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St. Isaac's Cathedral, behemoth in size, dominates it's own square, and is one of the premier tourist attractions of St. Petersburg. St. Isaac himself, was a Monk, who shared the same birthday as Peter the Great, May 30th. This is the fourth cathedral in the city to have been dedicated to this Monk. Construction of this sight originally began in 1818, headed by a french architect by the name of Auguste de Montferrand, and was completed in 1842. Decoration took on a whole new project that commenced in 1842 following construction and continued on into 1858 at the fall of the Romanov dynasty.
During the Soviet period the cathedral was turned into a Museum of Atheism. During this period there was an enormous Foucault pendulum installed in the cathedral that was supposed to be able to prove the falseness of religion through the earth's rotation.
The interior is stunningly laid out in gold, precious stones, and rare works of art, all of which, have been recently restored due to the demise of the Soviet Union. The decision was made, however, not to restore the exterior, which bears the hallmark scars of the many wars this historic city has faced.
Tickets are sold to view the interior and colonnade from kiosks opposite the Lobanov-Rostovskiy House. Tour hours are 11am-6pm, except Wednesday for the cathedral, and 11am-5pm except Wednesday for the colonade. Photography is not permitted for either the colonade nor the cathedral.
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