Saint Isaac's Cathedral, St. Petersburg

#3 of 3,334 in Museums in Russia
Must see · Specialty Museum · Church
Famous for its gold-plated dome, Saint Isaac's Cathedral features an observation deck offering arguably the finest views of the city. Built during the first four decades of the 19th century, the cathedral remains one of the largest Orthodox edifices in the world, its golden cupola dominating the city's skyline from a height of over 101 m (333 ft). Designated as a museum during the 1930s, the lavish interior features highly decorated granite and marble columns and pilasters. Pay special attention to the main iconostasis, framed by eight ornate columns of semiprecious malachite and lazurite stone. To reach the observation deck, climb the staircase winding its way around the drum of the dome. Arrange to visit Saint Isaac's Cathedral and other attractions in St. Petersburg using our St. Petersburg road trip planning site.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
10,267 reviews
  • A too brief a visit with Alla Tours who I highly recommend. Built in 40 years in the 19th century. St Isaac was the patron Saint of Peter the Great. Phenomenal pink and grey granite columns surround....  more »
  • An amazing church! Impressive building, very very photogenic. Both inside and outside. It has an interesting history (Wikipedia has a long and detailed write-up, they give much more information...  more »
  • We loved seeing it at night. There is an upstairs and a ground level tour. This Church needs at least an hour without a crowd to do it right. I highly recommend late night. The church takes on a different feel when it's empty at night. The photos are more reverend and striking. It feels so much less touristy. That said the staff were not very friendly and they will close early regardless if you have tickets in hand. To not expect them to allow you in 20-25min before closing. The guard even made a "get lost" sign behind my back when I sled If he could allow the teenagers in our party in since they did the upper tour and still had 20min. Nope. So get there 75-90min before closing at a minimum and buy your tickets online not at the machine there.
  • This is worth a visit. Honestly spending time in the church isn’t much worth it. Some of the art is beautiful, but the dome is where to spend your time. The sights that you can see from up top are great. Beware, it can be quite windy and many people lost hats as soon as the made it to the top.

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