Without wanting to turn this blog into a full blown Russian extravaganza...the Savior on the Spilled Blood Cathedral was positively jaw dropping in its golden mosaic-tiled beauty, undoubtedly one of the highlights of St. Petersburg.
As if the wildly ornate exterior with its jagged domes and spiky, textured surfaces weren't enough, its the cathedral's incredible interior which really leaves the visitor in awe of what humankind is capable of achieving in the celebration of Christianity. Every conceivable space inside the church is a tribute to the power of religion, reflected in stunningly intricate mosaic designs representing 68 biblical and evangelical scenes.
Built on the site of Tsar Alexander II's assassination along the Griboedov Canal, surprisingly the church is just over a century old, though its design is a tribute to 17th century structures found in the Russian city of Yaroslavl and similar to Moscow's St Basil's Cathedral. Its enormous, elongated arches and magnificent dome interiors contain the country's largest mosaic collection, also one of the largest in Europe.
The church interior radiates with an intense sunlit golden hue, reminiscent of the spectacular St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. The main colour palette of the Spilled Blood's design is limited to this rich gold, offset by vibrant blue tones which created a sense of pleasing harmony and a calming, hypnotic ambience. The buzzing hoards of visitors, coach-loads of Russian cronks plus the usual suspects found at any international tourist site seemed to exit the church mesmerised, stumbling around in a trance-like state, awaiting the sensory-overload comedown while lining up to stuff their gobs with ice cream outside. Definitely worth a peep if ever you find yourself visiting Russia's great European city.