Isaac eyes of harlots, the poor and the elite: “There are Jinn roam”

Six months ago about Isaac, and did not remember anybody. Now, the controversy about the transfer of the ROC journalists have literally besieged the Cathedral fotkayut the same, interview the restorers and Museum professionals. We decided to do it the easy way: a day or two to hang out around, found the janitors and Gopnik, atheists and taxi drivers, waiters and musicians, cops and the poor, the believers and bracadale — each to Isaac his interest. Go!

photo: Yan Smirnitsky

“What I your Isaac, if there is no toilet?”

The cashier of a public toilet opposite: “I was in Isaakii, but there is no toilet, so nothing about the Cathedral I can not say. All from there is sent to us, still not ashamed, we also have a historic building, in the dirt does not hit, Catherine II laid — now a monument of landscape art. Leave the office, looking at the Cathedral and catch inspiration”.

The coffee guy: “Isaac not to drive — you can stand all day, not that Kazan.. . Frost would be stronger, so that all were freezing. The chain is able to do so: the door of the Cathedral, there I stand with a coffee and across the street is a toilet. All out, ask: and where there is a toilet? And also: hot? Cup — 50 rubles!”

A young Chinese tourist: “a strange person white people in the pictures we loved. Well drawn. Who is not understand. This icon is called? No, the Bible I don’t know. But all majestically inside, we have no such. Phone only there is nowhere to recharge”.

Costumed street actress Catherine the Great at the Cathedral: “Life forces — I had to learn Chinese, there are many tourists all year round. Often without an interpreter. Nor about Peter, nor about me, they know nothing. And for the better. Them costumes like fotkat with pleasure, they are only pictures on my phone and need”.

photo: Yan Smirnitsky
Public toilet.

Maxim, the student-architect: “There is a third of life is spent constantly rolling around here, have Isaac on the parade ground. Inspiring: the sun shines from the dome. Not lost, not Mars. As someone from out of town arrives — drag on the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral: there the whole Peter at a glance, it does not dry the Google map immediately wakes up the desire to go and in the Peter and Paul fortress and Rostral columns… But in terms of beauty I like the Kazan Cathedral, it is inscribed with the surrounding development, respects the urban environment, and Isaac dominates, hence, suppresses more modest that the architect hurts the eyes.”

Rector of the St. Petersburg Institute. Repin Semyon Mikhailovsky: “the Cathedral organizes space. Mosaic it was done by our ancestors from the Academy of fine arts. We stored the layout of the St. Isaac’s Cathedral the architect Montferrand, his drawings and watercolors made during construction.”

Galina Ivanovna, survived the blockade: “the war is not until Isaac was dead in the streets were collected. Although one I had — climber, dome painted, closed. I blockade a teenager at the piano factory “Red October” work, is the former famous “Becker”. It saved me from starvation. We, 13-15-year-olds were sitting there in barracks mode — so, and worked, and lived, immediately beds stood. To home here and there not to go, strength not to spend. Boxes were made for anti-personnel mines, shells. Live at the factory glues were hide. It’s for piano, when a sounding Board is glued to the rim. Glue from fish bones. Or from goat milk whey. It could have. Consider a Supplement to the ration. Tastes like pumpkin seeds”.

COP: “Summer season, there are a lot of pickpockets. People walking relaxed, head cocked, did nothing. Although mostly working at the box office on the street: there are crowds of tourists gather, RUB against each other. Cash, documents stolen. What can they do? One second…”

Grandma with a baby carriage on the street: “I Live here two blocks away, every day walking granddaughter. As the great bell rang at midday, twelve times — so time to go home, the child to eat. Here forward. Native he, Isaac, darling.”

Yuri, the tour guide of the Cathedral: “I started in Kazan, but there the guide asked almost after every fifth word, “Amen”, “God”, “Lord have mercy”… Many of the children were stunned and left the tour. Now I drive the boys to Isaac, where such conditions are not yet imposed. By the way, Isaac has many nicknames through my life, “ink”, for example. That one sees. And Theophile Gautier, in his notes on Russia 1859 admired that “Isaac, dressed in a white snow cap, becomes very Russian in nature.” Only, in his opinion, the Cathedral “is set too low — the higher would be the granite plinth”.

photo: Yan Smirnitsky

Mikhail Gantvarg, violinist: “In childhood we were led to Isaac — see all the columns in byserbia, chipped after shelling. To remember. Now almost all patched. My apartment can see is the spire on the dome, he is now in the woods. And after all the touring European capitals Wake up, go to the window, I see the spire so I’m at home, at home, all clearly”.

“COP’s like: “wife’s birthday”. Well, of course, shell out for a gift”

A poor at the box office: “served a Little, Oh, little. Cold, Oh, cold. Up to six stand. If you do not run. Cops don’t take money, give — not take. Chase. And who are you?” (Leans over to the black bag over his back, pulls out a cell phone and someone dials in a hurry.)

photo: Yan Smirnitsky

The believer is a man with a child, baptized on the iron door of the Cathedral: “even If the temple is destroyed, or a Museum (as here), the angel still stands. Came here without defilement in the mind is sanctified. Many have no money for tickets. And how will the temple everyone will go free. If only the filth were left on the doorstep”.

Taxi driver: “Oh, these columns it gives me! Every cranny! Unable to lead the tour. Taxi for 40 years, 25 of which are from Isaac. The COP’s like: “wife’s birthday”. Well, of course, shell out for a gift. What? For meat to pay. The nineties is back again. Who then sat down, now out, the places pressed, and again in kings. Lads keep clearing, when the priests come, imagine the meadow will overcome, as in other temples. The St. Petersburg laws. And stay and wait, from our center, 500 PE, with foreigners more.”

Hipsters in the temple: “a Selfie is convenient to do pictures all at a decent height, on the other hand, it’s pretty monotonous, a lot of social network will not post boring. Well, the columns of malachite…”

Mommy with a child inside the Cathedral: “Now I can easily call here with a stroller, to get warm. But not sure with baby strollers will be allowed, when does the ROC reign. Will say, why not a scarf, not a long skirt? By the way, the Museum has tried to colonnade raised wheelchair users. Again — the Church will be for them to try? And we have been in Greece, in the monastery, there we were, the monk explained that all this ritual nonsense, these skirts, scarves… faith is needed. It is not — than the head of any fit will not help.”

The nurse nearby hospitals: “the therapy Department are sometimes subjected to such who, rising in the Cathedral via a spiral staircase, managed to fall two feet to break. Someone pressure famously jumped from the height differences, too, we were. And one old man (we had it with the heart) legs, almost could not move, but after lunch always begged to go to the Cathedral to pray. As there hardly move, and back almost skipping. Maybe the power of thought?”

The saleswoman alcohol in the nearby Cathedral lane: “to sell intoxicating potion next to the Cathedral, had to war with the mafia. Big pullback I wanted you to know that the place of meat. All go, from students to newly minted husbands, who come here after the Registrar. If in the square outside the Cathedral someone drank, I guarantee you, our client. All know that we have freshwater sponge does not happen.”

Artist, home “MiTek” of the country Dmitry Shagin: “My grandparents — blockade — worked in the Museum. Believe it Noah’s ark: in time of war the treasures of the nearby stores had been brought here and saved. The German shells Isaac survived, that would have coped with the arrogance of the current occupiers.”

A waitress in a cafe: “All dragged and dragged my friend to the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, but her natural fear of heights, the white is done, I’m on the 21st floor she lived — so she’s never at home I was not. Thought Isaac to treat… but no, she’s afraid of him, afraid even close: the throat, tells me your Isaac”.

The groom and his motorcade: “Yes, we are in the Cathedral do not go, just a kind of tradition to go around for wedding are all iconic places and take pictures until you get bored. From Isaac convenient — can I go to the Park, a bride in his arms, and the whole Cathedral behind to frame fit”.

photo: Yan Smirnitsky

There are miracles, there Jinn roam

Restorer (Uzbek): “are current here last night. The darkness here is thorough. How to read (apparently, the Koran. — AVT.), it seems that the Jinn no mulberries roam”.

Gopnik in sneakers and beer: “At the other apartment opposite the communal is not settled, there are five one bits beat, so much blood, these pictures turned out that there Isaac! A General who in Isaakii did not happen, he was not seen. There well girls led out — it is beautiful and the restaurant is not necessary to spend. Immediately fascinated. And with suchecki all begin to walk, a prayer to mutter, raspberry is not the same, all the buzz bummer”.

Paul Krawczun, organ expert: “though I am native of St. Petersburg, but this object I never liked. Not drawn. By wandering, with no desire to enter. Architecture is neither here nor there, it is secondary. And the view of the city from the colonnade of especially no. Inside the Cathedral is gloomy, though, and the malachite columns, everything is very expensive, but not like this, not that.”

Film Director Igor Maslennikov: “there he is — visible from the window! I am not a Church-going, but for me it is obvious that there must be a temple, not a Museum. And do not share the wave of Bedlam and ugliness, which gave opponents of giving it to the ROC. Montferrand it was built almost half a century, hundreds of thousands of workers labored this miracle of engineering thought at the time, and what the quarry near Vyborg, where he made phenomenal monolithic columns! Well, do all this in order to turn it into a Museum? Nonsense!”

An employee of the Lutheran Church of St. Peter and Paul: “it is Terrible to Isaac to watch, thinking of how many people were killed because of him. For each column (112 surrounds the Cathedral columns. — Ed.) manually processed granite. After two years of this work, the man became disabled or died right there. People lived in poverty, but the Cathedral of gold”.

The guard at the Spa opposite to Isaac: “I am from the South of Russia, looked, remember, the movie with Danila Kozlovsky “Single”, even thought it would be nice to get to St. Isaac’s Cathedral. And that’s how life turned — stand now for days next. To be honest, I don’t even notice. And inside was not.”

Prostitute: “I have one Client lives with a view of the Cathedral. When I first got him, just gasped, what a cool view from the window. Long I looked, yeah he was in a hurry. It’s after lent was: it hurt a believer, in posts no-no, and then you can. All anything, Yes the curtains it does not close during this… I’m not comfortable getting from one view of the Cathedral, and even the saints from the icons you see. But he though that, he says that all he is forgiven, as in the Holy place lives”.

Writer Evgeny vodolazkin up close: “there Are in Isaakii in the service. I admire the Cathedral itself: its spiritual beauty and power, amazing interiors, nevychurny wealth. I remember him with the Foucault pendulum, believe me, it was a sad sight. Many rejoiced when it started service in the chapel of Alexander Nevsky. The Church was to fulfil its role, because it was not created for the pendulum, and to communicate with God”.

The MP at the rally “For the transfer of the Russian Orthodox Church”: “All my childhood my parents dragged here on weekends. Mother was quietly religious, and my dad is an architect, studied the structure. Then this rich style I Vpulse soul. Everyone imagined that it will grow and the house in this fashion will obstru. Only forty a dream come true. The little cottage I outwardly modest, so the neighbors don’t get jealous, but inside like a king: gold, marble, stucco, icons, paintings, what not Isaac?”

Shoe master in the booth: “How many jokes about Isaac was before the war, the target of folklore. Americans carry the city, show Palace one, two, three. They are curious, pestering with questions: “And this Palace for what time built? And this? And this?” The tour guide tired of it all, go past Isaac. Ones again: “And this community for how much was built?” The guide answered: “I don’t know, yesterday was not.” Or: “What we have a strong rubber industry! Does the janitor cleaned the dome of St. Isaac’s Cathedral fell through, so some galoshes.”

Trudnica (servant) of the temple at the Cathedral: “Here began my spiritual life. Just the thought of trying immediately to thousand people, grace at the heart overflows…”


Here’s everyone, remembering the film “Repentance”, was the road to the temple. Fighting for Isaac, are fighting, and it is itself and is, if he is ashamed of his grandeur. Stands there thinking — it’s not doberutsya whether its warring worshipers to the point that sooner or later he will share the fate of Palmyra? But in the words of one librarian: “whatever Museum or temple demolished will not.” Our outing showed that unlike many pompous ceremonial structures, Isaac, alive, and relevant, playing the role of a (sometimes strange) in the lives of so many people. And while this is so, the road to the temple will not be lost.

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