei Voronikhin. Foundations were laid (1801) and the cathedral was built in ten years (1811). Leading Russian painters and sculptors helped to decorate the cathedral. The reliefs on the facade were sculpted by Ivan Martos, Ivan Prokofiev and Fyodor Gordeyev and the statues were sculpted by Stepan Pimenov, Ivan Martos and Vasily Demut-Malinovsky. The icons were painted by Vasily Shebuyev, Alexei Yegorov, Andrei Ivanov and Vladimir Borovikovsky. Wooden obelisk erected on the square in front of the cathedral on the site of the iconostasis of the wooden Church of the Nativity of the Virgin (1811–12, dismantled before 1817). Fieldmarshal Mikhail Kutuzov was buried in the new cathedral, which housed trophies captured by the Russian army during the Patriotic War (1812) and foreign campaigns against Napoleon (1813–14). Vasily Stasov erected statues of Prince Mikhail Kutuzov and Prince Michael Andreas Barclay-de-Tolly sculpted by Boris Orlovsky in front of the cathedral (1837). Turned into the Museum of the History of Religion (1932). Part of the treasures were awarded to museums, while the icon of the Kazan Mother of God was transferred to the Prince Vladimir Cathedral on the Petrograd Side (1940). Services resumed (1991). Central seat of the Russian Orthodox Church in the city (from 2000).

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