What pops into your mind first when you think about the capital of Russia? Probably, the Red Square. And the Saint Basil’s Cathedral is the most famous architect there. It is recognized worldwide for its striking characteristic domes.
We see it on television and in the movies, in travel magazines and on souvenirs that our friend brought us from Russia. Many people confuse the Cathedral with the Kremlin, since they are lo-cated next to each other. Saint Basil’s Cathedral was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.
A Bit of History
The construction of this wonder began in 1555 and ended in 1561. Before being named Saint Basil, it was known as the Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin on the Mound. It was ordered to be built by Tsar Ivan the Terrible to commemorate his recent triumphs, as the conquest of the Khanate of Kazan.
It is composed of nine independent chapels, dedicated to each of the saints in whose festivities Ivan the Terrible won a battle. When the Cathedral was finished, Ivan the Terrible blinded the architect – Postnik Yakovlev. He did it to make sure that Postnik won’t be able to make a re-creation of the masterpiece elsewhere.
• When the Cathedral was finished, Ivan the Terrible was so impressed that he blinded the architect – Postnik Yakovlev. The veracity of this statement seems to be quite improbable. Yakovlev appears in the chronicles as a constructor of other cathedrals, as well as of the Kremlin of Kazan.
• Certain studies insist that the Cathedral was built by Italian architects invited by the Tsar.
• Where does the name Saint Basil’s Cathedral come from? Basil was a highly respected man in Russia. He walked naked and barefoot performing miracles. He was a madman for Christ. It is said that Ivan the Terrible feared only one person. Basil. For this reason Ivan ordered to bury Basil the Blessed in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. In 1588 the Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich transferred his remains to the Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin on the Mound. And on his tomb the new chapel was built.
• The Cathedral is 450 years old. It survived fires, Napoleon’s troops and even the demolition plan created by Stalin’s collaborators.
The Cathedral opens its doors for visitors every day. But don’t come there on the first Wednesday of every month, because it is the only day when it is closed for cleaning.
From the 1st of June until the 31st of August it is open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. The rest of the year you can come from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The tickets are bought in the same Cathedral. You can’t buy them online. But don’t worry, you won’t be stuck in the line for hours. It moves very fast.
The entrance fee is 350 rubles. And it is free for the minors under 16.
Don’t forget that you can’t touch any decorations or expositions. But you can take thousands of pictures, only without a flash.
Inside the Masterpiece
San Basil is a very peculiar cathedral and it is absolutely different from the others. The passageways connected 9 independent chapels. This is compared to a cave, the chapels don’t have a lot of space.The passageways connected 9 independent chapels.
The walls are made from stone with frescoes on them representing different saints. You can find marvelous paintings and mosaics in the chapels. The main one covered with a gold. It is not much illuminated from inside. The cathedral has two floors. It is unique not only outside, but inside as well. So, to feel the atmosphere it is necessary to enter it.