Smolenskoye Orthodox Cemetery (St. Petersburg, Russia)

Smolenskoye Orthodox Cemetery (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Smolenskoye Orthodox Cemetery in the Vasilyevsky Island was established in 1756 to the decree issued by the Senate, but there is evidence of burials that took place at this site earlier.

About the cemetery

The Cemetery got its name after the church dedicated to the Icon of our Lady of Smolensk. From the 18th century, Smolenskoye Orthodox Cemetery has served as a burial ground for both common citizens and prominent public figures. Academy of Sciences, Academy of Fine Arts, Alexandrinsky and Mariinsky theater, St. Petersburg University – all have their special plots at the cemetery. Until the Revolution of 1917 this cemetery used to be one of the country’s largest burial grounds – by the early 20th century there were about seven to eight hundred thousand graves here.

Smolenskoye Cemetery has always been known for its charity work. In 19th century it maintained an orphanage and a widow-house for the families of priests, a church school and an orphanage for the children whose parents perished during the Russian-Japanese war.

Maintaining Smolenskoye Cemetery it is important not only to preserve its history but also its picturesque look and unique atmosphere that took centuries to form and made this necropolis both a place of mourning and a popular site for contemplative walks.

Important personalities

The new Soviet authorities had planned to demolish Smolenskoye Orthodox Cemetery. Many graves of famous artists, actors and writers were then moved to other cemeteries in the city. The grave of a well-known Russian poet Alexander Block, for example, was moved to Literatorskiye mostki. 

Today, one may still find tombs of some important personalities at the Smolenskoye Cemetery, such as:

St. Xenia’s chapel

The cemetery is most valued and respected for the tomb of St. Blessed Xenia, one of the patron saints of the city who lived in St. Petersburg in the late 18th century and was thought to be a fool for Christ and a miracle-maker during her life-time. She also helped to build the church of Our Lady of Smolensk and was buried at the cemetery.

In 1902 the chapel of St. Xenia was built on the site. The chapel was frequented by the believers even during the Soviet period. It was under the city’s siege only, when the chapel was locked, that the people chose a different place to adore – a family tomb with a mosaic depicting an image of Christ. In the late 1980-s St. Xenia’s chapel was restored and dedicated anew. And recently the Orthodox church together with the Association of Funeral Business have restored the tomb that served as a place for prayer for those who lived in the besieged city.

Nowadays people from various cities and countries come on pilgrimage to St. Petersburg, to Smolenskoye Orthodox Cemetery asking St. Xenia to fulfill their most sacred wishes.


Smolenskoye Orthodox Cemetery
26 Kamskaya Street
Vasilievsky Island
St. Petersburg 199178


Tel: +7 812 3219993
Tel./Fax: +7 812 3219993


Opening hours

From October to April: daily from 9.00 a.m. to 17.00 p.m.

From May to September: daily from 9.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m.

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