This is an Official Postcrossing card from Russia! Featured is Smolny Convent, located in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city, found in the northwestern corner. And holy cow this is one neat sight. I absolutely love the huge fields leading up to the grand buildings, it just makes for a really majestic picture! So, just a tidbit on what the building are: the one in the middle is Smolny Cathedral, and the surrounding monastic buildings coupled with it make up the convent. The cathedral was constructed in the mid-1700s by architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in the Baroque style. In short, the Baroque style was introduced by the Catholic Church, and it modernized the style of the Renaissance. Baroque architecture is grand/theatrical, and usually contains domes or colonnades (open-air walkways with a roof and columns on both sides). Of course, not all buildings built in the Baroque look moderately similar, and there are different Baroque styles… but you get the gist of it. Unfortunately for Rastrelli, when Elizabeth of Russia – empress of Russia at the time and daughter of Peter the Great – stepped down from the throne, funding for the construction of the cathedral took a nosedive. Elizabeth was super keen about the arts and throwing balls, and spent extravagantly on Baroque projects, one of them being Smolny Cathedral. So naturally, no more Elizabeth means no more oodles of money. Seeing as Patreon and Gofundme didn’t exist back then, the cathedral had to remain unfinished. In 1835, though, another architect finished decorating the interior in the neoclassical style (hmm where have I heard that before…) Today, the cathedral is used for concerts and exhibitions, while the surrounding buildings serve as offices. Finished or not, this is one heck of a work. Thank you lots for sending me this wonderful postcard!