- Mintage Limit - 2000
- WINDOWS HEAVEN ST. PETERSBURG Isaac Cathedral Silver Coin
- Finish PROOF with a real window inserted
- Coin in capsule+with Certificate of Authenticity + BOX
- 5th COIN IN THIS SERIES
Marvelous issue in famous Windows of Heaven's series featuring full-color stained glass inserts from famous churches and cathedrals around the world. This release features Saint Isaac's Cathedral, the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Held up against the light, the window will become translucent and show the intricate design in full splendor.
The series, entitled "Windows of Heaven" will see a number of coins released, struck to exquisite proof quality, honouring famous Cathedrals throughout the world and they intricately designed stained glass windows. Struck in to the reverse of this coin is an image showing the outside of the magnificent Saint Isaac Cathedral, with a plan of the outlay of the cathedral below. To the left is shown a section taken from within the cathedral showing a beautifully designed stained-glass window. The name of the series, city featured and year of issue are all inscribed on this side. On the obverse the stained-glass can be seen showing the image in reverse. On this side, together with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, is the country of issue and the face value. This stunning entry into innovative numismatics is struck from sterling silver and encapsulated, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
St. Isaac's Cathedral is the largest cathedral in St. Petersburg. It was the largest church in Russia when it was built (101.5 meters high), and is still the third largest domed cathedral in the world. For visitors willing to climb 300 steps, it provides a spectacular view of St. Petersburg.
St. Isaac's Cathedral was ordered by Tsar Alexander I to replace an earlier Rinaldiesque structure. A specially appointed commission examined several designs, including that of the French-born architect Auguste de Montferrand, who had studied in the atelier of Napoleon's designer, Charles Percier.
Monferrand's design was criticised by some members of the commission for the dry and allegedly boring rhythm of its four identical colonnades. It was also suggested that despite gigantic dimensions, the edifice would look squat and not very impressive. The emperor, who favoured the ponderous Empire style of architecture, had to step in and solve the dispute in Monferrand's favour.
The cathedral took 40 years to construct, under Montferrand's direction, from 1818 to 1858. It was dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great.
Under the Soviet government, the building was abandoned, then turned into a museum of atheism. The dove sculpture was removed, and replaced by a Foucault pendulum.
During World War II, the dome was painted over in gray to avoid attracting attention from enemy aircraft.
Today, worship activity has resumed in the cathedral, but only in the left-hand side chapel, and in the main body of the cathedral on feast days only.