July 27, 2012
0290 RUSSIA (Saint Petersburg) - Peter and Paul Fortress - part of Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments (UNESCO WHS)
The Peter and Paul Cathedral, the oldest church in Saint Petersburg, and also the second-tallest building in the city (after the television tower), is located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress, founded by Peter the Great in 1703. As in the case of many other religious establishments of Russia, on the site of the cathedral there was first a wooden church, erected just one month after the city was officially founded and consecrated in 1704. The current stone cathedral was built between 1712 and 1733 on Zayachy Island (along the Neva River), by the same Domenico Trezzini, and marked a radical departure from traditional Orthodox churches, being built in early Baroque style.
Because of its height, the bell tower, the world's tallest Orthodox bell tower, was often the victim of lightning, in 1756 completely burning and being rebuilt by Catherine the Great. New bells were brought from Holland by renowned Dutch craftsman Ort Krass. They played every hour Since the Glory, and at noon played the national anthem, God Save the Tsar, to the accompaniment of a canon shot - a tradition which continues today, being resumed after the fall of communism. One major attraction is the graves of most of the Romanov family (the exceptions are Peter II and Ivan VI).
Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments, about which I wrote here.
About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting a fox, is part of a definitive series about which I wrote above. The second is a thematic stamp for the New Year 2011, about which I wrote here.
Peter and Paul Cathedral - Wikipedia
Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul - Saint-petersburg.com
Sender: Ekaterina / Ekaterina2006 (postcrossing) RU-683150
Sent from Saint Petersburg (Saint Petersburg / Russia), on 10.12.2011
Photo: A. Pompeev