The Church of Ss Simeon and Anna is one of the oldest examples of baroque architecture in the city.
Set in one of the most picturesque areas of historical St. Petersburg, you can find the Church of the Holy Righteous Simeon and Anna the Prophetess, a beautiful Petrine Baroque Church which graces the corner of Belinskogo and Mokhovaya Streets, adorning the square where the bridge crosses over the Fontanka River.
Better known as the Church of Ss Simeon and Anna, it is one of the oldest churches in the city built by the order of Peter the Great in 1714 to celebrate the birth of his daughter Anna.
According to the records in 1730, when Empress Anna Ionnovna came to the throne, she commissioned Mikhail Zemtsov to replace the original wooden church with one constructed of stone. A student of Domenico Trezzini and hailed as Russia's first authentically trained architect, this elegant, but simple church painted in soft yellow and white is one of the few buildings designed by Zemtsov that has survived to our time.
Completed on January 27, 1734, and officially blessed by the Metropolitan of Georgia in the presence of Empress Anna, 6 archbishops, 5 archimandrites, 4 archpriests, 6 hieromonks, 10 priests, 3 arch-deacons, 12 hiero-deacons, 7 deacons and a choir of 92 singers, it is said that the Church of the Holy Righteous Simeon and Anna the Prophetess is where Anna preferred to pray and be before God.
Described as a hidden gem that is stunningly beautiful, many visitors are sure to notice the Church of St. Simeon and Anna while exploring this charming section of St. Petersburg on foot or cruising by on the river. However, it's important to note that it is open for those who come to worship and is not a tourist attraction.
Interested to visit the Church? If so, click on the links below or scroll down to the page to learn more.
The Church of Ss Simeon and Anna was originally reserved for members of the court, but later became a popular public church for the aristocratic locals of the area.
Following the Revolution, it was closed in the 1930s by the Bolsheviks, used as a warehouse and eventually transferred to the Meteorological Museum. As a result of the Soviet years, most of the interior was lost and many of its icons went to various museums. Although it was returned to the Orthodox Church and restored in the 1990s, many original artifacts have still not been recovered.
Out of the touristic beaten tracks, the church from the outside may look like another typical orthodox church, but the interiors are very beautiful and the atmosphere you feel when walking inside is very unique. Today the interior of the church has been restored in a plain, attractive style, and now it is a fully functioning church open to the public.
On January 6, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended midnight Christmas Services at the Church of St. Simeon and Anna and presented the church with a special gift. A two-row icon in a metal cover with images of The Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary and The Resurrection of Jesus Christ – an icon dating back to the middle of the 19th century.
You might also find interesting to know that Putin's grandfather was baptized in this church.
There is no need to buy tickets as the entrance to the church is free of charge.
From the metro station, exit right down Nevsky Prospekt toward the Fontanka River. Cross the river and walk to the left up the embankment to the next bridge. The church is across the street on the corner. Approximately a 15-minute walk.
Address: 48, Mokhovaya Ulitsa
Metro: Gostiny Dvor
Open: Daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Telephone: +7 924 397-64-39
Website: no website available
Accessibility note: No ramps or lifts available
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