Cathedral of our lady of Kazan
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, built by Voronikhin in 1801-11, a majestic example of St. Petersburg Classicism. The main body of the cathedral is decorated with a grand colonnade of 96 Corinthian columns. Voronikhinís design was inspired by Berniniís colonnade for St. Peterís in Rome. Huge, 15-meter (29-ft) long bas-reliefs at both ends of the building depict biblical themes, sculpted by Ivan Martos and Ivan Prokofiev. The cathedral is named after the miracle-working icon of the Mother of God of Kazan, which it once housed. Completed in 1811, the cathedral is linked with the wars against Napoleon fought during the same period. In 1813 Field Marshal Kutuzov who defeated Napoleon in the war of 1812 was buried in the Kazan cathedral and since that time it became a memorial to the victory of Russia in that war. The French banners and the keys from the cities that surrendered to the Russian army are kept inside the building. The monuments to Kutuzov and his companion-in-arms Barclay de Tolly are in front of the church, both by Boris Orlovsky. Occupied in the Communist era by a museum of atheism, the building was returned to the Russian Orthodox community in 1999.