Cathedral of Basil the Blessed, Moscow, Russia
WORLD HERITAGE SITE
Inspired by the amazing architecture of the cathedral
The Cathedral of Intercession of Theotokos on the Moat (Russian: Собор Покрова пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву), popularly known as the Cathedral of Basil the Blessed, is a Russian Orthodox cathedral erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–1561. Built on the order of Ivan IV of Russia to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, it marks the geometric center of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century.
The building’s design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, has no analogues in Russian architecture: “It is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millenium of Byzantine tradition from the fifth to fifteenth century… a strangeness that astonishes by its unexpectedness, complexity and dazzling interleaving of the manifold details of its design.” The cathedral foreshadowed the climax of Russian national architecture in the 17th century but has never been reproduced directly.
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