Saint Basil's Cathedral Moscow
In the last article, we explored Cathedral of St. Sophia in Novgorod, Russia. In this article we will explore another cathedral. This is famous Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia. Saint Basil’s Cathedral is church in the Red Square in Moscow. Popularly known as St Basil’s Cathedral, the official name of the building which is a museum now is ‘The Cathedral of the Intersection of the Virgin by the Moat’. There are another names to the Cathedral as well, ‘The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed is’ or ‘Pokrovsky Cathedral’. Built between 1555 and 1561 this cathedral it was once the tallest building until 1600 when Ivan the Great Bell Tower was completed. So let us Explore Saint Basil’s Cathedral a bit more which has multiple names.
The Cathedral was ordered by Ivan the Terrible to mark the 1552 capture of Kazan from Mongol forces and it was completed in 1560. Today Saint Basil’s is located at one end of Red Square, Moscow. This is just across from the Spasskaya tower of the Kremlin. This is not too large and consists of nine chapels built on a single foundation. The color and the shape of this building is such which no other building in the world has come close to match so far. People describe it in their own words. The design of the Saint Basil’s is quite beautiful and appropriately reflects both its location between Asia and Europe and the history of its origin. Towers and domes seem chaotic still holds symmetry and symbolism in its design. Eight domed chapels symbolize the eight assaults on Kazan. Four of them are large and octagonal in shape while other fours are small and square in shape. There is ninth chapel which was added in 1588 on the east side for Basil’s Tomb and this chapel somehow stands out of symmetry of the design. You can see from the outside by its green-and-gold dome studded with golden pyramids.
From the inside this Cathedral which is now a museum is a maze of galleries. These galleries are connected from chapel to chapel and level to level through narrow stairways and low arches. You can visit Saint Basil in his chapel on the lower floor. He lies there a silver casket in gaudy splendor. Then you can go upstairs where the chapel of the intercession is and it contains quite beautiful and splendid blue and gold iconostasis. Other chapels are interesting too for visitors. There is a bronze statue in a garden in the front area of the cathedral commemorating Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin who took Russia’s volunteer army along against the Polish invaders during late 16th and early 17th century.
All in all the St Basil’s Cathedral is a beautiful work of architectural brilliance. Once the French diplomat Marquis de Custine commented that it combined "the scales of a golden fish, the enameled skin of a serpent, the changeful hues of the lizard, the glossy rose and azure of the pigeon's neck" and wondered at "the men who go to worship God in this box of confectionery work." There are disputes on the design and architecture work’s inspiration here but that should not bother any visitor because a visitor gets to see something very beautiful and unique in Saint Basil’s Cathedral. So when you are taking Russia Travel Package next time and you do go to Moscow and to Red Square then do visit Cathedral of Saint Basil.Explore Russia Tour Packages with Dook International, check our Russia holiday packages as below - Moscow and St-petersburg 4 nights Moscow and St-petersburg 5 nights