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Saint Petersburg. A Royal Dream on Ice

Sezione 1
Sezione 2

Saint Isaac's Cathedral

Catherine II of Russia. 1790


My real name is not Catherine, but Martha.

The story is long and turbulent, so I will not bore you.
I will only tell you that one day I met Peter and everything changed... In 1707, he and I were married for the first time in secret. Thirteen children were born from our first marriage, of whom, to our sorrow, only two girls reached adulthood. In those years, my husband, the Tsar, and I lived in a three-room wooden hut. We wanted to live like a normal couple,
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raising our children and tending the garden. It was a love marriage; I was the only one who could calm his frequent rages and epileptic fits. Finally, in February 1712, we were officially married in St Isaac's Church. In those days, the church was made of wood, until Alexander I decided to hire architects to rebuild the structure.

It took forty years to complete the construction! Dozens of different minerals were used. For this reason, the structure would be called 'the Museum of Coloured Stone'. On the dome, made from no less than one hundred kilos of gold, a dove would later be depicted, symbolising the Holy Spirit.

I loved lapis lazuli and Pietro often gave me gifts of them. Inside the cathedral, an environment rich in my beloved blue minerals was recreated. This sacred place with its immense spaces can hold up to ten thousand people, but the architect decided to consider only seven thousand, given the size of the ladies' skirts, up to a metre in diameter!
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Sezione 3

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Saint Isaac's Cathedral

Catherine II of Russia. 1790

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Elizabeth of Russia. 1751

Catherine's Palace

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