Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg was built in honour of the victory over Napoleon in the war of 1812.
Kazan Cathedral is one the biggest Orthodox churches of St. Petersburg. For a long time, the Cathedral had been a home for one of the most valuable icons - the icon of Our Lady of Kazan, obtained by Ivan the Terrible after the victory over Kazan.
At the end of the 18th century Paul I ordered to rebuild the small church of the Nativity of Our Lady into a huge Cathedral. The architect A. Voronikhin was promoted by Duke Stroganov for the completion of Paul's ideas. Paul I wanted a new cathedral to look like St. Peter's Cathedral in Vatican. The plan of Voronikhin was not completed and the construction of the Cathedral was finished only after Paul's death in 1811, and the Cathedral became a symbol of victory over Napoleon in the war of 1812. In 1813 the famous Russian filed-marshal M. I. Kutuzov was buried in the cathedral. In 1837 in honour of the 25th anniversary of the victory the monuments of M. Kutuzov and Barclay-de-Tolley were erected in front of the cathedral.
After the October revolution of 1917 the Cathedral was closed and in the 1930's it became a museum of religion and atheism containing a unique collection of icons and church plates. The Cathedral was opened for services only in 1991 and in 1998 it was again consecrated. In 2001 the museum was moved from the Cathedral to a different building. Nowadays it is impossible to imagine Nevsky avenue without Kazan Cathedral.
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