The Cathedral also known as Church on Spilled Blood is one of the best known symbols of St. Petersburg.
The Cathedral was designed by Father Ignaty and the architect Parland to mark the spot where Alexander II was assassinated by the terrorists of the People's Will on March 1, 1881. The construction took over 14 years and was paid for entirely by the donations of the Russian people. Unlike other Russian cathedrals, the Church on the Spilled Blood never worked as a regular church and has always been a museum.
The Bolsheviks and the Soviet leaders took turns in planning to demolish the Cathedral, but fortunately these plans were never carried out and the building was used as a warehouse during the Soviet regime. After almost 30 years of restoration the Cathedral reopened to the public in 1997.
Despite its tragic designation the Cathedral looks very ornate. Its nine domes are shining with gold and bright enamel colors, and the decorative carpet of special bricks, marble details, tiles and mosaics completes the splendid exterior. The interior is decorated with unique mosaics whose surface was left unpolished so that they could better reflect sunlight.