This cathredral is unique in Russia; while it's not the only Renaissance-style cathedral (St. Issac's is further down the road) it's fairly small and intimate, looking a bit like a jewelbox version of St. Peter's in Rome. Mass is held here regularly and you needn't leave the building if it starts while you're there; in fact you should stay because it's quite a moving experience, even if you're not Orthodox. I had no idea what the ritual protocol was, and actually I felt I had no business trying to follow along, but whenever I was making a faux pas by just standing there--when I was going to be in the way of a procession--one of the elderly ladies would gently touch my arm and move me to the proper place, no scolding or anything. If you're quiet and respectful, they have no problem with you being there. As far as attire, you don't have to be dressed up, but don't look grungy. Men should not wear hats in an Orthodox cathedral, and women should cover their heads (a scarf is typical).
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