A little history from Wikipedia:
Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
The Church is prominently situated along the Griboedov Canal. The embankment at that point runs along either side of a canal. As the tsar’s carriage passed along the embankment, a grenade thrown by an anarchist conspirator exploded. The tsar, shaken but unhurt, got out of the carriage and started to remonstrate with the presumed culprit. Another conspirator took the chance to explode another bomb, killing himself and mortally wounding the tsar. The tsar, bleeding heavily, was taken back to the Winter Palace where he died a few hours later.
A temporary shrine was erected on the site of the attack while the project for a more permanent memorial was undertaken. It was decided that the section of the street where the assassination took place was to be enclosed within the walls of a church. That section of the embankment was therefore extended out into the canal to allow the shrine to fit comfortably within the building and to provide space on the exterior wall for a memorial marking the spot where the assassination took place.
Inside, an elaborate shrine was constructed on the exact place of Alexander’s death, garnished with topaz, lazurite and other semi-precious stones. Amid such rich decoration, the simple cobblestones on which the tsar’s blood was spilled and which are exposed in the floor of the shrine provide a striking contrast.
The church has never been used for regular services, only memorials. It took a beating after the 1917 revolution. During the seige of St. Petersburg by the Nazis it was a vegetable warehouse and then became set storage for a local opera company. Restoration began in 1970 and continued for 27 years.
Keep in mind as you view the following photos that the interior is all mosaic.
7500 square meters worth according to the restorers.
Enjoy the photographs below the fold.
They’re putting a new roof on the building I work in. When I go outside for a cigarette I’m having to deal with the smoke and stinky fumes of boiling tar.
Do you think it’s unhealthy?
I watched a fellow in a wheelchair roll himself down the sidewalk a few minutes ago.
He could barely keep out of the flowerbeds because he was working a wheel with one hand and talking on a cellphone with the other.
Is there a moral here?
Ron Paul as U.S. President is not a good choice for this country’s future.
UPDATE: Some comments on this post:
“I agree. His position on monetary policy is ill-argued, at best.”
“Moreover, his position on the Iraq War is not well thought out and clearly out of the mainstream of American voters. I do, however, like the fact that he has never voted for a tax increase.”
Thanks for your patience. I hope these help to get across the sheer beauty of this city.
Here are some general around the town photos:
This sign is on the highway coming into the city from the south.
The Admiralty at the center of the city. On the other side of the building is the Neva River.
As a reference, my honey’s room is in the building on the left with the A-frame sign in front. Note the Admiralty in the background.
Location, etc. Also note the parking style. Yes, that’s the sidewalk. The traffic is a free-for-all there.
A few more shots below the fold: