A rather unexpected piece of old Russian architecture is found midst in the austere ensemble of St.-Petersburg: it is the church of the Resurrection of Christ, widely known as the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, which is sharply contrasting with the surrounding buildings such as Rossi’s Russian Museum or Kazansky Cathedral. This astonishingly beautiful church is modelled on the St. Basil in Moscow and represents an attempt to revive the traditional Russian architecture.
The church was built on the spot where the Russian tsar Alexander II was assassinated, hence the reference to spilled blood in its second name. Alexander II is known, among other things, for the abolishment of serfdom, which on its own was certainly an important event and a good deed for the country; nevertheless this tsar was practically hunted by his political opponents, who recoursed to terrorism willing to overthrow the government. They only succeeded after 7 attempts, when Grinevitsky sacrificed his own life by approaching Alexander and throwing a bomb to his feet. As a result, the reign of the next tsar, Alexander III, is known as the time of political reaction and the rise of counter-revolutionary measures.
The temple is particularly remarkable for the richness and variety of its decor. The total of 7000 square meters (inside and outside) is covered by mosaics, which is one of the largest area of mosaics in the world.
The church was severely damaged during World War II; it was only in 1970 that the restoration work began. For almost thirty years the cathedral was covered with scaffolding. People were used to the fact that “Saviour” is constantly closed; many songs and poems were written where the notorious scaffolding is mentioned.
For more http://eng.cathedral.ru/saviour