Alexander II is among the greatest Russian tsars, 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, five years before the emancipation of slaves in the US.
The Cathedral of the Savior on Spilled Blood attracts people with its five onion-domes exuberantly decorated and covered in jeweler's enamel. It has a similar façade to St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. Its peculiar multicolored exterior makes it stand out from St. Petersburg’s typically strict architectural proportions and color combinations.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood took 24 years to construct and, after early Soviet vandalism, 27 years to restore. People would even joke that as soon as the construction trestles outside it were 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 Communist regime.
The highlight of both the interior and exterior of the Cathedral are its mosaic collection 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.
Go inside the church and learn more about its history: