Saint Isaac's cathedral genius 25 000 piles innovation


Structure review


Saint Isaac's Cathedral

By Alex Florstein

General Info 📚

  • Location: Saint Isaac's Square 4, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 🇷🇺

  • Style: Late Neoclassical, Byzantine and Greek

  • Years of construction: 1818 to 1858, 40 years

  • Construction cost: 1 000 000 gold rubles

  • Total height: 101.52 m

  • Entrance to the cathedral: 250 rubles (it’s free for children under 7 years old, while children and young people from 7 to 18 years old must pay 50 rubles).

Design 🏗


It is the largest Orthodox cathedral in St. Petersburg – and the 4th largest in the world! (The tallest one is the People's Salvation Cathedral in Bucharest, Romania.)


The temple has a volume of 260 000 m3 and dimensions of 111.3 m x 97.6 m.


Designed and constructed by a French classicist architect Auguste de Montferrand. Emperor Nicholas, I personally oversaw its construction, showing the importance of this grand project. During the construction, Montferrand almost got killed (in November 1837), when the workers were lifting 64-ton dome columns to their full height. The architect fell from the scaffolds, but, luckily, nearby workers managed to catch him.


The scaffolding was made by Spanish engineer Agustin de Betancourt and the works were extended until 1858.


Auguste de Montferrand died just one month after the construction was completed. That was his last and, probably, the greatest creation...