St. Isaac's Cathedral

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

St. Isaac’s Cathedral

 

in Leningrad, a masterpiece of late Russian classicism. Before the Revolution of 1917, St. Isaac’s Cathedral was the principal church in St. Petersburg. It was founded in honor of Peter I and named for St. Isaac of Dalmatia, on whose holy day (May 30, Old Style) Peter was born.

In 1710 the wooden church of St. Isaac of Dalmatia was constructed near the Admiralty building. In 1717 it was replaced by a stone church, which was torn down in the middle of the 18th century. The first St. Isaac’s Cathedral was constructed from 1768 to 1802 on a newly created city square (now St. Isaac’s Square). It was designed by the architect A. Rinaldi and built by the architect V.F. Brenna. The cathedral was hastily completed with an unfinished belfry. Because it did not harmonize with the solemn architecture of the city’s center, a competition was held for the design of a new cathedral during the first decade of the 19th century.

The present St. Isaac’s Cathedral was constructed from 1818 to 1858, following a design by A.A. Montferrand. His design was perfected by a special commission (1821–25). The commission’s members included V.P. Stasov and A.A. Mikhailov II. The construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral was one of the greatest technical achievements in the history of Russian architecture.

The large bulky building is crowned with a dome (21.83 m in diameter) and is surrounded on all four sides by porticoes with eight columns. The pediments of the porticoes have corner statues; the tympana are decorated with haut-reliefs. The sculptors included I.P. Vitali, A.V. Loganovskii, and P.K. Klodt. The interior of the cathedral was adorned with malachite, porphyry, and multicolored marble. There are mosaics and murals (among the painters were K.P. Briullov and F.A. Bruni). A Foucault pendulum, 93 m long, hangs from the cathedral’s dome.

The cathedral’s height is 101.52 m. Including the porticoes, its length is 111.5 m and its width is 97.6 m. Although St. Isaac’s Cathedral is out of scale with the surrounding buildings, it is one of the most important elements in the planning of Leningrad. The cathedral determines the distinctive skyline of the city. In 1931, St. Isaac’s Cathedral was opened as a public museum.

REFERENCE

Kolotov, M.G. Isaakievskii sobor. Leningrad-Moscow, 1964; [5th ed., Leningrad] 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the city centre is St. Isaac's Cathedral which dominates the skyline.
You can use your time in Saint Petersburg to visit the beautiful sights in the city, like the Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace, Church of the Savior on Blood, and St. Isaac's Cathedral State Museum.
31, the bell of St. Isaac's Cathedral rang 224 times and a service was held in memory of the victims.Russia has sent specialists to conduct a safety audit of Egypt's airports and to provide recommendations on additional measures, Arkady Dvorkovich, deputy prime minister, was quoted as saying by Russian agencies.
St. Isaac's cathedral was begun as the biggest of its kind in Russia and fourth in size after St.
St. Isaac's cathedral is placed near the Neva in the vicinity of the Senate and the Synod close to the imperial residence, the Winter Palace.
For example, we were not able to tour inside St. Isaac's Cathedral, but we did find the Hermitage and all its treasures easy to navigate.
Guest rooms will have views of the landmark gold-domed St. Isaac's Cathedral. Mar 6, 2007
We learned about the construction of St. Isaac's cathedral, and the restoration of canvas paintings, which are deteriorating because of time and moisture.
He took us to many of the famous historic sights: Church on Spilled Blood, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Fortress of Peter and Paul and the famous Hermitage Museum with over three million objects displayed.
in honor of which St. Isaac's Cathedral in Petersburg was built.
On the steps of St. Isaac's Cathedral in Petrograd, she makes an impassioned speech to her army.