Smolny Cathedral is a cathedral and convent located on the banks of the River Neva in St. Petersburg, Russia. It was built in the mid 1700s in a Baroque style, and it is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city due to its striking blue color. It was originally built to house Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great. Since being denied the throne, she intended to become a nun. However, once her predecessor was overthrown, she was able to take her place as the Empress of Russia instead. Work on the cathedral was stopped when Catherine II came to power, and it wasn't until around 1835 when work started again. Due to this, the interior was done in a neo-classical style.
The cathedral is laid out in the shape of a cross with four smaller churches in the corners. Visitors can also see the detailed church spires and the clock tower which stands at 308 feet tall. Today the cathedral is used primarily as a concert hall. The surrounding convent buildings are used as governmental offices as well as faculty buildings for St. Petersburg State University.
Smolny Cathedral is located at 3 Rastrelli Square and the closest metro station is Chernishevskaya. Admission prices are as follows: Exhibition hall: RUB 150. Bell tower: RUB 100. Joint ticket: RUB 200. Panorama of St Petersburg audio tour: RUB 100. Opening hours are Thursday through Tuesday 11am to 7pm.