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St Basil’s Cathedral – The Icon Of Russia!

By Shamanthika - May 14, 2020

The most famous attraction in Moscow is St. Basil’s cathedral. It is known for its architectural excellence, the cathedral is also considered as a symbol of worship. The St. Basil’s Cathedral is also known by several names like “Pokrovsky Cathedral” or “The Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat”. Being hailed as the most honorable symbol for the Russians, it is similar to the Eiffel tower to the French. The Icon of Russia will amaze you with its crazy combination of colors, patterns, and shapes. The splendid architectural style and its biggest domes will put you in awe and you will know why St. Basil’s is praised so much to be called as the symbol of Russia.

The majestic building was constructed in the mid 16th century by the orders of Ivan to celebrate the capture of Kazan, After 8 years of toiling hard, the construction was completed in 1552. To know more about the History of St. Basil’s Cathedral, Read on…

tower at St. Basil’s Cathedral
Image Credit: Unsplash

History of St. Basil’s Cathedral 

Early in 1554, the first Tsar of Russia, Ivan Vasilyevich, also called Ivan IV, ordered the construction of the Cathedral. In the 1550s, he defeated the independent Kazan. To celebrate the victory of his army over the Kazan’s, he commissioned the construction of the Intercession Cathedral. There are several myths around the construction of the Cathedral, it’s often believed that Ivan blinded the Italian architect so that he can never replicate the design elsewhere. From 1555 to 1561, it took nearly 6 years to complete this architectural marvel. The Church is dedicated to the protection of the Virgin Mary, the church is officially known as the Church of the Intercession.  Throughout its history, the Church is known for its survival, It has been in the danger of disappearing, fire destruction, demolition plans, invasion by Napoleon, to name a few. 

Highlights in the St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • The cathedral is made of white stone, the domes are onion-shaped and painted in gold. The domes are the main highlight of the attraction. The cathedral is an extremely beautiful architectural marvel, half of its beauty owed to its design and structure of the domes.
  • The four beautiful, big domes top the octagonal-towered chapels. Totally they are four in number and designated as the Church of Sts. Cyprian and Justine, Church of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Church of the Icon of St Nicholas the miracle worker.
the intricate patterns in the St. Basil's cathedral
Image Credit: Google Images
  • Later in the 17th century, a hip-roofed bell tower was added to the Cathedral structure. This bell tower is known for its design.
  • The spiral stairs inside the cathedral take you to the center of the church, which has the most beautiful tented roofs which are intricately designed. It will be a treat for any visitors to the church. Observe the exquisite patterns on these roofs and get awestruck.
  • When you are outside the cathedral, you must notify the beauty of its world-famous domes, highlighted in different patterns and colors.
  • If you visit the Cathedral at night time, you can observe the beauty of the attraction in artificial lights as well. 
The magnificent interiors of the St. Basil's cathedral
Image Credit: Google Images

Visitor Information

It takes approximately 1 hour to visit the St. Basil’s Cathedral. You can check the schedule in real-time on the website. But, the Cathedral is closed the first Wednesday for each month for maintenance purposes.  Also you pre-book your tickets for your convenience on the website. If you wish to buy it at the attraction site also, counters are available at the entrance of the Cathedral. The ticket offices in front of the site closed 45 minutes before closing time. You can choose to buy the normal ticket which will cost you around 700 rubles or the audio guide ticket which is priced at 1,200 rubles. 

St. Basil’s Cathedral is a must-visit when you are in Moscow. Located in Red square, which is considered as the geographic center of Russia since the 15th century, the cathedral is in close proximity to many other iconic buildings. So when in Moscow, march towards the cathedral and take some amazing selfies. Head to the Pickyourtrail website and start planning a trip to Moscow right now!

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