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Saint Basil`s Cathedral in Moscow photo

Saint Basil`s Cathedral on Red Square isn’t only the most recognizable attraction of Moscow but of the entire Russia and former Soviet Union, as it is most expressive of the style of Russian churches with their onion-shaped domes.

The Saint Basil`s Cathedral is located in the heart of Russia, on the Red Square in Moscow. Nearby there is the Kremlin and GUM (main department store). You can go down to the Embankment of Moscow River via Vasilevskiy Spusk where open-air performances and events are often held.

The Saint Basil`s Cathedral was built by Ivan the Terrible during 1555-65 to commemorate the victory over Kazan Khanate. For a long time it was called Pokrovsky Cathedral, as Kazan, the capital of Kazan Khanate, was captured just on October 1, the feast of Intercession of the Mother of God.

Unlike other cathedrals of Moscow Kremlin, architects of the Saint Basil`s Cathedral were of Russian origin – Barma and Postnik. Historians are still uncertain whether they were different people or a single person, Ivan Barma called Postnik. But in any case, the style of this temple is very different from that of churches built by Italian architects.

Originally, the SSaint Basil`s Cathedral had smooth gilt cupolas, as in case of most Russian temples, and only in XVII century it attained its today appearance. First of all, cupolas were covered with various ornaments, and there were also added two porches and a dome above the relics of St. Basil. Since then the temple has been called the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, and the name became almost official.

The temple has many symbolical features. One central tower and eight symmetrical cupolas symbolize firmness and permanence of faith. All eight aisles are separate churches.

During construction of the Saint Basil`s Cathedral, after decay of Rome and Constantinople, there was popular the idea of the «Third Rome», «New Jerusalem», which won`t fall under pressure from enemies. And it is just this idea that was realized in the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, which was destined to become the symbol of Russian state.

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Church of St. Basil (Intercession Cathedral) is the symbol of Moscow and Russia as a whole
View of St. Basil`s Cathedral and St. Basil`s Descent from the Big Moskvoretsky Bridge
Icons and paintings within St. Basil`s Cathedral
Gallery round the Chapel of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin under the central dome of St. Basil`s Cathedral
The shroud of the shrine of Saint Basil the Blessed at the Intercession Chapel (within St. Basil`s Cathedral)
Iconostasis at the Chapel of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin under the central dome of St. Basil`s Cathedral
The highest dome of St. Basil`s Cathedral is 65 meters
Exposition in the rooms of the podklet (ground floor) of St. Basil`s Cathedral
Ancient icons in the rooms of the podklet (ground floor) of St. Basil`s Cathedral
Icons of Saint Basil the Blessed
Paintings in the upper gallery of St. Basil`s Cathedral
Flower motifs in the paintings on the vaults of St. Basil`s Cathedral
Night view of St. Basil`s Cathedral
The smallest indented dome was added above the shrine of St. Basil the Blessed at the Intercession Chapel (St. Basil`s Cathedral)
View of St. Basil`s Cathedral from the Kremlin Wall. One can see two big porches here.
Doors to the chancel of the Intercession Chapel (St. Basil`s Cathedral)
On both sides of the iconostasis of the Chapel of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin there remained the authentic paintings of 16 century 
Doors to the Chapel of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin from the upper gallery
Entry to the Chapel of St. Nicholas Velikoretsky under one of the domes of St. Basil`s Cathedral
Entry to one of the chapels of St. Basil`s Cathedral  
South porch of St. Basil`s Cathedral facing the Vasilyevskiy Spusk (Descent)
From the time of its construction in 1555 to 1595 the podklet of the Intercession Chapel housed the state treasury
One of the chapels of St. Basil`s Cathedral
Passages between the chapels of the upper level of St. Basil`s Cathedral
Drains of 16 century at the podklet of St. Basil`s Cathedral
The domes and bell tower of St. Basil`s Cathedral
South porch of St. Basil`s Cathedral facing the Vasilyevskiy Spusk (Descent)
Picturesque paintings of the porch of St. Basil`s Cathedral 
View of St. Basil`s Cathedral from St. Basil`s Descent
Ice model of St. Basil`s Cathedral