I’ve always loved this building, it’s one of the best landmarks in the world, it’s full of colour and I find it to be a confident structure which dominates and stands tall in the the Russian capital Moscow.
I particularly love the flamboyant nature of this fantastic cathedral, I wish in England we had a monument this fantastical, when I was a child St Basil’s cathedral always reminded me of the candy house in the fairytale Hansel and Gretal, there’s something so magical and breath taking about this great piece of architecture that fires the imagination.
Folklore says that Ivan the Terrible, who had the cathedral built, blinded all the architects so they could never build anything like it again.
St Basil’s is named after the ‘holy fool’ Basil the Blessed, Saint Basil was an unorthodox saint infamous for his naked walks around Moscow in the bitter cold, shoplifting, champion of the poor and for his open mockery of Ivan the Terrible, who feared Basil as ‘a seer of people’s hearts and minds’
The only building I can think of that I have seen that comes any where close in England to St Basil’s cathedral, is the Dome in Brighton, but the Dome pales in comparison to St Basil’s.
The white, small building in Brighton is no carnival of colour like Moscow’s amazing cathedral, although originally St Basil’s was white to match the Kremlin’s white lime building and it’s onion shaped domed roofs were gold, the cathedral was built in 1561 by Ivan the Terrible to mark the 1552 capture of Kazan from Mongol forces.
St Basil’s Cathedral got it’s great colour in 1800’s, I’m glad it did, if it had stayed white with it’s gold dome roofs it would be like all the other landmarks around the world and wouldn’t be, as it is to me, like a fairytale palace.
The design is thought to be based on the New Jerusalem of the Bible, but very little is know of it’s exact architectural history.
The Cathedral is under constant threat in the modern world from vibration, whether it be the Russians Military Parades in Red Square as tanks go rumbling passed or from Rock concerts shaking the foundations.
It’s not only Rock Concerts St Basil’s Cathedral as had to weather, throughout it’s History many people have tried to destroy this magnificent building, it’s said Napoleon Bonaparte tried to blow it up, but it rain and all the fusses went out :).
Early Communist leaders wanted to clear the way and destroy St Basil’s Cathedral, they saw it as an obstacle to Starlin’s military parades, but the architect that was given the job refused to destroy the building and set a blunt telegram to the Kremlin, the cathedral was saved but the architect was imprisoned for five years.
“This cathedral is a shrine and a symbol of Russia,” Deputy Culture Minister Andrey Busygin. “It’s a miracle it survived at all.”
St Basil’s Cathedral is a museum now, it holds one church service a year on the day of Intercession in October, the structure isn’t one building but is in fact made up of eight small churches that surround the center ninth building.
Today celebrates the end of restoration work on St Basil’s Cathedral it’s estimated to have cost $14 Million dollars to complete, personally I can’t think of a better why to spend money, St Basil’s is one of a kind and it sets Russia’s capital city Moscow apart from other cities in the world, other countries obviously have some beautiful architecture adorned by stunning carvings, but for me the vivid colour of Moscow’s crowning glory is so unexpected that it is simply awe inspiring, the eye catching and consuming presence of St Basil’s Cathedral isn’t what you would expect to see when your used to grey, terracotta or white major landmarks around the world.