Saint Basil's Cathedral

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St Basil's Cathedral
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St Basil's Cathedral

The Intercession Cathedral (Pokrovsky Cathedral, better known as the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed or St. Basil's Cathedral) is a multi-tented church on the Red Square in Moscow traditionally perceived as symbolic of the unique position of Russia between Europe and Asia.

The cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible and built between 1555 and 1561 in Moscow to commemorate the capture of Khanate of Kazan. In 1588 tsar Fedor Ivanovich had a chapel added on the eastern side above the grave of Basil Fool for Christ (yurodivy Vassily Blazhenny), a Russian Orthodox saint after whom the cathedral was named.

Saint Basil's is located at one end of Red Square, just across from the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin. Not particularly large, it consists of nine chapels built on a single foundation.

Missing image
St_Basils_Cathedral_closeup.jpg
Closeup of St Basil's Cathedral

In a garden at the front of the cathedral stands a bronze statue commemorating Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, who rallied Russia's volunteer army against the Polish invaders during the Time of Troubles in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The statue was originally constructed in the center of Red Square, but the Soviet government felt it obstructed parades and moved the statue in front of the cathedral in 1936.

Legend says that Ivan had the architect, Postnik Yakovlev, blinded to prevent him from building a more magnificent building for anyone else.

It is speculated that certain elements of Kazan Qolsharif mosque was pictured in this cathedral, because this mosque was the main symbol of Khanate of Kazan. The look of the mosque is unknown, however.

See also

he:כנסיית ואסילי הקדוש id:Kathedral Santo Basil ru:Собор Василия Блаженного tt:Vasili Blajenn irkwe nl:Basiliuskathedraal

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