One of the most famous and representative buildings of the City of Moscow that you will surely visit during your trip to Russia is the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin on the Mound or the Mantle, better known to all as St. Basil’s Cathedral.
The cathedral has an imposing beauty on the outside, and its interior is not far behind. It consists of 9 chapels connected by interior passages. Each of the chapels, independent from each other, has a symbolism that refers to icons and saints of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its walls, built in stone, contain oil paintings representing different images of Saints.
It is located south of Red Square, in the heart of Moscow.
It was built between 1955 and 1961, commissioned by the Tsar in commemoration of Russia’s victory over the Kazan khanate. The Cathedral has resisted several attacks that could have ended its existence. One of them happened around 1812, during the Napoleonic invasion of Russia. Napoleonic troops were ordered to blow up the Cathedral. Despite this, only looting took place. After the war, the Church was reformed and re-consecrated. As a protection, the Cathedral was fenced with a wrought iron fence.
From the end of the nineteenth century, successive restorations began with the aim of restoring it to its original appearance. These reforms were interrupted by the October Revolution in 1917. The year after the start of the Revolution, the Soviet State established protection for the Cathedral, named it a monument of national importance and turned it into a historical and architectural museum in 1923. Religious services continued to be held until 1929.
Another important milestone for the history of the Cathedral is its election by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with other buildings and monuments of historical importance.
The chapel, which had been closed for many years, resumed the celebration of religious services in 1997.
A major restoration was carried out between 2001 and 2001, to renovate the facade and part of the interior painting.
In 2007, St. Basil’s Cathedral won the “7 Wonders of Russia” competition, reaffirming its status as a major tourist attraction and a must for anyone taking a tour of Moscow.