Smolny Cathedral was an unprecedentedly grand-scale project. The gorgeous design of the Resurrection Novodevichy convent was entrusted to the brilliant architect Rastrelli. Smolny Cathedral project was never finished, because Russia got involved in the Seven years war. The main idea of Rastrelli project was to build a bell tower above the entrance gate from the side of the city. Bell tower should have reached 140 meters, which is 18 metres higher than the spire of Peter and Paul fortress. Even in an incomplete form, the ensemble made great impression on its contemporaries. The Cathedral was admired even from afar, when you approach it it doesn’t loose its magnificence and grandeur, but possesses a strange mystical property "to go under" the ground. Professional architects always mention perfection of its proportions and the beauty of decorations.
The architectural ensemble of Smolny convent consists of the Cathedral and surrounding 2-storey residential buildings. In 1764 they were inhabited by the students of the newly founded Educational society of noble maidens.
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