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

St. Petersburg, Nevsky pr., 25

Being built in the Empire style, it is one of the largest temples of Saint Petersburg. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, probably the most venerated icon in Russia

The cathedral was constructed in Nevsky Prospekt from 1801 till 1811 by architect A.N. Voronikhin by order of Emperor Paul I who wanted the cathedral to resemble St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican. Before it on the place of the cathedral a church was built in 1733-1737 by the architect M.G. Zemtsov.

After the Patriotic War in 1812 it obtained military glory monument status. The famous Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, who won the most important campaign of 1812, was buried inside the Kazan Cathedral. It had housed the Museum of the History of Religion since 1932 till 1991 and has been a functioning temple since 1991. Since 2000 it has been the cathedral church of the Saint Petersburg Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church. Kazanskaya ulitsa, Kazansky Island in the delta of the Neva river and Kazansky Bridge at the intersection of Nevsky Prospekt and the Griboyedov Kanal were named after the Kazan Cathedral. 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.

On the 2nd of July the icon of Our Lady of Kazan was brought here. This relic which had previously belonged to tsaritsa Praskovia Fyodorovna was brought to Saint Petersburg as early as in 1708. Before being brought to a new church in this place in 1737 it had been kept first in the wooden chapel on Posadskaya ulitsa and then in the Trinity Cathedral on the Trinity Square. The consecration of the temple took place on the 13th of the June (according to historian P. Kann) or on the 3rd of July 1737. The second variant seems to be more logical if we consider the date of bringing the icon of Our Lady of Kazan here. There was Anna Ioannovna present at the ceremony of the consecration. In the vernacular this church was called Kananskaya, after the icon the had been kept here. During Elizabeth Petrovna’s reign the church obtained cathedral status and official name “Kazansky Temple”. In the second half of XVIII – the early XIX centuries it was the principal cathedral of Saint Petersburg. In 1739 princess Anna Leopoldovna and prince Anton Urlich and in 1745 the future Emperor and Empress Peter III and Catherine II got married here. In 1762 after the coup d'état Catherine took the guard oath. Kazanskaya church was also the place of the future Emperor Paul I and princess of Hesse-Kassel wedding in 1773.

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
Ioannovsky Convent

Ioannovsky Convent

St. Petersburg, nab. reki Karpovki, 45

The monastery was founded by John of Kronstadt in honor of John Rylsky in the early XX century 

The building was built in 1900-1902 by the architect Nikonov. The lower Church was consecrated in honor of St. John of Rila (Rylskiy), the heavenly patron of the Dear Father, and the upper Cathedral-in honor of the Twelve Apostles. The abbess of the monastery was the spiritual daughter of Fr. John, hegumeness Angelina (Sergieva) (1867-1927).

From the very beginning, father John had been especially concerned about the improvement of the new monastery. Even during the life of the Priest, his works and prayers, the monastery had reached its peak. The monastery attracted worshippers with its statutory services and the touching singing of the sisters. Fr.John liked to call himself "the Builder of the John’s monastery by the grace of God". Here were his chambers, where he stayed during a visit to the Northern capital. Here was also built a temple-tomb, in which, according to the will of the Father, he was buried on December 22, 1908. The tomb was consecrated in the name of the prophet Elijah and Queen Theodora, the heavenly patrons of Fr. John.

By 1917, the monastery had 350 sisters. The sisters did almost everything they needed themselves. The monastery had its own subsidiary farm, workshops, and hospital. Charitable assistance was provided to those in need, and there was a shelter for orphans. During World War I, the monastery opened an infirmary for wounded soldiers and officers.

After the arrival of the new government, the monastery was closed in 1923, all the property was taken out and looted, and the building was transferred to the management of more than 20 different organizations. In the following years, almost all of the sisters were arrested and sent to prisons and camps.

In 1989, the monastery began to return to the Russian Orthodox Church. In the 70 years that have passed since the monastery was closed, the building has fallen into a severe decline. The temples and all the rooms were rebuilt. It took several years of intensive repair and restoration work to return the monastery to its original appearance.

Simultaneously with the restoration of the walls, the revival of monastic life began. After the consecration of the upper Church by his ever-Memorable Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia on July 13, 1991, services are held daily at the monastery. Gradually, the work of monastic workshops is being adjusted. In the Church-tomb of St. John of Kronstadt a small Museum dedicated to him and the history of the monastery was created. The monastery has a free Sunday school. In 1992, the monastery was granted the status of a stauropegion and since then it has been under the direct authority of his Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

7 km, 723 m