Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is a memorial of one of the significant figures in Russia imperial history, Alexander II who in his era, Russia had numerous improvements in social situations, politics, economic, and military.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood located precisely on the spot that Alexander II's terror happened years ago, alongside Griboyedov canal, near the Winter Palace.
An anarchist decided to assassinate Tsar Alexander II, in 1881. A member of a revolutionary group called People's Will which ordered Tsar Alexander II's execution and attempt a bunch of assassinations towards the Tsar life before threw a handmade bomb at the Tsar and his companions which only shocked them at first, the second bomb which led to both the attacker, Ignaty Grinevitsky's death, and wounding the Tsar terribly. Several hours later, The Tsar Alexander the Second died because of the wounds in Winter Palace.
The State Duma signed an appeal to build a chapel in memories of the Alexander II at the terror spot the next day, Alexander III, the successor of the emperor and the Tsar's son agreed to build a monument, however, he commanded to build a church instead of the chapel.
While the interior of the church designed by various famous artists of the time such as Mikhail Nesterov, Mikhail Vrubel, and Viktor Vasnetsov, the chief architect of the church was non-famous at the time, Alfred Parland who born in an English family at St. Petersburg. Unlike all the other structure in St. Petersburg which follows the Baroque or Neoclassical architecture style, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood was in Romantic-nationalism style which represented the Saint Basil Cathedral in Moscow and the 17th-century churches in Yaroslav. Just like the exterior, the church interior with more than 7000 pieces of Mosaic and amazing artworks is quite extraordinary and exclusive.
In the Soviet era, the church penetrated and looted several times, and its interior damaged gravely, and finally, the government closed the church, in 1932. During the Second World War, the church shifted into a temporary morgue for the people who died in the combats or hunger during the siege of Petrograd. Even after the war, the church turned into a warehouse for vegetables which led to the sarcastic nickname, The Savior on potatoes.
The Church of Savior on Spilled Blood authority was given to the Saint Isaac Cathedral for them to turn it to the museum, in 1970. The Cathedral with its funding constructed a restoration site for the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood which gravely damaged over the years, and finally, reopened the church for the public after 27 years as the Mosaic Museum, in 1997. Even before the revolution, the church never used for daily worships and religious ceremonies, and today as before, it's only a monument and memorial for Alexander the Second, and only serves memorial services.
Today, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is a favorite target for tourists and visitors. With over 7000 pieces of mosaic artworks and Iconography on the ceiling and walls of the church attract lots of people to itself. The ceiling painted the biblical scenes, and you can recognize the art of brilliant artists at that time in each corner of the place.
The inside of the Dome of the church is a Mosaic of Christ Pantocrator's face. The walls all covered in 200 icons of the church supporter and follower whom all seem to be praying in silence and watching over the church from the top. Both the east and the west wing of the church are important as mosaic artworks since in the east side there is a beautiful work of Christ portray, and at the west side precisely on the location of the attack, there's a memorial work of a dramatic scene related to the terror of Alexander II.
Between 1980 and 1994, Vitaly Andrew Shershinov led a professional restoration group to fully clean and restore the interior mosaic design, and in some case entirely rebuild them which let us witness its beauty today as it was from the start.
Besides the marvelous mosaic arts in this church, there are much more in this place to attract tourists such as its excellent interior stonework. The stonework around the windows, the decorative on the walls, and the artworks around the main dome are all from marble which shines its art even more. The marble floor, pieces of granite decorative, and other features in the church make it one of the popular sites in St. Petersburg.
As we said before, the Church of Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main tourists' spots in St. Petersburg and Russia tours' lists of visits with its marvelous history, and of course, the museum of mosaic. If you are a fan of mosaic art or love to see some iconography and artworks from famous artists from the 18th and the 19th centuries, you should make a plan to travel to Russia and head over the Church of Savior on Spilled Blood, and enjoy every second of your visit there.
If you think that you would enjoy visiting the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, you can find more places like this church in our guide pages such as Travel to Saint Petersburg.