St Basil’s Cathedral
Although it’s known to everyone as St. Basil’s, this legendary building is officially called “The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat”. The popular alternative refers to Basil the Blessed, a Muscovite ‘holy fool’ who was buried on the site (in the Trinity Cathedral that once stood here) a few years before the present building was erected.
The Cathedral was ordered by Ivan the Terrible to mark the 1552 capture of Kazan from Mongol forces. It was completed in 1560.
Nothing is known about the builders, Barma and Postnik Yakovlev, except their names and the dubious legend that Ivan had them blinded so that they could not create anything to compare. Historians unanimously state that this is nothing but urban folklore.
Today, St Basil’s has one service per year and is now the Pokrovsky Cathedral Museum”
Return To: Moscow, Red Square