Beautiful Churches – St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia


St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia

St. Basil’s Cathedral is also known as the Cathedral of the Intercession. Saint Basil’s Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox Church erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–61. The Saint Basil’s Cathedral was built on the order of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. The original building, known as “Trinity Church” and later “Trinity Cathedral”, contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth. The tenth Church was erected in 1588 over the grave of revered local Saint Vasily (Basil). The building’s design has no analogues in Russian architecture and it is shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky. The church was taken away from the Russian Orthodox community as part of the Soviet Unions anti-theist campaigns and has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum since 1928. It was completely and forcefully secularized in 1929 and, as of 2012, 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.

Icon of St. Basil the Blessed, St. Basil's Cat...
Icon of St. Basil the Blessed, St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the legend, missing ninth Church (precisely, sanctuary) was “miraculously found” during a ceremony attended by Tsar. Another popular legend is that Ivan the Terrible had the architect of St. Basil’s eyes pulled out after the cathedral was completed so that the architect could not be able to build an equally beautiful structure anywhere else. Yet another legend tells that Napoleon after realizing that he could not count St. Basil’s Cathedral among his war spoils, wanted it destroyed. The fuses lit by his men were supposedly snuffed by a sudden downpour.

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One thought on “Beautiful Churches – St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia

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