Smolny Cathedral

Smolny Cathedral in St. Petersburg

One of the most beautiful cathedrals in St. Petersburg is the Smolny Cathedral or the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. It is not only part of the architectural complex of the Smolny Monastery, but also the main temple of educational institutions of the city.

Today, at the cathedral, an educational society for girls from 4 to 12 years old "School of Smolensk", a patriotic society for boys from 5 to 10 years "The Corps of Pages", as well as a children's Sunday school of the Smolny Cathedral are open.

Mode of Smolny Cathedral

Since 2015, the cathedral is an active Orthodox church. Divine services are held daily. You can visit the cathedral from 07.00 to 20.00.

Schedule of worship in the Smolny Cathedral of St. Petersburg:

07.00 and 09.30 - two Divine Liturgies (on Sundays, holidays);
07.40 - Divine Liturgy (daily);
14.00 - prayer;
15.00 - memorial service;
16.00 - evening service.


The Smolny Cathedral was built by order of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna, who wanted to build a monastery on the site of the palace where her childhood passed. Development of the project was entrusted to the famous master - Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli. The future building was laid at the end of October 1748. Over the next 10 years, the construction of the cathedral was well funded, soldiers and workers were sent to work and construction proceeded quickly. However, after the start of the war with Prussia, the work slowed down dramatically. After the death of the empress, a new architect was appointed - Yury Matveevich Felten. The temple was never completed.

Only 70 years later, in 1820, Emperor Nicholas I decided to complete the construction of the Smolny Cathedral. After complex repairs, during which significant changes were made to the Rastrelli project (for example, furnace heating was arranged, which was not originally intended), the cathedral began to be completed. The works were completed in 1835 and the cathedral was consecrated in the name of the Resurrection of Christ.

Divine services in the Smolny Cathedral was passing before the 1917 revolution. After it, the church property was seized, and the cathedral was closed and used as an economic room. After World War II, it housed an exposition of the Museum of the History of Leningrad, in 1990 a concert hall opened. In 2004, the Smolny Cathedral became one of the objects of the State Museum-monument "St. Isaac's Cathedral".

Conduct of worship began only in 2009. A year later, a new iconostasis was installed in the church and the Divine Liturgy was held. In honor of this event, the icon of Alexey Venetsianov depicting the Virgin Mary was restored. And in 2015, the Smolny Cathedral finally returned to the bosom of the church.

Architecture features

The height of the cathedral reaches 94 meters. The Smolny Cathedral is made in the Baroque style, has pediments and lucarnes. If you look at the monastery from above, it is built in the form of a Greek cross (Smolny Cathedral in the center and 4 churches in the corners).

Of great interest is the five-domed cathedral. Rastrelli wanted to build a single-domed cathedral, however, Elizaveta Petrovna insisted on five domes. The famous master designed the domes of the cathedral in such a way that if you look at the cathedral from afar, you create the illusion that it is huge. However, if you come closer, the building seems to be reduced, but it does not lose its beauty and grandeur.

Concert hall

Since 1990, classical music concerts were regularly held in the hall of the Smolny Cathedral. From next year, the cathedral was the base concert venue for the Smolny Cathedral Chamber Choir. The hall billboard was constantly updated, the choir, under the direction of the Honored Artist of Russia - Vladimir Begletsov, performed Russian and Western European musical works.

After the transfer of the temple to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church in 2015, the choir changed its name because it lost its base. Now it is called the St. Petersburg Concert Choir and is located in the building of the City Duma.


Today, for everyone, not only the temple is open, but also the belfry of the cathedral. In the bell tower is the highest observation deck of St. Petersburg - its height is 50 meters. The staircase to it is to the right of the entrance to the cathedral. First you have to walk about 280 steps along the usual wide stairs, then you have to climb the spiral and overhead stairs.

From the observation deck views of the city. From here you can see the Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge, the Church of Saints Zechariah and Elizabeth, the government building and Rastrelli Square, as well as the Kikiny Square of the Chamber.

How to get to the Smolny Cathedral

A visit to the cathedral is included in most sightseeing tours; organized groups of tourists are usually brought here by bus, as the Smolny Cathedral is located at some distance from the center. For example, from Nevsky Prospect to him will have to go about 30 minutes. By car this way can be overcome for 10 minutes.

If you still want to walk from Nevsky, then you can go to the cathedral along Suvorovsky Prospect.

You can also go to the Smolny Cathedral from the nearest metro station Chernyshevskaya. On the way, you can visit the Tavrichesky Garden, the Museum of A.V. Suvorov and the Museum “Universe of Water” From the Tauride Garden is recommended to go to Shpalernaya street. This is a wide street with large sidewalks and a small number of cars; it leads directly to the public garden with a beautiful view of the cathedral.

There are several public transport stops near Rastrelli Square:

stop "Smolny" - bus number 136 (next to Kalininsky district);
stop "Pl. Rastrelli ”- bus number 54 and number 74 (through the Tsentralny and Frunzensky districts) and minibus number 76 (through the Petrogradsky district in the direction of Commendantsky Prospect).

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