to Saints Peter
, the patron saints
of the fortress (Saint Peter being the patron saint of the city). The current cathedral is the second one on the site. The first, built soon after Peter's founding of the city, was consecrated by Archbishop
Iov of Novgorod the Great
in April 1704.
The current building, the first stone church in St. Petersburg, was designed by Trezzini and built between 1712 and 1733. Its golden spire
reaches a height of 404 feet and features at its top an angel
holding a cross
. This angel is one of the most important symbols of St. Petersburg.
The cathedral houses the remains of almost all the Russian Emperors
and Empresses from Peter the Great
to Nicholas II
and his family who were finally laid to rest in July 1998. Also was Catherine the Great
, Empress of Russia for 34 years. (Of the post-Petrine rulers, only Peter II
and Ivan VI
are not buried here. Peter II is in the Cathedral of Michael the Archangel
in the Moscow Kremlin
. Ivan VI was executed and buried in the fortress of Shlisselburg
•Alexander II, murdered 1881- tomb carved from a solid block of green Altai jasper.
•his wife Empress Maria, a princess of Hesse Darmstadt. Died 1880. tomb carved from a solid block of pink Ural rhodonite
•their son, Alexander III, died 1894
•his widow, Marie, born a Princess of Denmark, died and buried in Danish exile in 1928, recently reburied in Russia.