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St. Petersburg landmark cathedral to hold first Christmas night service in 88 years

January 06, 2016, 19:50 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG

In 1928 the cathedral was closed by Bolsheviks

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© Sergei Konkov/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, January 6. /TASS/. St. Isaac’s Cathedral, one of St. Petersburg's landmarks, will open its doors for a Christmas night service for the first time since 1928 when it was closed by Bolsheviks, a local priest told TASS on Wednesday.

"Divine services resumed at St. Isaac’s Cathedral in 1990 but only morning liturgies were held on Christmas since then," said Archpriest Alexy Isayev. "Night services were held on Easter."

Several hundreds of Orthodox believers who celebrate Christmas on January 7 using the Julian calendar are expected to attend the service that will start around midnight, he added.

The cathedral was built in 1818-1858 and transformed into a museum after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

St. Isaac’s is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the northern capital's largest Orthodox church. It enjoys the status of a state-run museum and monument, attracting 3.2 million tourists last year.

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