Petersburg patron saints

This route will get you acquainted with patron saints of St.Petersburg – Alexander Nevsky, Xenia the Blessed, John of Kronshradt

  • temples and cathedrals 4
18 km, 365 m
Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra

Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra

St. Petersburg, Monastyrka river embankment, 1

Founded by Peter the Great in 1710, this orthodox monastery is the most important in St. Petersburg

Alexander Nevsky Laura is an Orthodox monastery at the eastern end of Nevsky Prospekt. It is the first and the largest monastery of the city. The place for the construction of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery was personally chosen by the Emperor Peter I in 1710. It was previously assumed that in this very spot Alexander Nevsky had defeated the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva in 1240. In 1713 the first wooden church of the future monastery - the Annunciation church - was laid upon the project of D.Trezzini. On the territory of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery there are several famous cemeteries where the members of the royal family, government and public figures, representatives of culture and art, are buried.

In 1723 Peter I ordered to move the relics of Prince Alexander Nevsky from Vladimir to the new monastery. They arrived in St. Petersburg in 1724, and a new holiday - the Translation of the relics of Prince Alexander - was added to the calendar of the Russian Church. St. Alexander Nevsky, along with Peter I, is one of the patrons of St. Petersburg.

Kazan Cathedral

Kazan Cathedral

Saint Petersburg, Nevsky Prospect, 25

Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, probably the most venerated icon in Russia

Kazan Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in Saint Petersburg. It was built in 1801-1811 by the architect Andrey Voronikhin by order of Emperor Paul I who wanted the cathedral to resemble St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The cathedral is the monument to glory of Russian arms. The famous Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, who won the most important campaign of 1812, was buried inside the Kazan Cathedral. In 1932-1991 it housed the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism. The sacred thing of the cathedral is a copy of an icon of Our Lady of Kazan.

Kazan Cathedral is remarkable for its plan. Half-round colonnade decorates the side façade of the cathedral, not the main one. According to church canons the altar was to face eastwards, the main entrance - westwards.

4 km, 552 m
Saint Blessed Xenia Chapel

Saint Blessed Xenia Chapel

St. Petersburg, Kamskaya ul., 24

Xenia was buried in Smolenskoe cemetery

Xenia of St. Petersburg (lay name Xenia Grigorievna Petrova)  became famous for her pious life and ascetics. According to her contemporaries, she had a gift of prophecy: she predicted the death of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna and the murder of Emperor Ivan VI Antonovich. She was especially respected in families of merchants, bourgeoisie, people of craft and trade. Xenia was buried in Smolenskoe Orthodox Cemetery.

There is a stone chapel above her tombstone, which became a place of pilgrimage (in 1940-46 and in 1960-87), it was closed off at the end of the 1980s. In 2001-02 the chapel was restored to its original form. Her memory is celebrated on 24 January.

5 km, 732 m
St. John of Rila Convent

St. John of Rila Convent

St. Petersburg, Nab. reki Karpovki, 45

Established by St. John of Kronstadt in 1900 

The convent is dedicated to the Venerable St. John of Rila as a metochion of the female community in honour of John the Theologian in the village of Sura in his native land. From 1903, it was an independent convent. A large Twelve Apostles Cathedral with three side-altars and five domes (1900-02, architect N. N. Nikonov) was built in the Neo-Byzantine style and faced with multicoloured brick. The icons were painted by artist F. K. Platonov. There is a marble tombstone of the founder of the shrine with a church on the ground floor. A memorial apartment is located above the altar. The buildings, which housed monks’ cells, workshops, an orphanage and the Home for Wayfarers (built in 1903-08 by architect Nikonov) stand next to the church. There was a small cemetery in the St. John Convent. The St. Serafim Chapel to the west of the building has survived. In 1919, the building was transformed into a labour commune. In 1923, it was liquidated (the nuns stayed there for three more years). In 1926, the tombstone of Fr. John was walled up. The buildings were occupied by institutions and transformed into flats. In 1989, the cathedral was transferred to the Metochion of Puhtitsa Convent. After the restoration of 1991 it was sanctified and named the Convent of St. John. By 1999, the entire complex of buildings was given back to the convent.

7 km, 723 m