Trinity Cathedral

St Petersburg

The Trinity Cathedral boasts stunning blue cupolas emblazoned with golden stars. A devastating fire in 2006 caused the 83m-high central cupola to collapse, but it has been fully restored and now looks even better than it did before. Construction of the vast cathedral began in 1828, according to a design by Vasily Stasov. The cathedral was consecrated in 1835 and functioned as the chapel for the Izmailovsky Guards, who were garrisoned next door.

In honour of the Russian victory in the Russo-Turkish War in 1878, the memorial Column of Glory was constructed out of 128 Turkish cannons. (The present monument was erected on the north side of the cathedral in 2003: it is an exact replica of the original, which was destroyed by Stalin.)

The cathedral was famed for its immense collection of icons, as well as several silver crosses dating from the 18th and 19th centuries. After the revolution, most of these treasures were looted, the ornate interiors were destroyed and the cathedral was finally closed in 1938.

Trinity Cathedral was returned to the Orthodox Church in 1990, but the interior is decidedly bare, especially compared with its previous appearance. It was here that Fyodor Dostoevsky married his second wife, Anna Snitkina, in 1867.

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