Built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, the foundation stone was laid in 1883 and it took nearly a quarter of a century to complete. With its distinctive cupolas the Muscovy design is unique in St. Petersburg and provides a dramatic contrast to the Neo-Classical architecture which dominates the city center.
The preferred Russian name for this great church is Khram Spasa na Krovi, but each English-language tourist publication seems to list it under a different name. The moniker of "Spilled Blood" is most popular in preference to the likes of the Church of the Resurrection, Church of our Savior on the Blood, Cathedral of the Ascension, Resurrection of the Christ, or Assumption, Church of the Redeemer, or any permutation of the above.
All architects were invited to submit plans for the building of this permanent monument and the definitive designs of Alfred Parland (1842-1920), [Russian despite the name] were accepted after he won the competition set up by Alexander III, which stipulated that it had to be in the 'purely Russian style of the 17th century'. He built the church in conjunction with the archimandrite Ignati Malyschew, who had studied architecture at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts before becoming a monk at a nearby monastery.
From when the foundation stone was laid in October 1883 progress was a slow process. The marshy ground demanded a solid basis and this preparatory work took three years. Then almost another three to compact a granite basement and build the foundation walls. The glazed brick and polychrome tiles are trimmed with shining marble however it is the mosaics that are the real treasure. Most of which were made by the Frolov brothers.
The flamboyant exterior of the building is adorned with icons in a riot of color and becomes more mind boggling the closer you get. Amongst this colorful exterior are 20 granite plaques recording the historic events of Alexander II's reign. Inside there is almost 7,000 sq. meters of Italian marble and over 20 different Russian minerals, embellished with opulent mosaics based on paintings by Nikolai Bruni, Mikhail Nesterov, Viktor (Vassili) Vasnetsov, Andrei Ryabushkin and other religious artists of the late 19th century. Christ and the Apostles are portrayed within the cupola, whilst the walls and pillars are totally adorned with other Biblical scenes or images of saints. Mosaics fill the niches, crevices and cornices and no surface is left bare of embellishment.
The highest steeple is 81m (265 ft) high and the bell tower seen on the left has 144 individual mosaic coats of arms. These represent provinces, cities and towns of the Russian empire and were intended to reflect the nation's grief after the murder of their Tsar. Intricate detailing adorns every single surface beneath the golden or varicolored onion-like domes and even the window frames are flanked by ornately carved Estonian marble.
Alexander III did not live to see the Eclectic monument to his father completed. Construction ended three years after his demise and the internal decoration took another ten years.
Critiques | Translate
dokadak (11518) 2008-05-27 11:17
What a lovely detail... good light managment...color and prespective is well...
marjan (6279) 2008-05-27 11:20
hi Katia, excellent shot with super details and fantastic colores. Good and useful notice,
messenger1 (1033) 2008-05-27 12:01
Fantastic capture, Katia. Perfect POV to show us the amazing architectural details of these domes. Extremely sharp, vibrant colors, the light managed perfectly. A really great one.
gracious (20025) 2008-05-27 12:02
Compliment for this fine and beautiful image of architecture well captured and composed!
the exposure and focus is perfect here with total sharpness, wonderful colour and suprb details
a very pleasing image
acrossthelines (288) 2008-05-27 13:42
Fantastic prespective, colours and light!!
what I only can say is: congratulations for this great picture!
maltese (22853) 2008-05-27 14:02
Les textures et les couleurs sont superbes sur cette photo. Tu as su trouver un excellent POV pour donner beaucoup de prestance à cette église!!
Du très beau travail et une note très complète.
barrufeto_77 (28886) 2008-05-27 22:16
Nice, nice picture of this lovely church. (when I was there it really amazed me!)
Excellent colours and contrasts!
UnTrained (0) 2008-05-29 5:31
wonderful strong contrasts and a great deep blue in the sky. The POV and framing makes the towers outstanding, very well done and the clarity is astonishing. Just like standing myself there.
Lieben Gruss, Ulf
BeBeHooker (0) 2008-05-29 14:33
Wonderful crosses. Amazing architecture. Very original POV. Good capture. Fantastic shot.
Cretense (68687) 2008-06-03 3:38
Amazing architecture photography, great capture of this brilliant monument! The POV, and the perspective are very impressive, great definition but I think it should be a little bit brighter! Apart from that, an excellent photo! Congratulations!
wishlist (4133) 2008-08-07 23:08
Good morning Katia,
the domes really stands out well against the deep blue sky giving a great contrast and, thanks to the bright and vivid colours, there's life in this compo with excellent clarity and details throughout. You managed the light well setting up your camera for the best result, my compliments.
Have a nice day,
bostankorkulugu (42012) 2008-08-08 1:14
beautiful shot full of impressive architectural details of the russian creativity... my compliments katia...
axiotea (21649) 2008-08-08 5:55
This imposing and beautiful monument from your shooting angle looks even more impressive! Love the light, the architectural details and colors.
xavshot (69835) 2008-08-13 9:37
le graphisme et les couleurs ressortent superbement sur cette image. j'aime beaucoup la richesse des détails. Beau travail.
PaulVDV (21955) 2008-08-17 13:01
Very good POV to show us this architectural masterpiece. Clear and sharp picture and well detailed. The domes have beautiful forms and colours and stand out fine in that blue sky.
Best regards, Paul
- Copyright: Katia Danilkina (tigra) (2968)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-06-02
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D70s, Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, Hoya 67mm UV
- Exposure: f/10.0
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2008-05-27 10:02
- Favorites: 1 [view]