Nicholas Naval Cathedral of The Epiphany

Nicholas Naval Cathedral of The Epiphany, St. Petersburg

Nicholas Naval Cathedral of The Epiphany

Nicholas Naval Cathedral of The Epiphany
4.5
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One of the best examples of Baroque-style architecture, this splendid blue and white "Sailors' Church" topped with five glistening golden cupolas contains many 18th-century icons, ten magnificent paintings and walls that convey the history of the Russian navy.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
478 reviews
Excellent
318
Very good
134
Average
21
Poor
2
Terrible
3

Malgorzata
11,263 contributions
St. Nicolas Cathedral is an Orthodox cathedral in St. Petersburg. It was build in 1753-1762. It is the most important and best-preserved artistic achievement of the Russian architect Savva Chevakinsky, as well as a glorious example of Elizabethan baroque style.  One of the most beautiful temples in St. Petersburg. This 18th century monument of baroque architecture is a place not to be missed.
Written May 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Valentin
St. Petersburg, Russia1,044 contributions
Friends
⛪ Nicholas Naval Cathedral (Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Epiphany) is the first naval cathedral that traditionally fed the sailors of the Russian fleet, the regimental temple - the Guards crew.
⛪ Laid on July 28, 1753 by decree of Empress Elizabeth of April 29, 1752 on the construction of a stone church for naval servants.
Written December 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

svegor
St Petersburg839 contributions
This cathedral is only a couple of minutes’ walk from Theater Square with Mariinsky Opera House. It is one of St Petersburg’s oldest and most beautiful Russian Orthodox churches, designed in the mid-18th century Russian baroque style. If you decide to visit it, come at the weekend - then you will get to see both the lower church of St Nicholas (open daily) and the upper church of Epiphany (normally open only on Saturday and on Sunday).

The lower church, which has the famous icon of St Nicholas with his relics, is used for daily services. You can visit it any time, but if you are a tourist, you will not be allowed to go beyond the rope separating the central part of the church from the side isles.

The upper part, which has the original woodcarved iconostasis, is more ornate and is used for festival services and for wedding ceremonies. You might be asked to make a donation of USD 2 to enter it, but it is worth it.

Russian orthodox churches have strict rules, so make sure you do not use your camera inside and do not talk loudly. Men are requested to take their hats off when they enter a church, and shorts and mini-skirts are regarded as inappropriate.

Empress Elizabeth I built the cathedral as a seamen’s church in the mid-18th century, so inside there are a lot of memorial boards to Russian seamen who perished at sea, including the victims of the Kursk submarine disaster in 2000. If you have a few extra minutes, walk to the monument to the seamen who were killed in the Tsushima battle in 1905, during the Russo-Japanese war, in the cathedral garden.
Written August 10, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Olga C
Berkeley, CA59 contributions
Solo
WHY WORTH SEEING: It's the oldest working church in St Pete (more than 250 years old). Moreover, it never stopped working, even during the Soviet times, when the country was oficially atheist and lots of churches were turnes into swimming pools, storages etc.

BEST TIME TO SEE:
- I personally believe that the church looks better on the outside that inside (see below for explanation). The best way to look at it is from the water. So try to include this church in your canal cruise. For example, check out this link for schedule. You need the tour called "Back to Olg Petersburg" http://translate.google.com/translate?client=tmpg&hl=en&langpair=ru|en&u=http%3A//www.water-ticket.ru/excursions/water-tours/water-tour-of-st-petersburg
In my opinion, the best pier is located by the Admiralty, but you can also just ask people on the strees who advertise river cruises (they are everywhere) and ask if the church is included in the route, or ask you con sierge at the hotel.
Of course it's in Russian, but that's the only option if you travel on your own. The main thing about a canal cruise is to SEE all the sights from water.

- If you do go inside, the best time is 8:45 AM and 6PM, the mass time.

BEST WAY TO GET THERE:
If don't go there with a canal cruise, you can either walk or take a bus. If you go there from Nevsky prospect (the main street) you can take buses #3 or 27 or trolleybus #22. Get off by the Mariinsky theatre (a huse green building with white details). Further down the street you will see guilded domes on top of blue towers. That's the church you need!

PLEASE NOTE:
- As it is a working church, be respectful. Don't talk too loud and don't take pictures inside. It's preferable that ladies cover their heads and gents take their hats off. Try not to wear really short skirts or shorts.

- The church has some space closer to the altar, which is separated with a rope and a sign "no tourists allowed" (or something like that). It means that it's for the people who actually want to listen to the servise and pray. It doesn't mean that tourists are not allowed in. If you really want to participate, just prepare for it. If you are a female visitor, cover your head with a scarf or something and wear pants or a long skirt. Male visitors should take off their hats. You will see that the priest sings a prayer and from time to time everybody makes some gestures with their hands. Try to repeat after them.

- You don't have to stay during the mass. Everybody is always free to leave whenever they want. Try to wander around and discover all sorts of little icons hidden in the corners. If you have some rubles, you can buy candles, light them and place them in front of icons as you pray.

- There are better working churches in our city, for example, the Church of St Vladimir, and they don't have those very unfriendly "no tourists" signs. Though the facade of the chrch if worth seeing. Try to walk around the church along the canal and look at it from the side of the bell tower. It's the best view of the church. That area is called "7 bridges", so try to find all of the seven bridges.

- If you are in urgent need to use the WC, you can find it close to the entrance to the church grounds. If go go further from the entrance gate towards the canal, you will see a little house "WC". However, it's chargeable, so prepare some rubles.

DON'T MISS:
Looking at the church from the bell tower side (see above).
Written July 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mikaela
Fairfax County, VA80 contributions
Friends
This cathedral is very pretty. It is similar to Smolny (which in my opinion is a bit more impressive) but this church is still very picturesque. It is an active church, so tourists are only allowed inside by prearranging a visit. I hadn’t known that so did not get to see the inside.
Written July 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Daddy Unai
Budapest, Hungary14 contributions
Family
This is too expensive for my seven kids and me. It’s not even that much fun when you have to pay more than your fishing equipment.
Written May 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John D
Windsor, Canada240 contributions
Family
This remains a functional church, also with a second floor (no tourist access) meaning the interior is less grandiose and relatively small, however no less ornate than other churches you may visit. Worth a visit of you have some extra time, the most beautiful views are from the exterior with the baby blue facade.
Written October 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

kterhark
Durham, NC108 contributions
Solo
I stayed here for 30 minutes, attending a service. As a tourist I could not go past the rope, but that's OK. Ladies, DO wear a head scarf if you go. this is an active church and it's insulting to see so many (female) tourists walking around during service and not respecting the tradition or culture. The chanting here moved my soul; very beautiful
Written May 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marie Z
Hollis, NY50 contributions
Solo
Extremely beautiful buildings. Pleasant area to walk around in. Very peaceful area. The interior was gorgeous. They has roped off the main part so tourists can see the interior without disturbing the parishioners. No photos allowed inside and women should cover their heads out of respect. Definitely a place I would recommend visiting for a easygoing day.
Written September 11, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ahmet M
Bodrum City, Turkey51 contributions
Couples
Saint Nicholas is a small church and is used for services. This is the first church was built here in 1743 which is an Orthodox church in Baroque Style Painted blue and white. It has a beautiful bell tower. very peaceful inside. there is no entry charge. It is not really a tourist church.
Written September 28, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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