Fire of the Dome of St. Petersburg Cathedral (Russia)


2On August 25, 2006 the domes of the landmark 19th-century Trinity Cathedral were all but destroyed in a blaze that erupted at the top of the stately building. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but acting St. Petersburg emergency department chief Leonid Belyayev said the blaze apparently started on scaffolding on the outside of the church, which was undergoing restoration. The most valuable icons and other items had been saved, and that structural damage beneath the roof area was minor.
The fire hit the 19th-century cathedral in St. Petersburg early at 5 p.m., bringing down the main cupola atop the majestic church in Russia’s former Imperial capital. All icons and other valuables were safely removed from the cathedral to be deposited partially in the Hermitage, and partially at the Alexander Nevsky Lavra (Monastery).
The damage wreaked by the fire is estimated at over 1.6 million rubles, according to preliminary calculations.
Trinity Cathedral was built between 1828 and 1835 to a design by Vasily Stasov. The main dome of the cathedral was the second-largest wooden cupola in Europe. Writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky was married there. The building was used as a storehouse during the Soviet era and was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church in 1990. The cathedral is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

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