Degradation of the War


For the monuments that make you shiver, these giants that guard the history of the city…

To let you know how much damage lust for power can do.


1. During the World War II, when many people were starving due to the Leningrad Blockade by Axis powers military forces, the church was used as a temporary storage site for the corpses of those who died both in combat and of starvation and illness. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Savior on Potatoes.

2. Under the Soviet government, the building was stripped of religious trappings, then turned into the Museum of Scientific Atheism. The dove sculpture was removed, and replaced by a Foucault pendulum. During the World War II, the dome was painted over in gray to avoid attracting attention from enemy aircraft. On its top, in the skylight, a geodesical intersection point was placed, with the objective of aiding in the location of enemy canon.

3. In 1928, the Soviet government ordered the Hermitage to compile a list of valuable works of art for export. In 1930-1934, over two thousand works of art from the Hermitage collection were clandestinely sold at auctions abroad or directly to foreign officials and businesspeople. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, before the Leningrad Blockade started, two trains with a considerable part of the collections were evacuated to Yekaterinburg. Two bombs and a number of shells hit the museum buildings during the siege.


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