Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Russia
The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood or the Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as known officially is one of Russia's most impressive churches, operating these days as a museum, located in the historic center of St. Petersburg on the banks of the Griboyedov Canal near Mikhailovsky Garden and the Konyushennaya Square. With multicolored onion domes reminiscent of St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, this church is a breathtaking sight both outside and within its ornately decorated walls and ceilings which are densely adorned with 70002m of vivid and intricately detailed mosaics created by world famous Russian artists such as Mikhail Vrubel and Viktor Vasnetsov.
The construction of the church originally began in 1883 by Emperor Alexander III to commemorate his father, Alexander II. Tsar Alexander II was actually assassinated on the site in 1881, thus lending the Russian Orthodox cathedral its local name referring to spilled blood. The church was completed in 1907 during the reign of Nicholas II. During the Russian Revolution of 1917, the interior of the church was badly damaged and it was closed in the 1930s when the Bolsheviks were destroying churches all over Russia. During the siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg former name) the church was used as a storage site for corpses. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables and got the nickname of Church of the Saviour on Potatoes.
In 1970, management of the church was turned over to St. Isaac's Cathedral, operating as a profitable museum. Money from the museum was used to restore the church and it was reopened in August 1997 after 27 years of restoration work at a cost of 4.6 million Roubles. In 2005 work began on a new project for the recreation of the Holy (or Royal) Gates which were permanently lost in the 1920s during the Soviet period.
Entirely produced with enamels and based on the pictures and lithographies of the time, the new Holy Gates have been designed by V. J. Nikolsky and S. G. Kochetova, while famous enamel artist L. Solomnikova and her atelier have been assigned the task to produce the Holy Gates, whose reconsecration has been celebrated by Orthodos bishop Amvrosij of Gatchina on 14 March 2012, the 129th anniversary of Alexander II's assassination.