Of all the stereotypical images of Russia this one is probably the most familiar to you. This iconic symbol is of course the legendary Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed (Sobor Vasiliya Blazhennogo), commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
The church is situated on the Red Square in Moscow right next to Kremlin what makes it a very symbolic highlight to the sight and a worldwide recognized landmark.
After conquering the new territories of Kazan and Astrakhan khanates Tsar Ivan the Terrible ordered the construction of this church to commemorate the victory. The building process took six years and by 1561 the original Trinity Church (and later Trinity Cathedral) was completed. It consisted of eight smaller churches that surrounded the ninth, central church of Intercession. But that was not the end of the construction process. In 1588 the tenth church was added to hold the holy remains of the local saint Vasily (Basil). This event once and for all changed the name of the cathedral to the one we use today.
During the next few centuries the church perceived as the symbol of the Heavenly City on Earth, and just like for other churches during Byzantine Christianity, was commonly known as the “Jerusalem”. Which refers to the Jerusalem Temple of course. So that is why during the annual Palm Sunday parade it was attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and even the Tsar.
One might still wonder what exactly is so special about the building itself.
Firstly, the cathedral used to be the city’s tallest building until Ivan the Great Bell Tower was built in 1600. It is also an absolutely unique architectural creation due to its remarkable “bonfire” silhouette. And finally, today it serves not just as a historical monument, but over all as a symbol of Russian nation.
On our tour, you will hear a lot more interesting stories and legends about the Cathedral of St.Basil. And listening to them while on an actual historical site is a very different and enriching experience. During the tour, you will be able to recreate all the events that took place around Saint Basil Cathedral using your imagination and the captivating story told by our guide. It will sure help you ultimately connect to both the place and Russian history itself.
If you want to find who were the legendary architects of the cathedral, how the Christian church survived USSR and communism, what is the concept behind each of the ten churches and other details then our tour is going to unravel them for you. Already getting excited? See you on the tour!
If you are interested in visiting the museum that is located in the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed for your convenience here are a few details: