SMOLNY (RESURRECTION) CONVENT

Address: Rastrelli Square
SMOLNY (RESURRECTION) CONVENT

The Smolny (Resurrection) Convent was the first cloister for women in St Petersburg. It was founded on the site of the Tar Yard by Empress Elizabeth (“tar” means smola in Russia, hence its name). This outstanding architectural complex in the style of the Russian Baroque is dominated by the Cathedral of the Resurrection (know commonly as the Smolny Cathedral) constructed to a project by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli between 1748 and 1762. The cathedral is 92 metres high and is a part of a square block formed by cells, refectory, library and four churches. The overall construction of the Smolny Cathedral lasted for 87 years. Vasily Stasov, who designed the interiors of the buildings, completed the construction in 1835. The cast-iron railing around the cathedral, made from Stasov’s drawing, ranks with the finest artistic examples in St Petersburg.

The square in front of the Smolny Convent bears the name of Rastrelli as a tribute to the achievements of the great architect. In 1990 the Smolny Cathedral began to function as a concert and exhibition complex.