Monday, August 21, 2006

2777 Trip Tale: St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg

After a wonderful visit to the Hermitage Museum and its art shop on Tuesday morning July 18, we ate lunch at a nice restaurant--fish soup, salad, and salmon with slivered almonds. Then our G-6 (three couples from the USA) headed for St. Isaac's Cathedral with our guide, Veronika. Really, it is almost more than the eye and mind can take in during such a brief period. St. Isaac's was built between 1818 and 1858, by the French-born architect Auguste Montferrand and is one of the most impressive buildings in St. Petersburg. Definitely see this if you are planning a trip. The communists closed it as a house of worship (can hold 14,0000) and reopened it as a museum, but it is a church again. What look like paintings are actually very detailed mosaics, and the columns are made of malachite and lapis lazuli. Although I don't think our guide was particularly observant, she always referred to the cathedrals as being "of our faith," probably not considering the Baptists and Pentecostals who are evangelizing there authentically Russian.

The architect's model. Although he lived his professional life in Russia, he was not Orthodox, so could not be buried in the cathedral as he had wished. Our guide told us his wife took the body back to France.

We returned to our hotel about 4:30, rested, had dinner at 7 p.m., and then attended a folk dance performance in the hotel's theater. A very full day indeed!


Ramblins of a middle-aged goddess said...

Norma, thanks for stopping by...bad time in a way...since I am kind of down. Thanks for your comments. I appreciated them a whole lot..Sandy

Melzie said...

Wow-- how gorgeous!!! I've not been here in forever-- but, I'm glad I got to see these pictures. :)