Those of you who have followed this blog for some time will know that I have absolutely no time for religion of any kind but nobody can deny the incredible architecture and artworks that have been created at the behest of the world’s religions. The Orthodox cathedrals of Russia are no exception and in fact they outdo the excesses of the more well-known Catholic places of worship in their ostentatious displays of wealth.
Saint Isaac’s was created on the orders of Tsar Aleksander I and took forty years to complete between 1818 and 1858 following the design of French-born architect Auguste de Montferrand. It cost an astronomical one million gold rubles at a time when the majority of Russia’s population were little better than slaves and chattels of the Tsars.
Despite these misgivings about its construction and cost there was no way I could be anything other than incredibly impressed by the sheer overwhelming extravagance of its interior. It almost defies belief but I hope these photos can do it some justice, otherwise you’ll just have to see it for yourselves…