On the south side of Red Square picturesquely. near the Trinity Church which already stood here, in honor of the saint on whose feast day the victory was won. Thus, by the end of the war, there were eight churches on this site. After the final victory, Ivan the Terrible, on the advice of Metropolitan Makary, ordered stone churches to be built in place of the wooden ones. Cathedral of St.Basil the Blessed, 16th century. Built by master builders Barma and Posnik
St. Basil’s rises from Red Square in an irresistible profusion of colors and shapeshave fascinated the eyes of visitors since its construction in the 1550s. Although St. Basil’s was built to commemorate Ivan the Terrible’s capture of the Mongol stronghold of Kazan and is properly named Cathedral of the Intercession, its popular name has long associated it with a ragged prophet who foretold the Mscow fire of 1547. The colorful cupolas of the Cathedral of the Intercession.
The Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, a wonderful creation of Old Russian architecture, rises high above Moscow . It was built by Barma and Posnik, as a monument to a major turning point in Russian history,. the defeat of the Kazan Khanate (1552-1554).Eight, small wooden, pillar like churches were erected on a single foundation, placed symmetrically round the ninth central pillar, symbolizing the eight major victories, in the attempt to take Kazan. Its montage of domes, cupolas, arches, towers, and spires, each bear a distinctive pattern and hue.
the master builders commissioned by the czar to do the job (there are reasons to assume that they were, in fact, one person), however, created a monument whose composition has no parallel in the entire history of world architecture. They The central church was dedicated to the Feast of the Intercession of Our Lady, celebrated on October I, the day when the walls of Kazan were blown up and the city was taken by assault. That is why the entire cathedral was named the Cathedral of the Intercession. Construction which employed bricks, a relatively new building material at the time, lasted from 1555 to 1561. The foundation, the base and some of the decorative elements were made of white stone. The cathedral is striking in the diversity of its architectural forms and the flights of imagination displayed by its creators: each of the cathedral’s pillars differs from the others. Until the additions made to the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, it was the tallest structure in Moscow and from the moment of its appearance it became the most popular church in town.
From the very beginning the cathedral had no clearly defined main facade. The building was intended to be seen from all sides and to be walked around both on the outside and on the inside. In contrast to the monumental outward appearance, the interiors create an impression of a narrow labyrinth interrupted by the vertical inner spaces of the pillar churches. The biggest of them, the pillar of the Church of the Intercession (height, 46 meters above floor level), has an inside floor area of 64 square metros.
The cathedral retained its original shape until 1588, when a tenth church was added over the grave of Vasili (Basil) the Blessed, a Jester of the Lord well-known in Moscow at the time, on the northwest side. Ever since, the Cathedral of the Intercession has been known as the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed.
During restoration work in 1954-1955, when part of the brick facing of the walls eroded by the wind was replaced, a system which had made it possible to erect such a complex building without graphic drawings, formerly unknown in Russian architecture, was uncovered. All the walls of the building are pierced with wooden constructions which acted as a sort of “spatial drawing”. The rather slender beams joined together both horizontally and vertically were used to outline the silhouette of the future building before bricklaying was started and to indicate the size and position of all its architectural and decorative elements. The cathedral has become an integral part of the ensemble of Red Square and one of its most vivid adornments.
The appeal of St. Basil’s is best appreciated by a leisurely stroll around its perimeter, as its wondrous exterior decoration belies a remarkably plain and cramped interior. .