St. Isaac's Cathedral
- Type: Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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The construction of St. Isaac's Cathedral was ordered by Alexander I in the early 1800s. This neoclassical marvel was finally completed in 1858 after 40 years of construction. St. Isaac's has an interesting history: it survived Nazi shelling in World War II and even briefly served as a museum of atheism under the Soviet regime.
St. Isaac's Cathedral possesses an imposing exterior presence with its single massive dome, but you'll also want to check out its opulent interior, which Frommer's calls "as awesome as its exterior, with columns made of single chunks of granite, malachite, and lazurite; floors of different-colored marble; and never-ending frescoes."
The cathedral is located in the Admiralteisky district of city center and is accessible from the Sennaya Ploshchad and Nevsky Prospekt metro stations. Admission will set you back around $10 USD (300 rubles). If you want to go up the colonnade for views of St. Petersburg, be prepared to climb a ton of steps and to pony up extra $5 USD (150 rubles). You can visit from Thursday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. October through April.