The construction of this church was undertaken a month after work on the fortification began. It was the first Orthodox church in the new Russian capital under construction.
The first Orthodox church was wooden. In 1712, the cornerstone of a new, much larger church was laid. Its designer was the Italian architect Domenico Trezzini. The main element of the church is an 88-meter bell tower with a 34-meter high spire. Peter I's wish was for the church's tower to surpass Moscow's Ivan the Great Bell Tower (81 meters) in the Moscow Kremlin complex.