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Saturday, March 9, 2013
» Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor: The largest Russian Orthodox cathedral
Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor: The largest Russian Orthodox cathedral
The church on St Isaac's Square was ordered by TsarAlexander I, to replace an earlier Rinaldiesquestructure, and was the fourth consecutive church standing at this place. A specially appointed commission examined several designs, including that of the French-born architectAuguste de Montferrand (1786–1858), who had studied in the atelier of Napoleon's designer, Charles Percier. Montferrand's design was criticised by some members of the commission for the dry and allegedly boring rhythm of its four identical pedimented octastyle porticos. It was also suggested that despite gigantic dimensions, the edifice would look squat and not very impressive. The emperor, who favoured the ponderous Empire style of architecture, had to step in and solve the dispute in Montferrand's favour.