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

Just outside the Kremlin Gates is The Cathedral of Basil the Blessed, which is a Russian Orthodox Cathedral erected on the Red Square in Moscow and the most recognizable symbol of Russia. The Cathedral was ordered to be built by Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of the Tatar stronghold of Kazan from Mongol forces, in 1555 and was completed in 1561. The Cathedral of Basil the Blessed is a carnival of painted onion domes in the most expressive of Russo-Byzantine traditions, instantly recognizable around the world known as the Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God, called also,”Theotokos” or “Bogoroditsa” in the Orthodox Church.

The Cathedral of St. Basil contains nine chapels, built on a single foundation; the largest is at the center of the cathedral known as the Church of the Feast of the Pokhrov. Distinguishes the form is domes bulbar which is features exhilarating colors so beautiful, and amazing from the outside, it is punctuated by painting and architecture Russian art. There are four large and octagonal temples located on a cardinal point, north, south, east, and west. Additional four small and square temples located at the northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest points. These eight domed chapels symbolize the eight assaults on Kazan and represent an important historical event in Russian history. Then there is one that does not stand on a rose point the addition of a ninth chapel, built for St Basil himself .It was built in 1555 and is located over the grave of Saint Basil. It became part of the Cathedral in 1588.

There is a deep contrast between the interior and the exterior of the Cathedral. The interior of St. Basil’s is a maze of narrow, dimly lit corridors connecting the different chapels and don’t have adequate space for worshippers seating.The walls are painted in floral and geometric patterns. Front garden of the Cathedral contains a bronze statue to celebrate with all of Dmitry Mikhaylovich Pozharsky, who led the Russian army against the invading Polish volunteer. According to legend, it was built by Italian architects Barma and Postnik Yakovlev. Ivan had them blinded as soon as they had finished the building, so that they could never create anything that was similar or equal. The early records are confusing, in fact, nothing is really known about the builders, except their names, and they may be a single person.

This amazing cathedral had survived several times. Two of the world’s most ruthless leaders — Napoleon and Stalin — tried to destroy it. Napoleon tried to burn it down, he tried to dynamite it but rain put out the fuses. Stalin wanted to have it razed so his military parades would have more room. He succeeded with other Moscow churches, such as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin were finalists in a campaign to choose New 7 Wonders of the World. The Christian significance is all but lost today. Now the Cathedral is a museum.

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