This stunning baroque Cathedral was built to the order of Empress Elizabeth by the Russian architect Chevakinsky. The construction was completed in 1762 during the reign of Catherine the Great.
In the orthodox tradition, Saint Nicholas is revered as the protector of seamen and so they have traditionally attended the Naval St. Nicholas Cathedral as the cathedral of their patron saint. Catherine the Great donated ten icons depicting the saints whose feast days proved to be victorious for the Russian Fleet in their battles against the Turks.
The Cathedral, one of the best examples of the Russian baroque, has become a memorial to the Russian maritime glory since the early days of the Russian Fleet. The traditional Russian five-domed structure was decorated by Chevakinsky by some secular elements, such as balconies with ornate wrought-iron railings and brackets.
St. Nicholas Cathedral continued to function as a church during entire period of the Soviet regime, and is a functioning church nowadays. If you would like to experience a traditional Russian church service, try to visit St. Nicholas Cathedral during your visit to St. Petersburg.