St. Isaac's Cathedral is not only a monumental temple with an impressive finishing, but also the best viewing platform in the city, the role of which is performed by a 43-meter long colonnade. This is one of the largest cathedrals in the world: it is able to admit 12 thousand people, and its height is over 100 meters. There was originally a wooden church at this place, built in 1706 and named in honor of Isaac, on whose day Peter the Great was born. A stone church was laid here in 1717, but it was dismantled because of submergence of ground. The next building, erected in 1768, stood through the end of the XVIII century until it fell into decay.
Architect Montferrand had been building the current St. Isaac's Cathedral since 1818 for 40 years, using fragments of the previous building walls. Thus, a five-domed church was created, and more than a centner (quintal) of gold was used to gild its domes! The cathedral was faced with marble and granite, as well as decorated with high reliefs on religious themes and a colonnade of 24 columns. The cathedral is called a stone museum for the luxury interior: a three-color marble, malachite, jasper and other precious minerals are used in its design. Here you can see more than 60 mosaic works, dozens of paintings, including the dome painting "The Virgin in Glory" by Bryullov and Vasin, more than 300 statues, reliefs and sculptural groups. The cathedral also displays the Foucault pendulum - a reminder that the Earth rotates continuously.