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SMOLNY CATHEDRAL
 
Smolny cathedral The state concert and exhibition hall "Smolny Cathedral" is located in a former cathedral for all educational institutions. It is the main building of an unique architectural ensemble, the former Smolny Cathedral having been built by the architect Francesco Bartholomeo Rastrelli. Nowadays it is under the aegis of UNESCO.
When founding Saint-Petersburg Peter the Great designated an area beyond the city boundaries for Smolny courtyard where resin for shipbuilding was made. Not far from there in a magnificent and picturesque place where the Neva river follows a grand bend he built a small house which everyone called "Smolny Palace". That is where Peter's daughter Elizabeth spent 10 years during the reign of Anna Ioannovna.
From here she led the Preobrazhensky Regiment, which was to dethrone the reigning infant Ioann Antonovich. Smolny cathedral That night Elizabeth took an oath in front of the icon of Our Christ the Saviour to build a convent in the name of the Resurrection of Christ if she were to become Empress of Russia.
In 1748 the court architect Rastrelli began with the construction, which, however, was not completed in Elizabeth's lifetime. The Empress Catherine the Great decided to turn the unfinished Smolny convent into an educational institution for girls resembling Saint-Sire convent in the environs of Paris. The idea was a success and soon Smolny Institute for girls from noble families (most of whom were orphans) became famous worldwide as a model education institution. The construction of Smolny Cathedral, this marvelous building, was finished in 1835. It was blessed as a cathedral for educational institutions in the name of the Resurrection of Christ.
Smolny cathedral The October Revolution put an end to the Smolny Institute. In the years of Soviet power the Institute as well as Smolny Cathedral endured many changes, and in 1989 they were transformed into a concert and exhibition hall. Within a short period of time the hall became widely popular. A chamber choir was founded under the auspices of Smolny Cathedral. Its repertoire is extensive and diverse ranging from the works by the Russian and Western composers to Russian folk songs. Parts of the choir's repertoire are presented on a CD recorded in 1994. The choir will continue with its recordings as they are very much sought after in St.-Petersburg as well as at engagements abroad. Famous symphony and chamber orchestras, renown vocalists and dancers as well as children choirs appear in the wonderful white-pillared hall of Smolny Cathedral. International of chamber choirs have been conducted of which the 1st International festival of boys' choirs was met with great jubilation. The hall's concert activities made it famous in Russia and around the world.
Smolny cathedral The exhibition space of Smolny cathedral (3000 m2) allows to hold various kinds of exhibitions not only from the rich collections of the famous St. Petersburg museums but also from the museums and galleries of Europe. For the artists of our city it is particularly prestigious to show their work in the hall of Smolny Cathedral, as the combination of a concert and exhibition hall attracts wider public and raises even more interest amongst the visitors. Interesting excursions are held in the Smolny Cathedral. The visitors are not only introduced to the history of this architectural masterpiece but may also walk up the 68 m high belfry. It is the highest observation point in St.-Petersburg. From here a magnificent view unfolds onto Smolny convent and the entire city in its splendor with its river, canals, the grand Neva river, wonderful palaces and parks.
Address: Rastrelli Ploshad, 3, building 1   see map

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Museums > Smolny cathedral
 
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Complete playbill of all St. Petersburg,Russia theatres, shows, concerts, etcComplete playbill of all St. Petersburg,Russia theatres, shows, concerts, etc. !
World-known music festival "The Stars of the White Nights". Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)World-known music festival "The Stars of the White Nights".
Artistic director - Valery Gergiev (Mariinky (Kirov) Opera and Ballet)

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