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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 01 April, 2023
Expert travel writer: Jennifer Eremeeva

Famous for its ornate, onion-bulb domes and the extraordinary gold mosaics housed within the spectacular façade, the Church of the Resurrection (more commonly known as the Church of the the Spilled Blood) is one of St Petersburg’s finest religious sites – a must-see, even for those who wouldn’t normally visit a church.

Built in 1881 in memory of Alexander II, the church stands on the spot where he was assassinated, when a bomb was thrown into his carriage. Outside, the domes are exuberantly decorated in bold golds and teal, and covered with jeweller’s enamel.

Inside, the scale of the mosaics is jaw-dropping; floor-to-ceiling gold-leaf depictions of different scenes from the bible, set against a vivid, deep blue backdrop.

Don’t miss

Once inside the church, look out for a small canopy; this marks the exact spot where Alexander II was murdered – the eighth attempt on his life.

On the walls there are 144 different coats of arms – each representing the different territories that were under Alexander II’s reign.

Price from: £5
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 14+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The church is located in the centre of St Petersburg, right on the Griboedov Canal, and just a short walk from the State Hermitage Museum.

The church doesn’t offer guided tours, and it’s very straightforward to explore independently. Many tourists visit the church as part of a pre-booked day tour.

If you are visiting independently, book tickets online in advance as this will enable you to avoid the queue. Tickets are for individual days, rather than time slots, meaning you can visit whenever you like on the day.

When to do it

The church is open all year round, Thursday to Tuesday (closed on occasional days for special services).

It’s hugely popular with tour groups; aim to be at the church when it opens to avoid the worst of the crowds. Inevitably it is much busier in the spring and summer months – go on a cold winter day and you may have the place almost to yourself.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Pushka Inn

St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia[0.5 miles]

Cosy, classic but affordable accommodation in a historic hotel, located just moments from the Hermitage.

Official star rating:

Grand Hotel Europe

St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia[0.5 miles]

St. Petersburg’s grand dame, a 5-star luxury hotel that harps back to more graceful, elegant age.

Official star rating:

Kempinski Hotel Moika

St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia[0.5 miles]

Enjoy 5-star luxury accommodation just steps from the Hermitage, with incomparable views of the city’s major landmarks.

Official star rating:

Faces Historical Center

St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia[0.9 miles]

Enjoy the convenience of a central location, in-room amenities, and friendly staff at a very affordable price.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Russian Museum

St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia[0.3 miles]

Russia’s rich tradition of visual arts is celebrated in the network of buildings and gardens of the State Russian Museum, housing 400,000 exhibits dating back to the 10th century.

Best for ages: 18+ | £5

State Hermitage Museum

St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia[0.8 miles]

Once the premier royal residence of the Romanovs, today this vast complex – the second-largest art museum in the world – houses a jaw-dropping collection of Egyptian antiquities, European Renaissance Art, treasure galleries and Russian military history.

Best for ages: 13+ | £5

Faberge Museum

St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia[1 miles]

Discover the art of Peter Carl Faberge, creator of the Imperial Easter Eggs, in the museum dedicated to his craft.

Best for ages: 8+ | £5

Boat tours of St. Petersburg’s canals

St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia[1.4 miles]

Discover St. Petersburg’s spectacular architecture from the water, with a slow-paced cruise through the city’s rivers, waterways and canals.

Best for ages: 4+ | £7 | 1-2 hours

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Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Large chandeliers in theatre

Philharmonic Hall

St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia[0.5 miles]

Enjoy a night of Russia’s outstanding classical music at the elegant Philharmonic Hall, right in the center of the city.

Best for ages: 18+ | £30 | 2+ hours

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Pale yellow building on corner of street

Literary Cafe

St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia[0.7 miles]

St. Petersburg’s oldest eatery is a favourite of Russia’s famous writers and an excellent place to sample traditional Russian food.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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Interior of cathedral with ornate pillars rising up to ceiling

Peter & Paul Cathedral

St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia[1.3 miles]

The burial place of Russia’s Romanov tsars from Peter the Great to Nicholas II, the Cathedral was the first landmark to be built in the city, and is thus the oldest – dating back to 1733.

Best for ages: 18+ | £7

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St. Petersburg, Northwestern Region, Russia[1.4 miles]

Founded by Peter the Great to house his collection of physical oddities and preserved ‘freaks’, this museum has a ghoulish lure; not for the faint-hearted, or children.

Best for ages: 16+ | £6

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Round-ups that include this experience

101 World’s greatest historic buildings

Multiple countries

The great civilisations of the past have left a legacy of constructions that still stand out and inspire. Built without the wonders of 20th-century technology, many are also monumental feats of engineering; others offer such grace and beauty, that they’ll literally take your breath away.

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