The construction of the church began in 1883 during the reign of Emperor Alexander III, two years after the assassination of his father Alexander II, and was built as a memorial to his father.
The cost of building the church is estimated to have reached 4.5 million rubles at the time, and the construction was completed in 1907 during the reign of Emperor Nicholas II. The Imperial Family contributed funding to the construction, as well as the donations of many others.
The church stands out in its convenient location for the Grypoydov Canal, where parallel paved roads extend on both sides of the canal. The vehicle of Tsar Alexander II as it passed through one of the channel’s bridges was attacked by a grenade, which was thrown by an anarchist on March 13th.
However, the Tsar managed to get out of his vehicle after he was unable to get hurt and began to drag the presumed perpetrator, and in the meantime another jan, Ignasi Hrinevski, took the opportunity and pushed off another bomb that he committed suicide and fatally injured the Tsar. The Tsar was taken to the Winter Palace with a severe bleeding and died several hours after this sudden attack.
During the Russian Revolution, the church was looted and vandalized, causing extensive damage to it. The Soviet government closed the church in 1932. During World War II, the Church was used as a compound for the bodies of those who died in combat and who had died of disease or hunger when many people starved of hunger following the siege of Leningrad imposed by Nazi forces, and the church was severely damaged. After the war, the church became used as a warehouse for storing vegetables, and from here, it became sarcastically called “The Savior on potatoes” instead of its original name.
The church’s administration was transformed into St. Isaac’s Cathedral in July 1970 and has thus become used as a museum, and the rents administered by the cathedral covered the cost of the restoration of the church, which opened its doors in August 1997. However, the church was not dedicated to religious worship after its opening, but became a mosaic museum.
The Church was not employed as a public place for religious worship in fact in the pre-Russian period, because its purpose was originally as a memorial to Tsar Alexander II, and only the proceedings of the memorial ceremony were held. The church is now one of St. Petersburg’s main attractions.
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