Church Of The Savior On Spilled Blood

Architecture, Europe

On the surface, not the best name possible for such a decorative structure. This fabulous display of brightly coloured onion domes, glittering spires and mosaics deserves, I think, something less grim. It actually goes by several names in English tourist literature. Church of the Resurrection, Church of the Spilled Blood, Church of our Savior on the Blood, Cathedral of the Ascension, Resurrection of the Christ, Church of the Redeemer. For a church, it has a tumultuous history. The Spilled Blood in the name refers to the fact that it is the assassination site of Emperor Alexander II. The Church was built on the site as a dedication to Alexander. After the Russian Revolution, it was looted and badly damaged. Then, during the ‘Siege of Leningrad’ in World War II, it sustained further damage and, at one point, it was used a morgue. It re-opened in 1997 after 27 painstaking years of restoration, although it was not re-consecrated and is no longer a house of worship. In fact, even before the Revolution, it functioned more as a memorial to the assassinated Tsar, rather than a full time house of worship. Today it’s a museum, showcasing beautifully restored Romantic Nationalism architecture and dazzling interior mosaics. If you are reminded of the celebrated St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, you are meant to. It intentionally resembles the famous Moscow church.  Location: St Petersburg, Russia


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