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450th Birthday of St. Basil's Cathedral

12. July 2011 by Michelle 0 Comments

St. Basil's Cathedral

450 years ago today, St. Basil's Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Holy Veil of the Mother of God, was completed. It was built from 1555 to 1561 and St. Basil's tomb sits underneath the construction site.


Many legends have been told about this architectural symbol of Russia's capital city, such as Ivan the Terrible blinding the builders so they could not construct anything as beautiful.


"I think that the most interesting story is that St. Basil’s is an unparalleled building not to be found anywhere else in the world. There are nine chapels on one foundation that are linked by vaults inside,” says Lubov Uspenskaya from the museum.


Today, the museum is welcoming visitors for free with guided tours every 30 minutes. Many are surprised at how amazing the massive monument looks in its old age.


"St. Basil’s is the only architectural monument in Moscow and all Russia which was continually restored during all of last century," explains Andrey Batalov, the deputy director of the Moscow Kremlin Museums.


Services are held in the Cathedral just twice a year: on the Day of St. Basil’s Memory (January 1st) and on the Day of the Holy Veil of the Mother of God (October 1st). However, this morning, Patriarch Kirill conducted a Divine Liturgy in the Cathedral in honor of its 450th birthday.


The Voice of Russia