Whether you are religious or not, Orthodox or not, the building commonly known as St Basil's Cathedral, at Red Square in Moscow is a feast for the eyes.
It is colourful. It is picturesque. It is awe-inspiring. And that is just the view from outside. Wait until you go inside.
There are actually 9 separate churches. The icons and mosaics are extraordinary and extraordinarily vibrant and rich.
I found this information, on Wikipedia, interesting and informative:-
Wikipedia Saint Basil Chatedral*
“The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moator Pokrovsky Cathedral are official names for a Russian Orthodox church in Red Square in Moscow. The church is also called the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed anglicized as Saint Basil's Cathedral. It was built from 1555–61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates 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, 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 analogues 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 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 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. It is often mislabelled as the Kremlin owing to its location on Red Square in immediate proximity of the Kremlin."
We have seen Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral under clouds, as dusk is approaching, with a cloudless and clear night sky, and with a cloudy sky later at night. In every degree of light, these churches at Red Square are simply amazing, stunning, impressive and so beautiful.
They are like something in a confectionary or toy store. They are like something out of a fairy tale.
Words fail to adequately describe or do justice to just how much I love this amazing church, this amazing piece of architecture, this icon of Moscow and Russia.
Among all the buildings on the Red Square there is one very special. It is a memorial of the great victory: in 1552 the Kazan Khanate, part of the former Golden Orda, was defeated and Kazan was added to the Russian State. The Church of St. Basil was attached to the north-eastern part of the building later, in 1588. Since 1923 it is a museum of history and culture.
The cathedral is (possesses a status of) a national architectural monument. The Church of St. Basil is situated on the ground floor, whereas all 9 churches of the cathedral, placed on the common basis, form the first floor of the building.
Open from nov to apr (11 a.m.-4 p.m.), from may to oct (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
Closed Tuesday and first Monday of every month.
You can watch my
2 min 41 sec Video Moscow St Basil's Cathedral from Vasilievsky Spusk part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
3 min 55 sec Video Moscow St Basil's Cathedral part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
2 min 46 sec Video Moscow St Basil's Cathedral part 3 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
4 min 06 sec Video Moscow St Basil's Cathedral part 4 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
The first thing we did in Moscow was find and admire the beautiful St. Basil's Cathedral and I promise it looks better in real life than in the photos. However we did have a bit of difficulty finding it but that was due to a horse event taking place in Red Square at that time meaning we couldn't see it.
If you happen to be in Moscow then defiantly make time to check this place out!
The famous Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed (Russian: Собор Василия Блаженного) has two official name by Russian Orthodox church: The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat (Russian: Собор Покрова пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву) or Pokrovsky Cathedral (Russian: Покровский собор). This church is beautiful "decoration" on Red Square in Moscow. It build from 1555 till 1561 on orders from Ivan the Terrible.
This is surely the most iconic building in Russia and it lives up to all its romantic imagery. It is an absolutely beautiful and incredibly intricately designed masterpiece. Built in the 1950s to replace a church that already stood on this spot. It's erection celebrated Ivan the Terrible capturing Kazan (the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan).
The cathedral is amass of colours, patterns and onion-domes. No visit to Moscow is complete without visiting this cathedral!
It makes up part of the Kremlin & Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to the public.
Make sure you buy a ticket for photography.
The interior is every bit as amazing as the exterior with its fresco walls and its curving passages.
If you are very lucky, your visit will coincide with Doros, a mens choir, singing.
La vista de San Basilio es impresionante con sus cúpulas de colores , que parecen sacadas de un cuento oriental
Iván el Terrible ( Hay quien dice que este sobrenombre es una mala traducción , pues debería decirse el terrorífico, porque todos le tenían terror) mandó construir la primera capilla como promesa si conseguía conquistar el Kanato de Kazan. Posteriormente se fueron construyendo otras nueve capillas dedicadas a los Santos que se celebraban el día en que Iván el Terrible ganaba alguna batalla y posteriormente se construyó una torre central que unificó el conjunto
Según la leyenda al arquitecto le sacaron los ojos por orden de Ivan el terrible para que no pudiera repetir una obra tan maravillosa como esa
El nombre original fue Catedral de la Intercesión de la Virgen en el Montículo , pero se lo cambiaron pues en una de las capillas enterraron por orden de Iván el Terrible a la única persona que temía, por sus palabras, San Basilio, que era un "loco por Cristo", pues paseaba desnudo y descalzo , no tenía posesiones y decían que hacía milagros.
Un par de veces ha estado a punto de desaparecer , una cuando la mandó destruir Napoleón, pues era demasiado oriental, pero en el momento de disparar los cañones una fuerte lluvia mojó la pólvora y los inutilizó y otra en tiempos de Stalin que estaban pensando en demolerla para que pudieran pasar los tanques en los desfiles en la Plaza Roja
The view of St. Basil is impressive with its colourful domes, they look as they are straight out of an oriental tale
Ivan the Terrible (Some say that this nickname is a mistranslation, it should be said the terrifying, because all were terrified him) had built the first chapel as a promise if he could conquer the Khanate of Kazan. Later on they he built another nine chapels dedicated to Saints whose celebration was the day that Ivan the Terrible won a battle and later on he built a central tower that unifies all the assembly
According to legend the architect eyes were gouged out by order of Ivan the Terrible so he could not repeat a wonderful work like San Basil
The original name was Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin on the mound, but they changed it because in one of the chapels they buried by order of Ivan the Terrible to the only person he feared, by his words, St. Basil, that was a "mad for Christ "as he used to walk naked and barefoot, had no possessions and they said that he made miracles .
A couple of times has been about to disappear St Basil , one when Napoleon ordered the destruction, because it was too oriental, but at the moment of firing the guns a heavy rain wet the gunpowder and crippled the cannons and another under Stalin rule when they were thinking demolish it in order that the tanks had a better access to the Red Square during the parades
St. Basil (Russian: Покровский собор, Pokrovskij Sobor) or Basil's Cathedral (Храм Василия Блаженного, Chram Vasilija Blazjennogo di Church of St. Basil the Blessed) in Moscow (Russia) is the main landmark of the Red Square.
The cathedral was built between 1555 and 1560 by order of Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible), in honor of his victory over the Tatars in the city of Kazan. A legend says that Ivan the architect, Postnik Jakolev, nicknamed Barma the mumbler, after completing his work asked if he could make an even better building. When the architect answered affirmatively, the Tsar had his eyes protrude, to ensure that St. Basil the most beautiful building would remain. However, this is a myth, then the architect has designed other buildings. The full name of the church building reads Pokrova Sobor, after tjsto rvoe (Собор Покрова, что на рву), which "Cathedral of the Intercession of the Mother of God on the ditch" means. St. Basil replaced an old abandoned church in the same place. The kerkwijding took place on July 12, 1561.
Four years after the death of Ivan IV was on the northeast corner of the cathedral church was built, probably by the same architect. Commissioned by Tsar Fyodor were the relics of the holy fool Vasily 1588 in aforementioned church placed, was called to this sacred. Vasili, fool in Christ, and enjoyed great veneration because in this church services were held daily, unlike the other churches that are part of the cathedral, the cathedral was one increasingly "the church of Vasili the silly" call. Under this name, this building more international fame.
In 1919 the church was confiscated by the Bolsheviks and closed for repairs. Pyotr Baranovski led the work that lasted until 1929. The only way to anger the church on the demolition of the Bolsheviks to make her escape was to transform it into a museum, a museum to commemorate the Russian conquest of Kazan in this case. In 1929, the bells of the church away and gave command to Joseph Stalin Red Square sweep of churches for a planned parade. This killed the Kazan Cathedral and the St. Basil stood on the nomination to be demolished, since Stalin (possibly at the suggestion of the Director of the herconstructieplan from Red Square, Lazar Kaganovitsj) was sorry that it prevented his soldiers and tanks into the square massive way could leave during parades. There was a large protest going and Eleanor Roosevelt even offered to the entire building to break down and transfer to the United States, which was rejected. Architect Baranovski was instrumental in protest against the decision. According to some accounts, he went on the steps of the building and threatened his throat cut and had a focus telegram to the Soviet government sent, according to other stories, he fell on his knees before the Central Committee of the CPSU to name only for to ensure that the building remained standing. Anyway, Stalin lifted the decision, but Baranovski received in 1933 a conviction for "anti-Soviet propaganda" on his pants and was for 3 years to the West Siberian city Mariinsk sent to a forced labor (with associated status oedarnik of 101st and subsequent mileage). In 1936 the statue Dmitri Pozjarski and Koezma Minin, which the Russian volunteer army led against the Polish invaders during the Time of Troubles, moved from the middle of Red Square to a spot close to the cathedral, so the troops could be easier along could parade.
At the maintenance of the cathedral was like most churches in the Soviet Union hardly done something, so that the building over the course of time fell significantly. In 1990 the bells were hung back. The present bells date from 1547 to 1996 and from the Urals, Yaroslavl, Moscow, France, Netherlands, Germany and Western Belarus. On October 14, 1991 was the first service held in the church again. There was no regular service and the cathedral is to this day part of the National History Museum. The cathedral was restored at the turn and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Before we visited Moscow Saint Basil Cathedral was only visualize from postcard. When we did see the real thing I thought it was a magnificent sight. In size it’s not a huge cathedral but the color was the highlight in my opinion.
Ivan the terrible instigates the construction of the church to commemorate the capture of the Tatar stronghold of Kazan in 1552, and now it is listed in UNESCO World Heritage. It has become one of the most iconic images of Moscow. Saint Basil Cathedral is located at the southeast end of the Red Square.
Do you know that St. Basil's cathedral turned 450 years July 12, 2011?
By mid-16th century Ivan IV - not so terrible at that time yet – had conquered Kazan and Astrakhan khanates. This meant Moscow could breathe freely, as these two were a huge threat over the ages. Why do you think the Kremlin walls are so thick?
To underline the victory, Ivan ordered the memorial church to be built outside the walls – no need for protection any more!
I guess you have heard the legend that says Ivan had blinded the architect so that he could not recreate the masterpiece elsewhere. This being not exactly out of line with the tsar’s character, there is no definite proof to the story. In fact, scholars cannot agree even if there was one architect, named Postnik Yakovlev, or there were two of them – Postnik and Yakovlev. Another legend says that both remained active at least throughout the 1560s and built another splendid church in the captured Kazan.
And do you know it is actually not St. Basil's?
The official name is “The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat,” after the church feast of the same name - celebrated, however, in October.
St. Basil (Vassily in Russian) was a 'God's fool' known for having confronted Ivan the Terrible on church issues. He passed away August 2, 1557, and the royal family accompanied the coffin to the cathedral. In 1588 a small church was built over his grave. Standing in front of the cathedral with the Kremlin on your right, see the green-and-yellow onion dome behind the trees? This is St. Basil’s church proper. Soon, however, this name became popularly attached to the cathedral as a whole. Muscovites are no fans of official names.
Last but not least – do you know the cathedral used to be red-and-white until late in 17th century?
I have tried my best to find an image presenting the original colours, but no way so far. If you get inside, it must be hanging on the wall on the first floor, I think I had seen it there. But that was long ago.
The official internet site of the cathedral isn't exactly an icon of hi-tech design, but it has quite a few icons proper on display.
And it can sing!
St. Basil's Cathedral is probably the most famous and beautiful church of Moscow.
It consist of eight onion domed chapels representing the 8 assaults on Kazan.
The Cathedral was built between 1555 and 1561 by order of Ivan the Terrible.
The Statue to Minin and Pozharsky which now stands in the garden of the Cathedral was first erected on Red Square in 1818, but was moved to its current position by the Soviets in 1936.
St. Basil's Cathedral, 4 Krasnaya Ploshad, Moscow
St. Basil's Cathedral is located at the southern end of Red Square. The nearest metro stop is Kitai Gorod.
A visit to see this famous Catedral was a priority while I'm here it would have to be the ultimate symbol of Russia and I decided to visit it straight away. St.Basils Cathedral would have to be the most photographed building in Moscow...and it easy to see why with its unique style and lovely intricate and colourful "onion" styled domes.
Located at the far end of Red Square and looking like the scene off a chocolate box , St Basils takes up a very prominent position within the Square. The interior is well worth the visit to look at the medieaval paintings on the walls.This is an immensely popular place for visitors and I thought that the crowds would be overwhelming , but the huge area of Red Square sees the crowds diminish in its huge area..This is also a very popular place for tourists and visiting Russians alike..I was very fortunate as it was such a beautiful Moscow summers day when I visited but I imagined it would take on a postcard appearance when it was covered with snow also..
The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat otherwise known as St Basil's Cathedral is another one of those must see things if you visit Moscow. However, due to the lateness of the hour, we did not get inside and had to make do with seeing the well lit exterior!
It was impressive and had many people photographing the domes.
The Cathedral celebrated it's 450 year anniversary in 2011.