The first St. Isaac’s Cathedral on this site was a small wooden structure built in 1710. Several versions have been built here, culminating with the current structure which was commenced in 1816 and completed in 1858.
Models of the previous cathedrals.
Because of the marshy land upon which the cathedral is built, scaffolding (shown in model form here) was built to enable the massive columns, weighing 100 tons each, to be be put in place.
The alter. In this Russian Orthodox Church, the congregation stands for the entire service, which can be up to 12 hours in length.
During the period of communist control, the cathedral was turned into a science museum, aimed at demonstrating science over religion.
The cathedral dome is so large and bright it can be seen at times in Finland.