The design of Kazan Cathedral (Kazanskiy Kafedralniy Sobor), also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, was developed by Andrey Voronikhin, a former peasant serf of Count Stroganov, and the construction was carried out by Russian masters only, including the bonded peasants. The cathedral was named after the icon of Our Lady of Kazan, the patroness of Russian soldiers. The history of the cathedral is closely related to the war theme: from its walls the soldiers went to war with Napoleon in 1812, and it is here where the winner of that war, Field-Marshal Kutuzov was interred. The French trophies and personal baton of Marshal Davout were also brought here.
Kazan Cathedral - is not the first temple in this place: there was a chapel here in the early XVIII century, then a wooden church, a stone church, which became a cathedral, and the present building, which, as Emperor Paul I desired, recalls the Roman St. Peter’s Basilica. Kazan Cathedral is the first temple in Russia built by a Russian master in European style. Inside the cathedral is in the form of the basilica, and on the outside, from the Nevsky Prospekt – is shaped as a colonnade of 96 columns, like its Italian archetype. This colonnade helped the architect to solve an important problem: the entrance to the temple must be from the west, the altar - in the east, and Nevsky Prospekt stretches from west to east, so the cathedral could stand only sideways to the city’s main street. But thanks to the colonnade, part of the temple, overlooking the Neva, looks grand. The facade of the temple is lined with gray Pudozhsky stone. Outside and inside the cathedral is decorated with sculptures, the iconostasis is painted in imitation of the Italian Renaissance painting, and the floor is paved with marble. Inside the cathedral, which houses 56 columns of Finnish granite, resembles a palace hall.