St. Basil´s Cathedral in Moscow

St. Basil´s Cathedral is one of the most recognisable buildings in the whole Russia. It is situated in the south-east end on the Red Square. The building is a great mixture of western and eastern architecture. It is mostly known as St. Basil´s Cathedral, but the official name is “The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat”. The popular alternative is Basil the Blessed.
The Cathedral was ordered by Ivan the Terrible, but nothing is known about the builders, Barma and Postnik, except their names and some legends. Moreover architectural specialists still are unable to agree about the governing idea which is hidden behind the structure. The creators could pay homage to the churches of Jerusalem or building eight churches around a central ninth can represent the medieval symbol of the eight-pointed star. Although the towers and domes appear chaotic, there is symmetry and symbolism in its design. In addition, originally the Cathedral was all while to match the white-stone Kremlin. The most interesting chapel is the main one, which contains a 19th century baroque iconostasis.
During the time of Soviet Union there was a talk of demolishing the cathedral because it hindered Stalin´s plans for massed parades on the Red Square. In the end it was saved thanks to the courage of the architect Pyotr Baranovsky who refused categorically to demolish it and sent the Kremlin an extremely blunt telegram, so the Cathedral remains standing. However, Baranovsky was sentenced for five years in prison.
At present the Cathedral is a museum. A spiral staircase was discovered in the 1970s within one of the walls during restoration work. So, visitors take tour into the central church, but they can also walk along the narrow, winding gallery, covered in beautiful patterned paintwork.
The opening hours are daily from 11.00 to 17.00, but it is closed on Tuesdays.