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St. Paul’s Cathedral and Miraculous Salvation of the Iconostasis

St. Paul’s Cathedral was built in Gatchina with the participation of Emperor Nicholas I. The monarch wished to make the temple an architectural dominant of Gatchina: he chose a place for its construction and was present during the laying of the foundation. The cathedral in the Russian-Byzantine style was built in the middle of the XIX century, and in the late 1930s it was closed. The iconostasis has miraculously survived: a parishioner bought it disassembled and preserved in her house.
Divine services were resumed in St. Paul’s Cathedral during the Great Patriotic War, and its reconstruction began in Soviet times. Thereby the cathedral looks almost the same as in the XIX century. It is a five-domed temple with rose-windows on three sides, two belfries and nine bells. The main shrines of the temple are the icon of Saint Panteleimon with a particle of his relics, the relics of St. Maria of Gatchina and the icon of the Mother of God of Philerma with the image of the right hand of John the Baptist — a copy of the one that was given to Emperor Paul I by the Maltese knights.
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