The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Kremlin, is a former church in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The building, now a museum, is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin on the Moat or Pokrovsky Cathedral. IT was built from 1555-61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. It has been the hub of the city’s growth since the 14th centers and was the city’s tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.
St. Basil’s Cathedral consists of nine churches on the same foundation.
There is no basements Pokrovsky Cathedral. Churches and galleries are on a single basement consisting of several rooms. Previously, these facilities were not available to parishioners. Deep niches-recesses were used as warehouses. Until 1595 in the basement the royal treasury was hidden. Wealthy citizens also brought here their property.
A great deal of controversy is about the builders of St. Basil’s Cathedral.
In the construction of the cathedral used various kinds of bricks (for different elements of design and decor). In the XVI century a brick was quite new material. Before it the traditional materials for churches were white cut stone and thin brick – plinfa
Solid brick walls (up to 3 m thick) are covered with arches. Room’s height is about 6.5 m. Walls pierced by narrow holes – the air holes. Together with the “breathing” building material – brick, they provide custom indoor climate all year round
A secret hidden ladder was discovered in 1930s.
A cencer of XIX century. Decorated with multicolored enamel.
There are icons of the Pokrovsky Cathedral In the basement.
Central Church of the Intercession.
Under the tent and under the windows some fragments of a fresco inscriptions were found. They help to restore a church chronicle of the XVI century. For a long time the letters were hidden under layers of oil paints. Only in the late 1950s. they were cleared during the restoration. Chronicle contains the exact date of completion of the cathedral – June 29 (July 12, New Style), 1561. The inscription is located in five tiers. The letters of the lower belt are 98 cm, the upper – 56 cm.
The dome of the Church of Alexander Svirsky.
The Modern Pokrovsky Cathedral bell tower was built on the site of the ancient belfry. During the second half of the XVII century old belfry dilapidated and fallen into disrepair . In the 1680s it was replaced with the bell tower, which stands to this day. The Ribs of high octagonal tent are decorated with colorful tiles of white , yellow, blue and brown glaze . Facets are covered with curly green tiles . Small bulbous head with eight-pointed cross completes the tent . There are small windows in the tent – it is so-called “rumors” designed to enhance the sound of bells. The hung bells were casted by outstanding Russian masters XVII-XIX centuries . In 1990, after a long period of silence , they had began to be in use again .
Some of the rooms and galleries are closed glass doors.
The Dome of the Church of St. Nicholas Velikoretsky
One of the three portals in the central church. A brick style painting was restored.
A part of the iconostasis of the Church of St. Varlaam.
The Royal Gates Church of the Entry into Jerusalem.
Earlier this porch was the main entrance to the temple.