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Church of the Saviour Not Made by Human Hand

Named after a legendary Byzantine icon, a copy of which was brought to St. Petersburg by order of Empress Anna, this large neo-classical church on Konyushennaya Ploshchad - "Stable Square" - is an integral part of the architectural ensemble that once made up the Imperial Stables. The first wooden church was built on this site in 1737, while the current building was designed by Vasiliy Stasov and erected in 1817-1823. Significantly expanded and altered forty years later by the serf architect Pyotr Sadovnikov, the church retained its neo-classical grandeur, with soaring Doric columns and deep porticos beneath bas-reliefs depicting Christ's entry into Jerusalem and the bearing of the cross.

  • Complex of buildings of the Konyushennoe Vedomstvo (Stables/transport department) of the Royal Court in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    Complex of buildings of the Konyushennoe Vedomstvo (Stables/transport department) of the Royal Court
  • Church of the Saviour Not Made by Human Hand on Konyushennaya Ploshchad in St Petersburg, Russia
    Church of the Saviour Not Made by Human Hand at Konyushennaya Ploshchad

In the Soviet Union, the church became Police Precinct No. 28, with toilets installed on the site of the alter. The building was returned to the Orthodox Church in 1991, and has since been fully restored. In the last years of his life, Alexander Pushkin was a regular visitor to the church from his nearby apartments on the Moika Embankment. After his fatal duel with Georges Dantes, the poet's body was carried from here to his final resting place at the Svyatagorsky Monastery, and to this day the bells are rung to mark his birthday and the day of his death.

Address: 1, Konyushennaya Ploshchad
Metro station: Nevsky Prospekt
From the metro: Across Canal Griboedov and right along the embankment towards the Church of the Resurrection of Christ the Saviour on the Blood. At the end of the canal, left onto Konyushennaya Ploshchad. (5 minutes)
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 7pm.

The Church of the Saviour Not Made by Human Hand can easily be combined with a visit to the more famous Church of the Resurrection of Christ the Saviour. Although the building's facade is in chronic need of restoration, the interior of the church, recently restored, is richly decorated with marble and gilt, and worth a quick inspection. The church is fully functioning, with ceremonies to mark all Orthodox holidays, as well as the anniversary of the Icon of the Saviour Not Made by Human Hand (August 29), a copy of which takes pride of place in the church's iconostasis. The church is also regularly used for concerts by pupils of the church's Sunday school.

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