The district where the St. Nicholas Marine Cathedral is located is at the crossing of two canals of St. Petersburg and was traditionally the place where seamen and employees of the Admiralty lived. In 1753 on initiative of the Admiral General Golitsyn there was founded St. Nicholas Marine Cathedral. The building of the cathedral was commissioned to the architect Chevakinsky, who built in the style of baroque.

Originally, the Marine Cathedral was conceived as the monument of the naval glory of the Russian Fleet. In 1762 there was held the consecration of the Upper Church of the Epiphany of Christ, and St. Nicholas was always the patron of seamen. Thus, the church was given the name of St. Nicholas Marine Cathedral. Sometimes it is called simply St. Nicholas Cathedral.

Since 1770 there were held the public prayers in honor of the victories of the Russian Fleet, as well as sanctified the keel-layings of new ships. In 1905 in the court of the Marine Cathedral there was set up the obelisk commemorating the seamen who were killed in Tsushima battle. In 1989 in the church there appeared the marble board in memory of the seamen of the submarine ‘Komsomolets’, and in 2000 – those of the submarine ‘Kursk’.

The cathedral never closed its doors, and in 1941, when the other cathedrals of St. Petersburg were closed, St. Nicholas Marine Cathedral became the main church of the city. The most sacred icon of the cathedral is that of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker, which was painted by the Greek in 12 century. This icon contains some relics of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker.