St. Petersburg's most-photographed church, this cathedral is a mountain of blindingly bright, beveled domes topped by glistening gold crosses. Its architects sought to revive medieval Russian architectural styles, but the cathedral's bold cheeriness lacks the brooding mysticism of similar churches in Moscow, instead reflecting the renewed nationalism and material prosperity of late-19th-century Russia. It was built on the site where Czar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, prompting residents to come up with the Spilled Blood reference. Its official name is Church of the Resurrection of Christ. Alexander II was the forward-thinking czar who finally freed Russia's serfs in 1861, but he grew conservative in his later years and was targeted by a group of revolutionaries demanding more reform. The church's interior mosaics were created by Russia's top artists of the day, including Art Nouveau master Mikhail Vrubel.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Recommended 2010