Kazan Cathedral (the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of Our Lady) is one of the largest churches of St. Petersburg, built in the Empire style. It was built on Nevsky Prospekt in 1801-1811 by the architect A. Voronikhin for the storage of the revered copy of the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Kazan. After the war of 1812 it gained the significance as the monument of Russian military glory. In 1813 the Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov was buried here and the keys of the cities and other war trophies were placed here.
This vast, semicircular cathedral with its mighty Corinthian colonnade and the majestic dome houses the most venerated icon of the capital – the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan, in front of which knelt tsars, proud noblemen and humble commoners. Among many copies of the miraculous icon, only the copies in St. Petersburg and Moscow enjoyed fame throughout the whole Empire.
The icon of Our Lady of Kazan has become one of the main Orthodox shrines of St. Petersburg. After closing the cathedral it was moved to the Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspensky Renovationist Cathedral) on the Sennaya Square, after its subsequent closing the icon was transported to the church of Smolensky Cemetery. After closing of the latter church in 1940, the relic was taken from Renovationists and transferred to the Cathedral of Saint Prince Vladimir, where it was placed at the right choir. On July 4, 2001 the icon was returned to Kazan Cathedral without the religious procession. There is a speculation that the Bolsheviks in the period of 1930-1940 confiscated the revered icon and that the current icon is just a copy made in the 19th century.