Saint Basil Cathedral’s full title is the Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat.
The spectacular Saint Basil’s Cathedral is situation on Moscow’s Red Square, and was bulit from 1555 to 1561.
In 1588, Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich added a 9th chapel added on the eastern side to house the grave of Saint Basil.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral was built to commemorate Ivan the Terrible’s (1532–1584) – conquest ofboth Kazan and Astrakhan.
According to legend, the builder of Saint Basil’s Cathedral was blinded so that such a beautiful structure could never be built again.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral consists of nine chapels built on a single foundation.
The riot of color and shapes that is Saint Basil’s Cathedral is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
The interior is a maze of galleries winding from chapel to chapel and level to level via narrow stairways and low arches. The walls are painted in floral and geometric patterns.
Saint Basil the Blessed can be visited in his chapel on the lower floor, where he lies in a silver casket in gaudy splendor.
Upstairs, the Chapel of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin (main Chapel) contains the equally splendid blue and gold iconostasis.
In 1970s a wooden spiral staircase was discovered within one of the walls while restoration on the church was being carried out.
One service a year is held in the Cathedral, on the Day of Intercession in October.
For a time in the Soviet Union, there was talk of demolishing Saint Basil’s – mainly because it hindered Stalin’s plans for massed parades on Red Square.
For a time in the Soviet Union, there was talk of demolishing Staint Basil’s – mainly because it hindered Stalin’s plans for massed parades on Red Square.Basil’s Cathedral is part of the Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site which was listed in 1990.
Saint Basil’s is open to the public all days, except on Tuesdays and the occasional days when it is closed for repairs.