The temple of the Armenian Apostolic Church at the Smolenskoye Armenian Cemetery
The first Armenians appeared in Saint Petersburg as early as in the times of Peter I. Until 1791 they were all buried in Armenian heterodox cemetery, however as late as 1791 by Catherine II’s decree there was a separate Armenian cemetery opened. At the same time, on the 4th of May 1791 there was the Surb Arutyun (Holy Resurrection) Church founded in the cemetery.
The construction of the temple was initiated and funded by the head of the Armenian community of Saint Petersburg Ivan Lazarevich Lazarev. In 1791 his only son Artemy died in the Russo-Swedish War and the church was originally built as a family vault. The consecration of the church took place in 1793.
The project of the church is believed to be by Y.M. Felten who also built other Armenian churches of Saint Petersburg (Surb Katarine Church) and Moscow (the Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church).
The construction is by architects E.T. Sokolov, A. Porto and S.P. Bernikov. In 1901 under the project of architect Alexander Kochetov there was a church house built nearby which facades are decorated with carved ornaments resembling Armenian architecture.
In 1994 in front of the façade of the church there was set a carved khachkar by Yerevan sculptor A. Ovsepyan.