Church on the Spilled Blood
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (Russian: Церковь Спаса на Крови, Tserkovʹ Spasa na Krovi) is one of the main sights of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Other names include the Church on Spilled Blood (Russian: Церковь на Крови, Tserkov’ na Krovi), the Temple of the Savior on Spilled Blood (Russian: Храм Спаса на Крови, Khram Spasa na Krovi), and the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ (Russian: Собор Воскресения Христова, Sobor Voskreseniya Khristova).
This church was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded by political nihilists in March 1881. The church was built between 1883 and 1907. The construction was funded by the imperial family.
The church is prominently situated along the Griboedov Canal; paved roads run along both sides of the canal. On March 13, 1881 (Julian date: March 1), as Tsar Alexander's carriage passed along the embankment, a grenade thrown by an anarchist conspirator exploded. The tsar, shaken but unhurt, got out of the carriage and started to remonstrate with the presumed culprit. A second conspirator took the chance to throw another bomb, killing himself and mortally wounding the tsar. The tsar, bleeding heavily, was taken back to the Winter Palace, where he died a few hours later.
Architecturally, the cathedral differs from Saint Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The church contains over 7500 square meters of mosaics—according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world.This record may be surpassed by the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, which houses 7700 square meters of mosaics. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day—including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in Saint Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million rubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture
ViewGriboedov CanalChurchViktor VasnetsovMosaic MuralsPolychromatic exteriorOnion domes