- — Revival of lost heritage
Revival of lost heritage
The builders were challenged to open the asphalt and
calculate the approximate location of the cathedral. It turned out that the old
foundation was not destroyed. The architects were especially delighted by the
intactness of the holy of holies of the cathedral, its altar base. Near the altar slab they
found a sealed entrance to the crypt of the church which was a strewn passage to the
basement of the church. Crypt was the usual burial place of the priests and noble
parishioners. Most probably the Savior Church on Sennaya will be restored on the old
The Assumption Church on Sennaya Square known as the Saviour Church in St.
Petersburg was a Late Baroque 5-domed church commissioned by Orthodox
merchants trading at Sennaya Square market. It was founded in the 1750s to a design
of Andrey Kvasov with the participation of Francesco Rastrelli. In the 19th century it
boasted a high 3-storeyed belfry, a gilded iconostasis with one of the most valuable
parishes in St. Petersburg.
In 1923 the church was elevated to a cathedral status by the “Renovationist”
(the Living Church) and thus survived the times of Stalin but in 1938 it was officially
closed. In 1961 at the peak of Khruschev’s antireligious campaign the church was
blown up. Fearing that the explosion might damage the nearby buildings the engineers
had calculated its strength so that it would go off deep underground.
Unfortunately the blast had damaged even the piles of St. Isaac's Cathedral. The
empty space was given over to the metro vestibule “Sennaya Square” which was
supposed to replace the church and nowadays is located slightly to the north from the
lost Savior Church. The new metro station was opened in 1963.
View of the Saviour Church on Sennaya Square in the XIX century
Project of the recreation of the Saviour Church on Sennaya Square
View of Sennaya Square today