The Datsan Gunzechoinei is a large Buddhist temple in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is the northernmost Buddhist temple in Russia.
In 1909, Agvan Dorzhiev got permission from the Tsar to build a large and substantial Buddhist datsan or temple in Saint Petersburg which he hoped would become the residence of the first Buddhist ruler of Russia.
However, the Russian Orthodox Church campaigned strongly against construction of this "pagan" temple across the country, which considerably delayed its construction. However, the first service was held on 21 February 1913, and construction was completed by 1915, when Tsar Nicholas II confirmed the arrival of a staff of nine lamas: three from Transbaikalia, four from Astrakhan Province, and two from Stavropol Province.
A second large service was held on 9 June 1914 to consecrate a large gilded copper statue of the sitting Buddha Shakyamuni, which was a gift from King Rama VI of Siam (Thailand), and a standing Buddha Maitreya, a gift from G. A. Planson of the Russian Council in Bangkok.