This church was built on the very site of Tsar Alexander II murder.
The Church of the Resurrection, also known as the "Savior on the Blood", was built in memory of Alexander II who was assassinated in 1881. The church stands in the very place where a bomb was thrown into his carriage by a young man who opposed Alexander's reforms. Alexander is, arguably, one of the greatest tsars in Russia's history. One of his main accomplishments was the emancipation of serfs in 1861, which brought an end to the de facto slavery of the Russian peasantry. This happened five years before the emancipation of slaves in the US.
The Cathedral of Savior on Spilled Blood attracts people with its exuberant decorations, its five onion-domes covered in jeweler's enamel, and its total area of 3280 square feet. It was built in the Russian architectural style and has a similar façade to St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. Its peculiar multicolored exterior makes the Cathedral stand out among other St Petersburg architectural buildings, most of which are characterized by strict proportions and color combinations. It is said this Cathedral took twenty-four years to construct and twenty-seven to restore. People got so used to the construction trestle surrounding it that a joke arose: as soon as the trestle was removed, the Soviet Regime would fall. It may have been a coincidence, but the reconstruction that finished in 1991 was followed by the famous events which put an end to the dark communist times.
Interesting fact: This church never functioned as a public place of worship. Today it is a Museum of Mosaics.
The Cathedral of Savior on Blood suffered as much as other cathedrals during the Soviet witch hunt. Devastated and vandalized, it was closed in 1930 and stood deserted until 1931 when it plans were enacted to demolish it. Luckily, the plans were postponed until 1938, and by the time everything was ready for the explosion in 1941, Hitler's army had invaded Russia. If it were not for those who passionately fought to restore it following the war, this architectural gem would have vanished.
The highlight of both the interior and exterior of the Cathedral is the mosaics based on the paintings of Vasnetsov, Nesterol, and Vrubel. With a total area of 23130 square feet, it is one of the largest mosaic collections in Europe. The Cathedral is decorated with Italian limestone and various semiprecious stones like jasper, mountain crystal, topaz, and others. On the outside there are twenty granite plates which tell the most important events of Alexander II's reign.