Saturday, 15 July 2017

Smolny Cathedral

The Smolny Cathedral in St Petersburg was originally built to be the central church of a monastery and with the other churches in the complex forms a cross.  Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, started to build a convent just before here 40th birthday for 120 young women with herself as prioress; I don't know if she was going to install her lovers here as well.  It did not look possible that she would ever rule Russia but after a coup by the royal guards, carried out with her involvement, she quickly decided that the religious life was not for her and accepted the offer of the Russian throne.  The rest, as they say, is history.

The architect is the famous Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli who created many of the iconic buildings in St Petersburg including the Winter Palace in the same baroque confection.  Thousands of people were involved in the construction but Elizabeth died in 1761 with the cathedral still unfinished, it was finally completed in 1835 but closed in 1923 after the Russian revolution and used as a storage facility when much of the original interior was destroyed . In 1990 it was made into a concert hall although I read it is presently undergoing refurbishment. 

Postcard for the Weekend theme - Places of Worship - pray visit Connections to the World

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