Card no 343 - Ksenia
Saint Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city. It is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint. According to Ksenia, from its colonnade there is a beautiful view of the city. In the foreground is a monument to Nicholas I. On the right is the Hotel Astoria.
The church on St Isaac's Square was ordered by Tsar Alexander I, to replace an earlier structure, and was the fourth consecutive church standing at this place. The design of the French-born architect Auguste de Montferrand (1786–1858), was chosen and
the cathedral took 40 years to construct, under Montferrand's direction, from 1818 to 1858. Under the Soviet government, the building was stripped of religious trappings. In 1931, it was turned into the Antireligious Museum. In 1937, the museum was transformed into the museum of the Cathedral, and former collections were transferred to the Museum of the History of Religion (located in the Kazan Cathedral).
With the fall of communism regular worship resumed in the cathedral, but only in the left-hand side chapel. The main body of the cathedral is used for services on feast days only and the church is still a museum.