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The basilica of St. Isaac's is one of the best cathedrals built in Europe in the nineteenth century. Its ornamentation of the most varied types of monumental art and significant height give the predominant accent to the silhouette of the city, determinate general character of the magnificence and eternal architectural forms. The current St. Isaac's Cathedral is the fourth church erected in St. Petersburg in honor of the legendary Byzantine St. Isaac of Dalmatia also known as St. Isaac of Constantinople. Peter the Great, founder of the city decided to erect in his new capital a cathedral of St. Isaac of Dalmatia. The day of the saint - 30 May - coincided with the birth of the Tsar. For the construction were used about 400 thousand workers. The working conditions were extremely heavy. In the documents in the archives is mentioned that work hours lasting from 13 to 16 hours daily including Sundays and holidays. Such conditions reduced to numerous accidents. It was heavy, especially for the chlorinators, who was often sick and died because of terrible torments as a result of toxic fumes of nitrogen. The copper plates for the dome were gilded in fire. The method was that the plates were covered with an alloy of gold and mercury, and then overheated at the fire braziers, mercury was evaporated and gold covered the wafer with the same thin layer on entire surface. The gold is so persistent and durable that retains till nowadays. The iconostasis of the main altar is covered with white marble and adorned with 10 pillars of malachite, lapis lazuli. The icons in the 1st row are compound mosaics representing the Saints and are named after the Russian Tsars. In the 2nd row there are also mosaics accomplished according to paintings of Fyodor Briullov, and dedicated to the Saints that have the names of the imperial family. The icons in the 3rd row are works of Semyon Zhivago, representing Old Testament prophets. At the top there is the Christ of Majesty, gilded bronze sculpture what is made by Peter Klodt. At the bottom of the main altar there is a luxurious window with the risen Christ made according to the paintings of Leo von Klenze of the Royal Manufacture of Munich in the years 1841-1843, where worked the best teachers of the time.

 

 

 


 

 

 

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