For several centuries Assumption Cathedral was the main cathedral of Russian state. There they crowned Russian tsars, and then Russian emperors, anointed Russian patriarchs, consecrated bishops and metropolitans, and declared state acts. Generally, this cathedral was the center of political and religious life of Russia.
The cathedral was built in 1475-1479 by the Italian architect Aristoteles Fioravanti. It was built in the time of Ivan III, who finished the unification of separate Russian principalities with the center in Moscow, although only two centuries earlier such a center was the city of Vladimir. That’s why the Assumption Cathedral of Moscow Kremlin was modeled by the Assumption Cathedral of Vladimir, so that to emphasize the legal succession of moving the political center to Moscow.
You must see the interiors of the cathedral. The inside of the temple was painted in the period of 1482-1515. The workshop of the famous Russian icon-painter Dionysius painted the frescoes, although its works survived only on the sanctuary screen. All wall frescoes, which survived until nowadays, were painted in 1642-1643.
In 1625 to the temple the «Holy Robe» was moved, the gift of the Persian shah Abbas I to the Russian Tsar Mikhail I. It is believed that it is the fragment of the tunic of Jesus Christ, which was given by lot to one of the soldiers, after Jesus was crucified on the Golgotha Mount. This seamless tunic was moved from Jerusalem to Georgia and there it was kept for over a thousand years.
Near the iconostasis one can see the pews of Tsar, Queen and Patriarch. Of special interest is the «Monomakh Throne», which was made by the carvers of Novgorod for Ivan IV the Terrible in 1551.
Along the walls of the cathedral there are 19 tombs of Russian metropolitans and patriarchs, and on the walls you can see a collection of ancient icons of Russia. You must see the Southern Gate, which was brought from Suzdal. They were decorated with the lost technology of iron etching.