Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral

Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral in St Petersburg


Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral is located on the Preobrazhenskoy Ploshchadi of St. Petersburg. Previously, there was the courtyard of one of the units of the Preobrazhensky Regiment - the Grenadier Company. The regiment was the concern of the daughter of Peter I Elizabeth. She was the godmother of many officers' children, therefore she often appeared here, brought them gifts.


In 1741, Elizabeth arrived to the they on the night of November 24-25. Elizabeth asked the soldiers to assist in the palace coup. Enlisting support, Elizaveta Petrovna went with preobrazhentsy to the Winter Palace/Zimny Dvorets. Having overthrown the emperor Ivan VI, Elizaveta Petrovna ascended to the throne and, remembering what a service the Transfigurations had rendered, she ordered to build a cathedral in honor of the Transfiguration of the Lord.

In 1743 a new cathedral was laid in the courtyard of the regiment. After 2 years, the temple in the presence of the Empress was consecrated. The project, on which the temple was built, belonged to the architects MG Zemtsova and P.A. Trezzini. The interior of the church was created with the participation of Rastrelli himself. This cathedral was the last project on which Mikhail Zemtsov worked.

The erected temple was a five-dome. That is what Elizabeth Petrovna ordered, who did not like the fashion introduced by Peter I to the European single-domed churches. It is not known for certain how the first Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral looked like, since neither the drawings, nor the papers, nor any other documents of that time survived. The cathedral itself burned down on August 8, 1825. It's good that the relics that were in the temple did not suffer in the fire, as they had to endure.

Alexander I decided to restore the cathedral immediately. The instruction was executed, and by the winter of 1827 the temple was restored by the project of architect V.P. Stasov. The new consecration of the cathedral took place on August 5, 1829. The chimes, which were brought from England and became an adornment of the Preobrazhensky Cathedral, became unusual for an Orthodox church.

The church, along with the Kazansky Cathedral, was very popular among Petersburgers. Architect Stasov received a diamond ring from the Emperor as a reward for the cathedral. In addition, he received 1325 rubles, saved in the construction of the fence, because it was used cannon barrels. Stasov decided to break the garden around the cathedral, and decided to build a garden fence from trophy cannon trunks, which had been obtained by Russian troops in the battles of Silistra, Tulcea, Varna and Izmail. So the fence, in fact, was also a monument to the heroes of the war with the Turks. Such ideas of the architect were consonant with the fact that in 1796 the cathedral was appointed the temple of the whole guard. Numerous combat trophies are associated with this, as well as military relics of the Preobrazhensky regiment, which were kept in the temple.

Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral in Soviet times

In Soviet times, these things were transferred to the Artillery Museum. Despite the fact that the cathedral was always active, some of the icons of the cathedral were removed. Although today in the temple there are icons that are worth seeing. The cathedral is visited not only by believers, but also by those who are interested in church singing. In the choir of the Spaso - Preobrazhensky Cathedral, the soloists of the Academic Capella sing.

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