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The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed (Russian: Собор Василия Блаженного, Sobor Vasiliya Blazhennogo), commonly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral, is a church in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The building, now a museum, is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat (Russian: Собор Покрова Пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву, Sobor Pokrova Presvyatoy Bogoroditsy, chto na Rvu) or Pokrovsky Cathedral (Russian: Покровский собор). It was built from 1555–61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. It was the city's tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600. The original building, known as Trinity Church and later Trinity Cathedral, contained eight churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local saint Vasily (Basil). In the 16th and 17th centuries, the church, perceived as the earthly symbol of the Heavenly City, as happens to all churches in Byzantine Christianity, was popularly known as the "Jerusalem" and served as an allegory of the Jerusalem Temple in the annual Palm Sunday parade attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and the tsar. The building is shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, a design that has no parallel in Russian architecture. Dmitry Shvidkovsky, in his book Russian Architecture and the West, states that "it is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium of Byzantine tradition from the fifth to the fifteenth century ... a strangeness that astonishes by its unexpectedness, complexity and dazzling interleaving of the manifold details of its design." The cathedral foreshadowed the climax of Russian national architecture in the 17th century. As part of the program of state atheism, the church was confiscated from the Russian Orthodox community as part of the Soviet Union's anti-theist campaigns and has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum since 1928. It was completely secularized in 1929 and remains a federal property of the Russian Federation. The church has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. It is not actually within the Kremlin, but often served as a visual metonym for Russia in western media throughout the Cold War.
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6 days ago
Looks spectacular in day and even more so at night. The bright colours draw your attention and the imposing structure is awe inspiring. It's a museum now and has en entry fee. We didn't go inside. We visited in Mar and it was still snowing on and off so the snow covered spires only add to its visual appeal. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, its a Must Visit.
2 months ago
Do you wanna know a little about Russian religious and political history? This is a place to go. Not only it's marvelous to look at, but inside you will have the chance to see artifacts dating many past centuries that constitute the history of the place. It's well preserved for its age and I was treated very well by people inside. There are no guides, so just be free to walk around and read taking your time. It's hard to get lost inside, but be careful not to fall down large steps.
a month ago
This was quite amazing place. Also personally, you should try to go inside. It costs 500 rubles but totally worth it to see inside. Finally, on the second floor, you could listen the traditional Russian song with great voice. I would definitely recommend this place to visit
a month ago
It's the symbol of Russia, just in front of the kremlin's wall the cathedral is situated. If you are asking, the cathedral has an byzantine architectural design, that's why it has not usual cupolas. Its a 100% photogenic place, so you will have a long photo session there be ready. You, won't believe but inside is smaller than it seems. Obviously as every monument in Russia you must visit it in the first half of the day (if you want to enter), I recommend to visit twice (at night and along the day) also I recommend to visit in winter, I think, it looks better (more russian) because the snow and etc. Don't forget it is in the red square, so you should visit more things near of it.
19 days ago
Stunning both inside and out! Recommend going inside which costs 500rubles. Absoloute must see in Moscow