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.
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