Kazan Cathedral(redirected from St. Petersburg Atheism Museum)
(in Leningrad), an outstanding work of Russian classical architecture, built between 1801 and 1811 by the architect A. N. Voronikhin to house the ancient icon of Our Lady of Kazan, after which the cathedral was named. The cathedral is a cruciform domed building with an extended side facade facing Nevsky Prospect. A majestic semicircular colonnade with a six-column portico, constituting the compositional center of the building, forms an imposing square that merges with the buildings on Nevsky Prospect. The main entrance faces a small square enclosed by a large cast-iron grille.
The interior is a majestic columned hall (the nave is 69 m long and 62 m high) resembling that of a palace. The sculptural decoration was executed by I. P. Martos, I. P. Prokof ev, V. I. Demut-Malinovskii, F. F. Shchedrin, and S. S. Pimenov. The frescoes and icons were executed by V. L. Borovikovskii, A. E. Egorov, and V. K. Shebuev. Between 1813 and 1815 trophies from the Patriotic War of 1812 were placed in the cathedral, including keys from 17 cities and eight fortresses of Europe and 105 flags and standards. M. I. Kutuzov was buried in the cathedral in 1813, and in 1837 monuments to Kutuzov and M. B. Barclay de Tolly were erected in front of the cathedral (bronze, granite; sculptor, B. I. Orlovskii; architect V. P. Stasov). On Dec. 6, 1876, the first revolutionary demonstration of students and workers in Russia took place in front of the Kazan Cathedral. In 1932 the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism was opened there.