Fodor's Expert Review Naval Cathedral
One of Kronshtadt's highlights is the finest example of neo-Byzantine architecture in Russia, built between 1902 and 1913 by Vassili Kosyakov. The Naval Cathedral ( Morskoi Sobor) honors all sailors who ever died in tragic circumstances and also served as a landmark for ships. In 1913, the blessing of the 230-foot-high (70-meter-high) cathedral that could seat up to 5,000 parishioners was attended by the family of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II. However, in 1927 the Bolshevik authorities closed the cathedral and turned it into a cinema, naming it Maxim after Soviet writer Maxim Gorky. Later the cathedral also housed a club and a concert hall, with a stage replacing the altar. After a major interior and exterior renovation, the richly colored and decorated cathedral celebrated its centennial in 2013.