Five legends and mysteries of St. Isaac’s Cathedral

Five legends and mysteries of St. Isaac’s Cathedral

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January 23, 1786 in a suburb of Paris was born Henri Louis Auguste Ricard de Montferrand. He graduated from the School of Architecture, served in the Guard of Napoleon and even participated in the battles. In April 1814, after the entry of Russian troops in Paris, a young architect committed an act that changed his life forever. He gave the Russian autocrat, Alexander I album with elaborately projects that wanted and could realize. Montferrand received an official invitation of the sovereign and in 1816 came to St. Petersburg. Montferrand gave the city on the Neva are some great buildings, but his name is traditionally associated primarily with the St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

Folklore northern capital rich, if not – is inexhaustible. Sometimes it’s hard to know where – the truth and where – fiction: so intertwined historical facts and fantasies of the townspeople. St. Isaac’s Cathedral is the seat increasingly gloomy legends. Maybe because construction contemporaries did not like his excessive pomp and domination over other architectural forms. Not all of today believe temple worthy symbol of St. Petersburg.

How angry pagan deity

Destruction of monuments in the Middle Urals is becoming a trend Destruction of monuments in the Middle Urals is becoming a trend
Critics called the columns of the main altar of St. Isaac’s Cathedral apogee malachite era. They hit the grandeur and beauty: their height – 9.5 meters, diameter – meter, kilogram 14632 first-class malachite went into making them.

Montferrand mastered this stone in the 1830s, when he created the malachite room mansion on Demidovs Big Sea. In 1843 he ordered Nizhnetagilskom Demidov’s factories in 1500 pounds malachite highest quality.

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Careful selection of material took several years. Masters produced 178 bronze plaques, pasted malachite, which later had to be mounted column. Malachite sawed on tile thickness of 2.54 millimeters. Then they picked up the veins and shades.

It is believed that the columns of St. Isaac Cathedral Demidov spent all my stocks and malachite this market from falling, fallen value of the stone and its prestige. Malachite mining became unprofitable and almost stopped.

Ural legend explains what happened a little differently: Mistress of Copper Mountain – pagan deity – was outraged by the fact that it went to the stone construction of the Orthodox cathedral, and hid all the stocks in the malachite inaccessible bowels.

Why died architect

In the Sverdlovsk region of the published six-volume local architecture In the Sverdlovsk region of the published six-volume local architecture
The temple was constructed incredibly long as none of the other Cathedral in St. Petersburg. Even though the objective reasons, such as the scope of work and the fact that at that time were also built in St. Petersburg to Moscow railway and the bridge across the Neva, 40 years – it’s very long. Contemporaries joked that see Isaac’s can not be built even their grandchildren.

There is a curious explanation for such a long-term construction. Urban folklore collectors say that while there have been rumors of the existence of any seer who allegedly predicted Montferrand that he died soon after will finish the St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

How the prediction was accurate, hard to judge, but the architect really died almost immediately after the church was consecrated. Reason for the sharp decline in health was supposedly dismissive attitude on the part of the new sovereign – Alexander II. Whether he made the remark Montferrand for wearing “military” mustache. Whether autocrat not like hit peculiar autograph of an architect in the design of the cathedral there is a group of saints, humble nod of the head cheering Isaac of Dalmatia, among them – and himself Montferrand.

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A well-deserved praise the creator, who gave most of his life collecting, fell into despair and “struck him hostile attitude of the emperor, he felt bad,” and died 27 days.

Incidentally, Monferrand be buried in St. Isaac’s, but his wish was not fulfilled: the coffin architect carried around the temple, and the widow took him to Paris.

Fall of the House of Romanov

Construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral was completed in 1858, however, a monumental structure even after the official opening is constantly in need of repair, debugging, close attention masters, causing scaffolding stood uninvestigated. For fifty years, St. Petersburg are so accustomed to them that the legend was born of their connection to the royal family.

It was believed that unless the scaffolding – and the Romanov dynasty ruled. Legend, I must say arguable: permanent repairs require huge expenditures (the cathedral was a real work of art, and anyhow what materials to restore it was not good), and the funds allocated royal treasury.

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In fact, the forest with St. Isaac’s Cathedral was first filmed in 1916, shortly before the abdication of the throne of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II in March 1917.

Incidentally, it is believed that the angels on the facade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral – face of the imperial family.

Temple for sale

In 1930 there was a rumor that Americans admire the beauty of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, something resembling them Capitol, offered the Soviet government to redeem it. According to legend, the temple had to be dismantled and in part on ships to smuggle in the U.S., where gather again. As payment for the priceless architectural object Americans allegedly offered to asphalt all cobblestone streets of Leningrad, of which at that time was a lot.

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Judging by the fact that Isaac’s Cathedral still stands in its place the deal fell through. In general, the reasons for the appearance of the legend were. It is known that in 1932-1933 against the background of industrialization and collectivization of the country embraced a terrible famine that claimed variously estimated from 2 to 8 million people. While peasants starved to death, the export of grain increased. Rumored to be sold abroad and museum treasures – paintings, icons, antiques. This plus all the dislike of Soviet citizens to the West and spawned rumors about the sale of the cathedral. Like, so the Americans want to take advantage of the plight of the Soviet Union.

Echo blockade

Predicted these developments supposedly retired artillery officer. When the threat of occupation of Leningrad became real, it became necessary to evacuate art treasures from the palaces of Pavlovsk, Pushkin, Peterhof, Gatchina and Lomonosov. Yes, something had to take out into the country, but much remains to be, you had to hide somewhere sculptures, furniture, books, china from the museum’s storerooms. This question was decided at an emergency meeting of the executive committee Lengorsoveta. Attending an elderly military offered here as a repository to use Isaac’s Cathedral: he suggested that the Germans began shelling Leningrad, take advantage of the dome of the cathedral as a guide and try to keep this the highest point of the city for the shooting. With former artilleryman agreed, and he was right.

By the way, on the steps of the portico and columns Western St. Isaac’s Cathedral still traces of shell fragments. Several of these marks, by the way, especially on the preserved buildings and sculptures of St. Petersburg as a tribute to the blockade.