Cathedral of St. Basil. The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed

Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat. Pokrovsky Cathedral.

St. Basil's Cathedral is not only the main temple of the Red Square, but also a symbol of all Russia

It was built in 1555-1561 by order of Ivan the Terrible in honor of the capture of the Kazan Khanate. The storming of Kazan began on October 1, 1552, on the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, therefore the "official" name of the temple is the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God.

The cathedral is a symmetrical ensemble of eight churches surrounding the central church, topped with a tent. Each of the eight churches is named after the saint, on whose day this or that significant event of the Kazan campaigns of Ivan the Terrible took place. Central - dedicated to the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, who gave the name to the whole temple. The churches are crowned with elegant domes onions. There are nine iconostases in the cathedral, in which there are about 400 icons of the XVI - XIX centuries. The walls of the cathedral are decorated with frescoes. Also there you can admire the portrait and landscape painting, church utensils. Among the most valuable exhibits - the chalice of the XVII century, which belonged to Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich.

Despite its huge size, St. Basil's Cathedral is not suitable for performing lush festive religious services, since each of its churches is a separate pillar-like space with a small base area.

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Cathedral of St. Basil

Many legends are associated with the cathedral

In 1561 one of the most famous churches of Russia was consecrated - the Pokrovsky Cathedral, or, as it is called otherwise, the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed. The relics of St. Basil the Blessed, the holy fool, who lived in Moscow in the 16th century, are buried in the church. The temple looks very unusual. The abundance of domes, bright coloring - all this is interpreted as a symbol of the Heavenly Jerusalem, which is described in the Gospel "Revelation" of John the Divine.

Although the building of the cathedral consists of separate churches, it is very complete. In fact, it lacks the main facade: the temple is perceived from all sides as one thing. Its eleven domes (one above each of the main chapels, one above the Church of St. Basil the Blessed, and one above the bell tower) are combined into a common pyramidal composition, the center of which is a tent above the Pokrovsky chapel, 65 meters high.

A famous legend is that, having seen a wonderful temple, Ivan the Terrible commanded to blind the masters so that they would not repeat their masterpiece anywhere else. But it is rather a myth, since in the future the names of its creators are found in the annals in connection with the creation of other remarkable architectural monuments.

In front of St. Basil's Cathedral stands a monument to Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky, leaders of the second national militia during the Polish intervention in the Time of Troubles. They are revered as liberating heroes from the foreign yoke. It is curious that the sculptor Ivan Martos when creating sculptures of Minin and Pozharsky posed for his own sons.

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