On the first spring day of 1881, a terrible tragedy happened in St. Petersburg - another attempt on the life of the Russian Emperor Alexander II took place on the embankment of the Catherine Canal.
For fifteen years the terrorists had been on a real hunt for the monarch, they shot at him, blew up the train in which Alexander was supposed to go, and planted explosives under the tsar's canteen. And on March 1, 1881, the emperor was mortally wounded after the explosion of a bomb thrown at him by Ignatius Grinevitsky. They barely managed to bring Alexander II to the Winter Palace, where he soon died.
On the same day, Ignatius Grinevitsky himself died, also seriously injured in the explosion. He was taken to the Stables Hospital, where the terrorist died, refusing to give his name. The name of the killer was not immediately revealed. In the documents, he was recorded as "a person who died on March 1".
Alexander the Third, who ascended the throne, decided to build a chapel on the site of his father's death, the work of which was paid for by the merchant Gromov. Later, Alexander III had a plan for the construction of a grandiose temple. The laying ceremony took place in October 1883. It was named the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, but among the people it was often called the Savior on the Blood.
The construction of the temple lasted for almost a quarter of a century; the solemn consecration ceremony took place on August 6, 1907, when the grandson of the deceased emperor, Nicholas II, ruled in the Russian Empire. Such a long period was also explained by the fact that the Savior on Spilled Blood, by the decision of Alexander III, was to be located exactly at the place of his father's death, therefore, the temple had to literally be inscribed into the landscape, slightly moved outside the embankment border. The first stone in the foundation was laid by Alexander III.
To this day, "witnesses of the era" of the 19th century have survived here - the stones of the pavement on which the mortally wounded Alexander II fell, as well as part of the grate of the Catherine Canal, which now bears the name of Griboyedov. And at the bottom of the canal for many years there were crosses from the domes; parishioners hid them there to save them from being plundered. During the restoration, they were found with the help of one of the local old-timers.
The height of the tallest dome, 81 meters, was not chosen by chance, it was in 1881 that Alexander II died a martyr's death. The second highest dome rose 63 meters. And also not without reason - it was so many years of earthly life that the monarch was allotted.
Looking at the Savior on Spilled Blood, it is easy to notice that it does not really fit into the architectural ensemble of St. Petersburg. this was the decision of Alexander III, who immediately announced that the temple should be built in the Russian style. The emperor considered himself an adherent of old Russia, and sought to cleanse the state of the ideas of liberal reforms.
It was immediately announced that this temple would not be a parish church, memorial services for Emperor Alexander II were held there, sermons were read, but at that time no baptism or wedding ceremonies were performed here.
Ten years after the consecration of the Savior on Spilled Blood, a revolution took place in the country, and difficult times fell on believers. Many churches were destroyed, the same fate was planned for the temple, built on the site of the death of the Tsar-liberator. It was supposed to be demolished in 1941. But, the war began, during which the surviving temple was equipped with a morgue. Surprisingly, he was not injured during the bombing of besieged Leningrad.
But, as it turned out later, one shell hit the central dome without exploding. It was discovered by accident only during restoration work in the early sixties. Through the heroic efforts of sappers, the deadly find weighing 150 kg was taken out of the city and destroyed.
After the war, the temple was transferred to the Maly Opera House, which housed a set warehouse here. Only at the end of the sixties the Savior on Spilled Blood was taken under state protection, and in the summer of 1970 it was decided to open a branch of the St. Isaac's Cathedral here. By that time, the condition of the temple was in disrepair; major repairs were urgently required.
In the early eighties of the last century, the Savior on Spilled Blood was closed for restoration, which was completed only in 1997, exactly 90 years after its consecration, it was open to visitors, however, only as a museum. It is not for nothing that Alexander Rosenbaum's song "Sadness Has Fell" contains the following words: "I dream of removing the forests from the Savior on Spilled Blood." The first service, after a long break, took place on May 23, 2004. It was served by the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg Vladimir.
TripAdvisor has compiled a list of the 25 most visited tourist attractions in the world. Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood entered the top ten, being in eighth place. It attracts tourists from all over the planet not only with its magnificent architecture, but also with its wonderful history.