Burcu Başar

St. Petersburg, Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

Following an amazingly scenic train trip between Moscow and St. Petersburg, I quickly leave the train station for my hotel. By the way – of you take the high-speed train, you can travel between St. Petersburg and Moscow in 3.5 hours. The alternative and cheaper option is the standard train, which takes around 7 hours. Luckily, St. Petersburg – with some of its similar features – still makes me feel like in Moscow, which I loved a lot. There is almost a copy of St. Basil Church located in Red Square in Moscow. You may not immediately recognize what I am talking of when I just refer to St. Basil Church but you may probably recognize it immediately if I mention the colorful onion domes (very colorful!) that you can see in Red Square. This famous architectural feature of Russia – onion domes are also used in the design of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, which is constructed as per the order of Alexander III in honor of his father Alexander II right on the spot where he was assassinated. This church has never been used for marriage or funeral ceremonies and but only for memorial ceremonies for Alexander II. The church, which was shut down following the Russian Revolution in 1932, was surprisingly left abandoned for a long time. It was also severely damaged during the Second World War. It has however luckily been restored in the following years to re-gain its current dazzling looks and to be opened to public. I started this post mentioning the similarity between the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and the St. Basil Church in Moscow. I should mention that St. Petersburg served as the capital city of the Russian Empire for over two centuries and has no intention to be over shadowed by Moscow. In fact, many think that St. Petersburg is far out the most beautiful city in Russia. While I agree that St. Petersburg is very beautiful – I am not yet ready to give up on Moscow, which is my personal favorite.