In 1812, the French army stabled their horses in St.Basil's Cathedral. Before leaving Moscow, Napoleon ordered it to be blown up, but cold, hunger and fear of sabotage by the people of Moscow prevented the order from being carried out.
Being an architectural monument of the 16th century, the cathedral is a unique example of Old Russian hip architecture (nine independent pillar-like churches on one foundation).
Founders - tsar Ivan the Terrible, metropolitan Makary.
July, 12, is the foundation day of the cathedral and is celebrated annually
Open: Mo, We-Su 11.00 -17.30
Pokrovskiy Cathedral, more commonly called St. Basil's Cathedral, is one of the most beautiful buildings, let alone churches, we have ever seen in our travels. The wonderful mixture of colours dazzles the eye from far away, and more and more striking details reveal themselves as you approach. While the cathedral was first finished in 1561 to commemorate Ivan the Terrible's capture of Kazan, its onion domes were gold until 1670, when it was decided to paint them in multiple colours.
This was without a doubt the highlight of our stay in Moscow, especially when factoring in the visit inside. Beautiful floral patterns are painted on many of the interior walls, and there are many nooks and crannies to explore. The central chapel also has an impressive baroque iconostasis.
A joint ticket grants entry to both the State History Museum and St. Basil's Cathedral. Pokrovskiy Cathedral is open Wednesday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Whenever I picture Red Square, it's impossible to see it without the beautiful architectural monument of the 16th century - the Cathedral of the Intercession (the Pokrovsky Cathedral), better known as the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed. It is in fact nine separate churches on a common foundation. Striking & different cupolas further emphasize the variety & independence of the parts of the church. Bright colors & abundant decoration contribute their share to the powerful, if somewhat bizarre, impression. While the church of St. Basil the Blessed may seem strange & unsymmetrical to Western eyes, it succeeds in combining the separate, unique units into one magnificent whole.
What struck me was how small the rooms in the cathedral are. There is no large central room, but merely small chapels and hallways running from one to another. It is a bit tough at first to find your way around; it’s a bit of a maze.
The second name was given almost fifty years after the Cathedral was completed when a “god's fool” said to be St. Basil the Blessed was buried there in its walls. The St. Basil's Cathedral was erected in 1555-1557 to commemorate the Russian military glory; it is a memorial to all heroes had fallen in the age-old struggle against Tartar oppression, during the smashing of the Kazan Khanate. The Cathedral was created by remarkable Russian architects Barma and Postnik, which were far ahead of their time and surprisingly anticipated the features of the 17th century architecture.
The St. Basil's Cathedral is the architectural masterpiece and the splendid example of column like marquee stone Russian folk architecture. Its eight towers are placed on a high ground floor and have very nice colorful, ridged onion-shaped cupolas. They surround the ninth central octagonal tower topped by a high pyramidal tent roof with a small cupola. The Cathedral is decorated by numerous folk architectural elements: figured niches, "kokoshniki" ornaments, rusticated columns, pilasters, windows and portals.
The domes were given their present form at the end of the 16th century. To refer to them as onion domes seems an over-simplification,given their varied turban-like and tear-drop shapes. Originally the domes were helm-shaped, with eight domes set around the central tower(destroyed at the end ofthe 18th century). The colourful painting of the domes dates from the 17th century, when the bell-tower wasadded and the open galleries around the whole complex were vaulted over.
Pokrovsky cathedral on the Red Square more famous as Vassily Blazhenny was built in the mid-16th century (1555-1561) by decree of Ivan the Terrible in honour of the capture of the Kazan Khanate. In 1588 by decree of tsar Fedor Ivanovich east side were added with church above the grave of yurodivy (foolish "in Christ") Vassily Blazhenny.
There is a legend that the architect and main constructor of this cathedral were blinded under tsar's order to make the building absolutely unique. It's counted that cathedral was built with Barma and Postnik Yakovlev, but there is a historical document saying that the builder was Postnik Yakovlev named Barma (nickname).
(a.k.a. Saint Basil's Cathedral)
The memorial cathedral of Pokrov situated on the Kremlin's moat, also known as St. Basil's Cathedral, was erected by two Russian architectural masters Barma and Postnic in 1555 - 1561 by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in commemoration of the capture of the city of Kazan.
The architecture of the cathedral is unique. It has a symmetric and well-proportioned composition of nine churches-towers which are raised on one common base. Each church is named after a patron saint's day and represents the greatest victories of the Kazan campaign. In 1558 a tenth church was added to Pokrovsky Cathedral. This funeral church was built over the grave of St. Basil, who was worshiped by Moscovites as 'God's fool'. Gradually, the cathedral became better known among the common people as St. Basil's Cathedral.
The museum has a unique collection of icons from the XVI-XIX centuries as well as relics of applied art.
In 1990, after a long period of time, religious services were started again.
Photo by Andrey Sebrant