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St. Sophia Cathedral description and photos - Russia - St. Petersburg: Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo). Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photos and a map showing the nearest significant objects.
Photo and description
St. Sophia Cathedral is the traditional name of the Ascension Cathedral in the former city of Sofia (part of the modern city of Pushkin). It is an object of cultural heritage of Russia.
In 1780, Empress Catherine II, near Tsarskoye Selo, founded the city of Sofia, which for a short time became a district town in the St. Petersburg province. The city needed a church and in the summer of 1782 the foundation stone of the Sophia church took place. The author of the project is the architect C. Cameron. Subsequently, the architect I.E. Starov. In 1788 the cathedral was consecrated. Archpriest A.A. Samborsky. The main chapel was consecrated in honor of Sophia, the Wisdom of God, 2 others - in honor of Saints Constantine and Helena and the holy prince Alexander Nevsky.
The architectural appearance of the cathedral successfully combines the proportions and forms of classicism, with the traditions of Russian canons. The cathedral is an architectural monument of strict classicism. In the plan - a square, crowned with five domes on low cylindrical drums. The facades are decorated with Doric porticoes. Monumental 4-column porticos covered with pediments give the cathedral a solemn look. The central dome in the temple is very unusual. Inside it is a second dome, smaller in size, reminiscent of the dome of St. Sophia Cathedral in Constantinople. This dome supports the second drum.
The interior of the building is also distinguished by its solemnity. Its architectural appearance is dominated by the proportions of the Ionic order. The vaults are supported by four massive pylons with pilasters made of solid red granite, adjoined by 8 polished granite columns. The capitals and column bases are gilded. The walls of the temple were previously decorated with simple ornaments, the window openings were surrounded by gilded ornamental rods.
There is no information about the first iconostases. In 1849-1850 new iconostases were installed here. The project for the iconostasis of the central chapel was created by I.D. Chernik, and for the side chapels - P. Egorov. Now the cathedral contains copies of pre-revolutionary iconostases.
The cathedral was conceived as the center, the architectural dominant of the town of Sofia, which later merged with Tsarskoe Selo. Lermontov and Pushkin, Kutuzov and Suvorov, outstanding scientists, artists, composers, prayed under the arches of the beautiful church, almost all famous foreigners who visited Russia visited here.
In 1903-1905, a two-tiered bell tower was erected in the garden surrounding the cathedral according to V.A. Pokrovsky and L.N. Benois with a small church in the name of St. Seraphim of Sarov in the lower tier of the bell tower.
In 1934 the temple was closed, its luxurious interior was plundered, smashed and destroyed. The Great Patriotic War and the following decades of desolation led to the complete loss of the most magnificent cathedral interiors. In 1988, the dilapidated building of the temple was returned to the believers. Archpriest Gennady Zverev was appointed its rector. In June 1989, on the feast day of the Ascension of the Lord, among the blackened walls under crumbling vaults, he served the I Liturgy.
The reconstruction of the cathedral began with the renovation of the bell tower, which was restored by mid-spring 1991. The cathedral was being restored in parallel. In May 1999, a solemn ceremony of consecration of the temple took place.
On September 12, 1990, a monument to A. Nevsky, the patron saint of St. Petersburg, appeared at the walls of St. Sophia Cathedral. The author of the monument was the sculptor V.G. Kozenyuk. In the fence of the cathedral in 2000-2002, a parish Sunday school was erected.
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Topic: Saint Sophia Cathedral description and photos - Russia - St. Petersburg: Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo).