Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, an amazing building

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, in Moscow, is an Orthodox church that surprises with its particular architecture. This temple has become an icon of the Russian capital, with its colorful domes and its very different structure, an enigma for historians and architects.

Then, We are going to visit the cathedral that counteracts the chromatic monotony of a city with an intensity of gray. Join us to get to know St. Basil’s Cathedral together.

The history of Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Saint Basil’s Cathedral It was built by the architect Postnik Yakovlev between 1555 and 1561, by order of Ivan the Terrible. It is located at the southeastern end of Red Square, and is part of the complex made up of the Kremlin, the Tower of the Savior and the Church of Saint John the Baptist.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow –

Its real name is Cathedral of the Intersection of the Virgin of the Mound and it is considered a work of art that exhibited, at the time, the opulence of the tsars. Its colorful bulb-shaped domes have become a symbol of the cityso it is very common to see his image in movies, photos and souvenirs.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral is not the main cathedral in the city, nor is it the seat of the Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow. Nevertheless, its architectural style and unparalleled beauty made it a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1990, together with the Kremlin. Currently and since 1928, it functions as a subsidiary of the Moscow Historical Museum.

The Legend of Saint Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral–Triff

A place like the beautiful Saint Basil’s Cathedral is full of popular legends that only exalt its mystery and beauty. The most famous says that, When Tsar Ivan the Terrible saw the finished church, he was so amazed that he ordered the architect to be blinded. I wanted to avoid doing another work that could surpass this one.

However, this story is known to be untrue, since Yakovlev appears as a builder of other churches; he also participated in the construction of the Kazan Kremlin.


“Every great architect is necessarily a great poet. He must be an original interpreter of his time, his days, his age.”
—Frank Lloyd Wright—

Layout of Saint Basil’s Cathedral

The cathedral is made up of nine small, independent chapels. Each of these spaces are dedicated to the saints on whose festivities Ivan the Terrible won a battle.

By building the central tower, the whole appears unified. All the chapels surround a central spiral; the rest of the towers form an eight-pointed star that symbolizes the light that guides humanity.

Saint Basil’s Cathedral – Vladitto

The nine chapels are dimly lit and between them there are narrow corridors that lead to the main church. The walls are filled with floral designs from the 17th century; and it also has a spiral staircase that leads to the iconostasis, in the Chapel of the Intersection.

Until 1588, it maintained its original appearance, since that year the tenth church was built on the northeastern part on the tomb of Saint Basil. According to history, the saint spent a lot of time contemplating the construction of the work and requested to be buried right next to him.

After Saint Basil died and was canonized, Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich, son of Ivan the Terrible, ordered the church to be built as an independent temple with a separate entrance.

In front of the cathedral there is a garden with a bronze statue in honor of Dmitri Pozharski and Kuzma Minin. These were the leaders who fought against the Polish invaders during the Troubled Period from 1598 to 1613.

a survivor

Red Square – Javen

Saint Basil’s Cathedral has been on the verge of disappearing. It has survived fires, looting by Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops and even to a demolition plan by Stalin’s collaborators, who thought it hindered the holding of military parades. However, thanks to the efforts of architect Pyotr Baranovsky, it still stands.

Finally, of course it has also undergone renovations over the years; the last one occurred in 1860, when they painted its façade in various colors.

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