Saint Basil's Cathedral
Overview
 
The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat , popularly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral , is a Russian Orthodox church erected on the Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

 in Moscow in 1555–61. Built on the order of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of Kazan
Siege of Kazan (1552)
The siege of Kazan in 1552 was the final battle of Russo-Kazan Wars. It led to the fall of Kazan Khanate. However, it was not the last battle on the khanate's territory. After the fall of Kazan, rebel governments formed in Çalım and Mişätamaq, and a new khan was invited from the Nogais...

 and Astrakhan
Astrakhan
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...

, it marks the geometric centre of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century. It was the tallest building in Moscow until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower
Ivan the Great Bell Tower
The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is the tallest of the towers in the Moscow Kremlin complex, with a total height of . It was built in 1508 for the Russian Orthodox cathedrals in Cathedral Square, namely the Assumption, Archangel and Annunciation cathedrals, which do not have their own belfries...

 in 1600.

The original building, known as "Trinity Church" and later "Trinity Cathedral", contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local saint Vasily (Basil).
Encyclopedia
The Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat , popularly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral , is a Russian Orthodox church erected on the Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

 in Moscow in 1555–61. Built on the order of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of Kazan
Siege of Kazan (1552)
The siege of Kazan in 1552 was the final battle of Russo-Kazan Wars. It led to the fall of Kazan Khanate. However, it was not the last battle on the khanate's territory. After the fall of Kazan, rebel governments formed in Çalım and Mişätamaq, and a new khan was invited from the Nogais...

 and Astrakhan
Astrakhan
Astrakhan is a major city in southern European Russia and the administrative center of Astrakhan Oblast. The city lies on the left bank of the Volga River, close to where it discharges into the Caspian Sea at an altitude of below the sea level. Population:...

, it marks the geometric centre of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century. It was the tallest building in Moscow until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower
Ivan the Great Bell Tower
The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is the tallest of the towers in the Moscow Kremlin complex, with a total height of . It was built in 1508 for the Russian Orthodox cathedrals in Cathedral Square, namely the Assumption, Archangel and Annunciation cathedrals, which do not have their own belfries...

 in 1600.

The original building, known as "Trinity Church" and later "Trinity Cathedral", contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local saint Vasily (Basil). In the 16th and 17th centuries the church, perceived as the earthly symbol of the Heavenly City, , as happens to all churches in Byzantine Christianity, was popularly known as the "Jerusalem
Jerusalem in Christianity
For Christians, Jerusalem's place in the ministry of Jesus and the Apostolic Age gives it great importance, in addition to its place in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible.-Jerusalem in the New Testament and early Christianity:...

" and served as an allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 of the Jerusalem Temple
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

 in the annual Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four Canonical Gospels. ....

 parade attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and the tsar.

The building's design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, has no analogues in Russian architecture
Russian architecture
Russian architecture follows a tradition whose roots were established in the Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus'. After the fall of Kiev, Russian architectural history continued in the principalities of Vladimir-Suzdal, Novgorod, the succeeding states of the Tsardom of Russia, the Russian Empire,...

: "It is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium
Millennium
A millennium is a period of time equal to one thousand years —from the Latin phrase , thousand, and , year—often but not necessarily related numerically to a particular dating system....

 of Byzantine tradition
Byzantine art
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453....

 from the fifth to fifteenth century ... a strangeness that astonishes by its unexpectedness, complexity and dazzling interleaving of the manifold details of its design." The cathedral foreshadowed the climax of Russian national architecture in the 17th century.

Under the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 the church was re-purposed and has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum
State Historical Museum
The State Historical Museum of Russia is a museum of Russian history wedged between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of the prehistoric tribes inhabiting present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty...

 since 1928. It was completely secularized
Secularization
Secularization is the transformation of a society from close identification with religious values and institutions toward non-religious values and secular institutions...

 in 1929 and, , remains a federal property of the Russian Federation. The church has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

 UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 since 1990.

It is often mislabelled as the Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

 owing to its location on Red Square in immediate proximity of the Kremlin.

Construction under Ivan IV

The site of the church has been, historically, a busy marketplace between the St. Frol's (later Saviour's) Gate of the Moscow Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

 and the outlying posad
Posad
A posad was a settlement, often surrounded by ramparts and a moat, adjoining a town or a kremlin, but outside of it, or adjoining a monastery in the 10th to 15th centuries. Usually it was inhabited by craftsmen and merchants, known as posadskiye lyudi .In the Russian Empire a posad was a small...

. The centre of the marketplace was marked by the Trinity Church, built of the same white stone as the Kremlin of Dmitry Donskoy (1366–68) and its cathedrals. Tsar Ivan IV marked every victory of the Russo-Kazan War by erecting a wooden memorial church next to the walls of Trinity Church; by the end of his Astrakhan campaign
Astrakhan Khanate
The Khanate of Astrakhan was a Tatar feudal state that appeared after the collapse of the Golden Horde. The Khanate existed in the 15th and 16th centuries in the area adjacent to the mouth of the Volga river, where the contemporary city of Astrakhan/Hajji Tarkhan is now located...

 it was literally shrouded within a cluster of seven wooden churches. According to the sketchy report in Nikon's Chronicle
Nikon Chronicle
The Nikon Chronicle or Chronicle of Nikon , also known as the Patriarch's Chronicle , is a major 16th century Russian chronicle. It was named after patriarch Nikon, who owned a copy...

, in the autumn of 1554 Ivan ordered construction of a wooden Church of Intercession on the same site, "on the moat". One year later Ivan ordered construction of a new stone cathedral on the site of Trinity Church that would commemorate his campaigns. Dedication of a church to a military victory was "a major innovation" for Muscovy. The placement of the church outside of the Kremlin walls was a political statement in favour of posad
Posad
A posad was a settlement, often surrounded by ramparts and a moat, adjoining a town or a kremlin, but outside of it, or adjoining a monastery in the 10th to 15th centuries. Usually it was inhabited by craftsmen and merchants, known as posadskiye lyudi .In the Russian Empire a posad was a small...

 commoners and against hereditary boyars.

Chronists clearly identified the new building as Trinity Church, after its easternmost sanctuary
Sanctuary
A sanctuary is any place of safety. They may be categorized into human and non-human .- Religious sanctuary :A religious sanctuary can be a sacred place , or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.- Sanctuary as a sacred place :#Sanctuary as a sacred place:#:In...

; the status of "sobor
Sobor
A sobor is a council of bishops together with other clerical and lay delegates representing the church as a whole in matters of importance...

" (large assembly church) has not been bestowed on it yet:
Identity of the architect or architects is unknown. Tradition held that the church was built by two architects, Barma and Postnik: the official Russian cultural heritage register
Russian cultural heritage register
The national cultural heritage register of Russia is a data bank of historically or culturally significant man-made immovable properties – landmark buildings, industrial facilities, memorial homes of notable people of the past, monuments, cemeteries and tombs, archaeological sites, and cultural...

 lists "Barma and Postnik Yakovlev". Researchers proposed that both names refer to the same person, Postnik Yakovlev
Postnik Yakovlev
Postnik Yakovlev , is most famous as the architect and builder of Saint Basil's Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow...

 or, alternatively, Ivan Yakovlevich Barma (Varfolomey). Legend held that Ivan blinded the architect so that he could not re-create the masterpiece elsewhere, although the real Postnik Yakovlev remained active at least throughout the 1560s. There is evidence that construction involved stonemasons from Pskov
Pskov
Pskov is an ancient city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of Russia about east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: -Early history:...

 and German lands.

Architectural Style

Because the church has no analogues, even remote, in preceding, contemporary or later architecture of Muscovy and Byzantine cultural tradition in general, the sources that inspired Barma and Postnik are disputed. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
Eugène Viollet-le-Duc
Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was a French architect and theorist, famous for his interpretive "restorations" of medieval buildings. Born in Paris, he was a major Gothic Revival architect.-Early years:...

 rejected European roots for the cathedral; according to him, its corbel arch
Corbel arch
A corbel arch is an arch-like construction method that uses the architectural technique of corbeling to span a space or void in a structure, such as an entranceway in a wall or as the span of a bridge...

es were Byzantine, and ultimately Asian. A modern "Asian" hypothesis considers the cathedral a recreation of Qolsharif Mosque
Qolsharif mosque
The Qolşärif mosque located in Kazan Kremlin, was reputed to be -at the time of its construction- the largest mosque in Russia, and in Europe outside of Istanbul.-History:...

, which was destroyed by Russian troops after the siege of Kazan.

Nineteenth-century Russian writers, starting with Ivan Zabelin, emphasized the influence of the vernacular
Vernacular architecture
Vernacular architecture is a term used to categorize methods of construction which use locally available resources and traditions to address local needs and circumstances. Vernacular architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental, cultural and historical context in which it...

 wooden churches of the Russian North; their motifs made their ways into masonry, particularly the votive churches
Votive offering
A votive deposit or votive offering is one or more objects displayed or deposited, without the intention of recovery or use, in a sacred place for broadly religious purposes. Such items are a feature of modern and ancient societies and are generally made in order to gain favor with supernatural...

 that did not need to house substantial congregations. David Watkin
David Watkin (historian)
David John Watkin, MA PhD LittD Hon FRIBA FSA is a British architectural historian. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and Professor Emeritus of History of Architecture in the Department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge...

 also wrote of a blend of Russian and Byzantine roots, calling the cathedral "the climax" of Russian vernacular wooden architecture.

The church combines the staggered layered design of the earliest (1505–08) part of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower
Ivan the Great Bell Tower
The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is the tallest of the towers in the Moscow Kremlin complex, with a total height of . It was built in 1508 for the Russian Orthodox cathedrals in Cathedral Square, namely the Assumption, Archangel and Annunciation cathedrals, which do not have their own belfries...

, the central tent of the Church of Ascension in Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye is a former royal estate situated several kilometers to the south-east of the city-centre of Moscow, Russia, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna...

 (1530s), and the cylindric shape of the Church of Beheading of John the Baptist in Dyakovo (1547), but the origin of these unique buildings is equally debated. The Church in Kolomenskoye, according to Sergey Podyapolsky, was built by Italian Petrok Maly
Petrok Maly
Petrok Maly, also known as Petrok Maly Fryazin , was an Italian architect, who arrived in Moscow together with the envoys of Pope Clement VII in 1528....

, although mainstream history has not yet accepted his opinion. Andrey Batalov revised the year of completion of Dyakovo church from 1547 to the 1560s–70s, and noted that Trinity Church could have had no tangible predecessors at all.

Dmitry Shvidkovsky
Dmitry Shvidkovsky
Dmitry Shvidkovsky is a Russian educator and historian of architecture of Russia and the United Kingdom during the Age of Enlightenment. A 1982 alumnus and long-term professor of Moscow Architectural Institute, Shvidkovsky was appointed its rector in 2007....

 suggested that the "improbable" shapes of the Intercession Church and the Church of Ascension in Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye
Kolomenskoye is a former royal estate situated several kilometers to the south-east of the city-centre of Moscow, Russia, on the ancient road leading to the town of Kolomna...

 manifested an emerging national renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, blending earlier Muscovite elements with the influence of Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

. A large group of Italian architects and craftsmen continuously worked in Moscow in 1474–1539, as well as Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 refugees that arrived in the city after the fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

. These two groups, according to Shvidkovsky, helped Moscow rulers in forging the doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

 of Third Rome
Third Rome
The term Third Rome describes the idea that some European city, state, or country is the successor to the legacy of the Roman Empire and its successor state, the Byzantine Empire ....

, which in turn promoted assimilation
Cultural assimilation
Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used with regard to immigrants and various ethnic groups who have settled in a new land. New...

 of contemporary Greek and Italian culture. Shvidkovsky noted the resemblance of the cathedral's floorplan to Italian concepts by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
thumb|250px|The church of Santa Maria di Loreto near the [[Trajan's Market]] in [[Rome]], considered Sangallo's masterwork.thumb|250px|View of St. Patrick's Well in [[Orvieto]]....

 and Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante was an Italian architect, who introduced the Early Renaissance style to Milan and the High Renaissance style to Rome, where his most famous design was St...

, but most likely Filarete
Filarete
Antonio di Pietro Averlino , also "Averulino", known as Filarete was an Italian Renaissance architect, sculptor and architectural theorist from Florence. He is perhaps best remembered for his design of the ideal city of Sforzinda, the first ideal city plan of the Renaissance.-Biography:Antonio di...

's Trattato di architettura. Other Russian researchers noted a resemblance to sketches by Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

, although he could not have been known in Ivan's Moscow. Nikolay Brunov recognized the influence of these prototypes but not their significance; he suggested that in the mid-16th century Moscow already had local architects trained in Italian tradition, architectural drawing
Architectural drawing
An architectural drawing or architect's drawing is a technical drawing of a building that falls within the definition of architecture...

 and perspective
Perspective (graphical)
Perspective in the graphic arts, such as drawing, is an approximate representation, on a flat surface , of an image as it is seen by the eye...

, and that this culture was lost during the Time of Troubles
Time of Troubles
The Time of Troubles was a period of Russian history comprising the years of interregnum between the death of the last Russian Tsar of the Rurik Dynasty, Feodor Ivanovich, in 1598, and the establishment of the Romanov Dynasty in 1613. In 1601-1603, Russia suffered a famine that killed one-third...

.

Andrey Batalov wrote that, judging by the amount of novel elements introduced with Trinity Church, it was most likely built by German craftsmen. Batalov and Shvidkovsky noted that in Ivan's reign, Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 and Englishmen
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 replaced Italians, although German influence peaked later, in the reign of Mikhail Romanov. German influence is indirectly supported by the rusticated
Rustication (architecture)
thumb|upright|Two different styles of rustication in the [[Palazzo Medici-Riccardi]] in [[Florence]].In classical architecture rustication is an architectural feature that contrasts in texture with the smoothly finished, squared block masonry surfaces called ashlar...

 pilaster
Pilaster
A pilaster is a slightly-projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall. Most commonly flattened or rectangular in form, pilasters can also take a half-round form or the shape of any type of column, including tortile....

s of the central church, a feature more common in contemporary Northern Europe than in Italy.

The 1983 academic edition of Monuments of Architecture in Moscow takes middle ground: the church is, most likely, a product of the complex interaction of distinct Russian traditions of wooden and stone architecture, with some elements borrowed from the works of Italians in Moscow. Specifically, the style of brickwork in the vaults is Italian.

Layout

Instead of literally following the original ad hoc
Ad hoc
Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes. Compare A priori....

 layout (seven churches around the central core), Ivan's architects opted for a symmetrical floor plan with "eight" side churches around the core, producing "a thoroughly coherent, logical plan" despite the erroneous latter "notion of a structure devoid of restraint or reason" influenced by the memory of Ivan's irrational atrocities. The central core and the four larger churches placed on compass point
Compass Point
Compass Point may refer to:* Compass point, a direction on a traditional compass* Compass Point * Compass Point Shopping Centre, a shopping mall in Singapore* Compass Point Studios, a studio in Nassau, Bahamas...

s are octagonal, the four diagonal
Diagonal
A diagonal is a line joining two nonconsecutive vertices of a polygon or polyhedron. Informally, any sloping line is called diagonal. The word "diagonal" derives from the Greek διαγώνιος , from dia- and gonia ; it was used by both Strabo and Euclid to refer to a line connecting two vertices of a...

ly placed smaller churches are cuboid
Cuboid
In geometry, a cuboid is a solid figure bounded by six faces, forming a convex polyhedron. There are two competing definitions of a cuboid in mathematical literature...

, although their shape is barely visible through later additions. The larger churches firmly stand on their massive foundations, while the smaller ones were placed on a raised platform, as if hovering above ground.

Although the side churches are arranged in perfect symmetry, the cathedral as a whole is not. The larger central church was deliberately offset to the west from the geometric center of the side churches, to accommodate its larger apse
Apse
In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

 on the eastern side. As a result of this subtle calculated asymmetry
Asymmetry
Asymmetry is the absence of, or a violation of, symmetry.-In organisms:Due to how cells divide in organisms, asymmetry in organisms is fairly usual in at least one dimension, with biological symmetry also being common in at least one dimension....

  viewing from north and south presents a complex multi-axial shape while the western facade, facing the Kremlin, appears properly symmetrical and monolithic. The latter perception is reinforced by fortress-style machicolation
Machicolation
A machicolation is a floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement, through which stones, or other objects, could be dropped on attackers at the base of a defensive wall. The design was developed in the Middle Ages when the Norman crusaders returned. A machicolated battlement...

 and corbel
Corbel
In architecture a corbel is a piece of stone jutting out of a wall to carry any superincumbent weight. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger". The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or...

ed cornice of the western church of Entry into Jerusalem, mirroring real fortifications of the Kremlin.

Inside the composite church is a labyrinth
Labyrinth
In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos...

 of narrow vault
Vault (architecture)
A Vault is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. The parts of a vault exert lateral thrust that require a counter resistance. When vaults are built underground, the ground gives all the resistance required...

ed corridors and vertical cylinders of the churches. The largest, central church of the Intercession is 46 metres tall internally but has a floor area of only 64 square metres. Nevertheless, it is wider and airier than the church in Kolomenskoye with its exceptionally thick walls. The corridors functioned as internal parvise
Parvise
Parvise or parvis may refer to:#A room over the porch of a church — quite often found in Norman churches in England. In some churches these rooms were used for school rooms and in Castle Ashby was the home of a woman - who saved the manor house from burning when she saw the fire taking hold from...

s; the western corridor, adorned with a unique flat caissoned ceiling
Coffer
A coffer in architecture, is a sunken panel in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon in a ceiling, soffit or vault...

, doubled as the narthex
Narthex
The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church's main altar. Traditionally the narthex was a part of the church building, but was not considered part of the church proper...

.

The detached belfry
Bell tower
A bell tower is a tower which contains one or more bells, or which is designed to hold bells, even if it has none. In the European tradition, such a tower most commonly serves as part of a church and contains church bells. When attached to a city hall or other civic building, especially in...

 of the original Trinity Church stood south-west or south from the main structure. Late 16th- and early 17th-century plans depict a simple structure with three roof tents
Tented roof
A tented roof is a type of roof widely used in 16th and 17th century Russian architecture for churches. It is like a polygonal spire but differs in purpose in that it is typically used to roof the main internal space of a church, rather than an auxiliary structure...

, most likely covered with sheet metal. No buildings of this type survived to date, although it was then common and used in all pass-through towers of Skorodom. August von Meyerberg's panorama (1661) presents a different building, with a cluster of small onion dome
Onion dome
An onion dome is a dome whose shape resembles the onion, after which they are named. Such domes are often larger in diameter than the drum upon which they are set, and their height usually exceeds their width...

s.

Structure

Foundations, traditionally for medieval Moscow, were built of white stone, while the churches themselves were built of red brick (28×14×8 centimeters), then a relatively new material (the first attested brick building in Moscow, the new Kremlin Wall
Kremlin Wall
The Kremlin Wall is a defensive wall that surrounds the Moscow Kremlin, recognizable by the characteristic notches and its Kremlin towers. The original walls were likely a simple wooden fence with guard towers built in 1156.-History:...

, was launched in 1485). Surveys of the structure showed that the basement level is perfectly aligned, indicating use of professional drawing and measurement, but each subsequent level becomes less and less regular. Restorers who replaced parts of the brickwork in 1954–55 discovered that the massive brick walls conceal an internal wooden frame running the whole height of the church. This frame, made of elaborately tied thin studs, was erected as a life-size spatial model of the future cathedral and was gradually enclosed in solid masonry.

The builders, fascinated by flexibility of the new technology, used brick as decorative medium inside and outside, leaving as much brickwork open as possible; when location required use of stone walls, they decorated it with brickwork pattern painted over stucco
Stucco
Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture...

. A major novelty introduced by the church was the use of strictly "architectural" means of exterior decoration. Sculpture and sacred symbols employed by earlier Russian architecture are completely missing, floral ornaments are a later addition; instead, the church boasts a diversity of three-dimensional architectural elements executed in brick.

Color

The church acquired its present-day vivid colors in several stages from the 1680s to 1848. Russians' attitude to colour in the 17th century changed in favour of bright colours; icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

 and mural
Mural
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...

 art experienced an explosive growth in number of available paints, dyes and their combinations. The original colour scheme, missing these innovations, was far less challenging. It followed the depiction of Heavenly City in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is the final book of the New Testament. The title came into usage from the first word of the book in Koine Greek: apokalupsis, meaning "unveiling" or "revelation"...

:
The 25 seats from the biblical reference are alluded to in the building's structure, with the addition of eight small onion domes around the central tent, four around the western side church and four elsewhere. This arrangement survived through most of the 17th century. Walls of the church mixed bare red brickwork or painted imitation of bricks with white ornaments, in roughly equal proportion. The domes, covered with tin, were uniformly gilded
Gilding
The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf or powder to solid surfaces such as wood, stone, or metal to give a thin coating of gold. A gilded object is described as "gilt"...

, creating an overall bright but fairly traditional combination of white, red and golden colours. Moderate use of green and blue ceramic inserts provided a touch of rainbow
Rainbow
A rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that causes a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the Sun shines on to droplets of moisture in the Earth's atmosphere. It takes the form of a multicoloured arc...

 as prescribed by the Bible.

While historians agree on the color of the 16th-century domes, their shape is disputed. Boris Eding wrote that they, most likely, were of the same onion shape as present-day domes. However, both Kolomenskoye and Dyakovo churches have flattened hemispherical domes, and the same type could have been used by Barma and Postnik.

1583–93

The original Trinity Church burnt down in 1583 and was refit by 1593. The ninth sanctuary, dedicated to Basil Fool for Christ
Basil Fool for Christ
Basil the Blessed is a Russian Orthodox saint of the type known as yurodivy or "holy fool for Christ"....

 (1460s–1552), was added in 1588 next to the north-eastern sanctuary of the Three Patriarchs. Another local fool, Ivan the Blessed, was buried on the church grounds in 1589; a sanctuary in his memory was established in 1672 inside the south-eastern arcade.

The vault of the Saint Basil Sanctuary serves as a reference point in evaluating the quality of Muscovite stonemasonry and engineering. As one of the first vaults of its type, it represents the average of engineering craft that peaked a decade later in the church of Trinity in Khoroshovo (completed 1596). The COWS!! craft was lost in the Time of Troubles
Time of Troubles
The Time of Troubles was a period of Russian history comprising the years of interregnum between the death of the last Russian Tsar of the Rurik Dynasty, Feodor Ivanovich, in 1598, and the establishment of the Romanov Dynasty in 1613. In 1601-1603, Russia suffered a famine that killed one-third...

; buildings of the first half of the 17th century lack the refinement of the late 16th century, compensating for poor construction skill with thicker walls and heavier vaults.

1680–83

The second, and most significant, round of refit and expansion took place in 1680–83. The nine churches themselves retained their appearance, but additions to the ground-floor arcade and the first-floor platform were so profound that Nikolay Brunov considered the rebuilt composite church a "new" building and an independent work that incorporated the "old" Trinity Church. What once was a group of nine independent churches on a common platform became a monolithic temple.

The formerly opened ground-floor arcades were filled with brick walls; the new space housed altar
Altar
An altar is any structure upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for religious purposes. Altars are usually found at shrines, and they can be located in temples, churches and other places of worship...

s from thirteen former wooden churches erected on the site of Ivan's executions in Red Square. Wooden shelters above the first-floor platform and stairs (the cause of frequent fires) were rebuilt in brick, creating the present-day wraparound galleries with tented roofs above the porches and vestibules.

The old detached belfry was demolished; its square basement was reused for a new belltower. The tall single tented roof
Tented roof
A tented roof is a type of roof widely used in 16th and 17th century Russian architecture for churches. It is like a polygonal spire but differs in purpose in that it is typically used to roof the main internal space of a church, rather than an auxiliary structure...

 of this belltower, built in the vernacular style of the reign of Alexis I
Alexis I of Russia
Aleksey Mikhailovich Romanov was the Tsar of Russia during some of the most eventful decades of the mid-17th century...

, significantly changed the appearance of the cathedral, adding a strong asymmetrical counterweight to the church itself. The effect is most pronounced on the southern and eastern facades (as viewed from Zaryadye
Zaryadye
Zaryadye is a historical district in Moscow established in 12-13th centuries within Kitai-gorod, between Varvarka Street and Moskva River. The name means "the place behind the rows", i.e., behind the market rows adjacent to the Red Square.-History:...

), although the belltower is large enough to be seen from the west.

The first ornamental murals in the cathedral appeared in the same period, starting with floral ornaments inside the new galleries; the towers retained their original brickwork pattern. Finally, in 1683 the church was adorned with a tiled cornice
Cornice
Cornice molding is generally any horizontal decorative molding that crowns any building or furniture element: the cornice over a door or window, for instance, or the cornice around the edge of a pedestal. A simple cornice may be formed just with a crown molding.The function of the projecting...

, in yellow and blue colours, featuring a written history of the church in Old Slavic
Old Slavic
Old Slavic may refer to:*the Old Church Slavonic language*the Proto-Slavic language language...

 typeface.

1737–84

In 1737 the church was damaged by a massive fire and later restored by Ivan Michurin
Ivan Fyodorovich Michurin
Ivan Fyodorovich Michurin was a Russian architect whose designs marked a transition of Russian architecture from early Muscovite Baroque to mature Rastrelliesque style....

. The inscriptions made in 1683 were removed during the repairs of 1761–84. The church received its first figurative
Figurative art
Figurative art, sometimes written as figurativism, describes artwork—particularly paintings and sculptures—which are clearly derived from real object sources, and are therefore by definition representational.-Definition:...

 murals inside the churches; all exterior and interior walls of the first two floors were covered with floral ornament. The belltower was connected with the church through a ground-floor annex; the last remaining open arches of the former ground-floor arcade were filled during the same period, erasing the last hint of what was once an open platform carrying the nine churches of Ivan's Jerusalem.

1800–48

Paintings of Red Square by Fedor Alekseev
Fedor Alekseev
Fedor Yakovlevich Alekseev was an early Russian painter of landscape art.After training in the Saint Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts, he spent three years in Venice studying the works of famous French and Italian landscape painters.Returning to Saint Petersburg to work, his popularity grew...

, made in 1800–02, show that by this time the church was enclosed in an apparently chaotic cluster of commercial buildings; rows of shops "transformed Red Square into an oblong and closed yard." In 1800 the space between the Kremlin wall and the church was still occupied by a moat
Moat
A moat is a deep, broad ditch, either dry or filled with water, that surrounds a castle, other building or town, historically to provide it with a preliminary line of defence. In some places moats evolved into more extensive water defences, including natural or artificial lakes, dams and sluices...

 that predated the church itself. The moat was filled in preparation for the coronation of Alexander I
Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia , served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and the first Russian King of Poland from 1815 to 1825. He was also the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania....

 in 1801.

The French troops who occupied Moscow in 1812
French invasion of Russia
The French invasion of Russia of 1812 was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. It reduced the French and allied invasion forces to a tiny fraction of their initial strength and triggered a major shift in European politics as it dramatically weakened French hegemony in Europe...

 used the church for stables and looted anything worth taking. The church was spared by the Fire of Moscow (1812)
Fire of Moscow (1812)
The 1812 Fire of Moscow broke out on September 14, 1812 in Moscow on the day when Russian troops and most residents abandoned the city and Napoleon's vanguard troops entered the city following the Battle of Borodino...

 that razed Kitai-gorod, and by the troops' failure to blow it up according to Napoleon's order. The interiors were repaired in 1813, and the exterior in 1816. Instead of replacing missing ceramic tiles of the main tent, the Church preferred to simply cover it with a tin roof.

The fate of the immediate environment of the church has been a subject of dispute between city planners since 1813. Scotsman William Hastie
William Heste
William Hastie was a Russian architect, civil engineer and town planner of Scottish descent. His name is also transliterated back from Russian as William Heste or, seldom, Vasily Heste....

 proposed clearing the space around all sides of the church and all the way down to the Moskva River
Moskva River
The Moskva River is a river that flows through the Moscow and Smolensk Oblasts in Russia, and is a tributary of the Oka River.-Etymology:...

: the official commission led by Fyodor Rostopchin
Fyodor Rostopchin
Count Fyodor Vasilyevich Rostopchin was a Russian statesman, who served as governor of Moscow during French invasion of Russia.Rostopchin was born in Orel, son of Vasily Fyodorovich Rostopchin, Lord of Livna and ... Krakova...

 and Mikhail Tsitsianov agreed to clear only the space between the church and Lobnoye Mesto
Lobnoye Mesto
Lobnoye mesto , also known as the Place of Skulls, is a 13-meter-long stone platform situated on Red Square in Moscow in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral....

. Hastie's plan could have radically transformed the city, but he lost to the opposition, whose plans were finally endorsed by Alexander I in December 1817 (specific decision on clearing the rubble around the church was issued in 1816).

Nevertheless, actual redevelopment by Joseph Bove
Joseph Bové
Joseph Bové was a Russian neoclassical architect with Italian roots who supervised reconstruction of Moscow after the Fire of 1812.-Biography:...

 resulted in clearing the rubble and creating Vasilyevskaya (St. Basil's) Square between the church and Kremlin wall by shaving off the crest of the Kremlin Hill between the church and the Moskva River
Moskva River
The Moskva River is a river that flows through the Moscow and Smolensk Oblasts in Russia, and is a tributary of the Oka River.-Etymology:...

. Red Square was opened to the river, "St. Basil thus crowned the decapitated hillock
Hillock
A hillock or knoll is a small hill, usually separated from a larger group of hills such as a range. Hillocks are similar in their distribution and size to small mesas or buttes. The term is largely a British one...

." Bove built the stone terrace wall separating the church from the pavement of Moskvoretskaya Street; the southern side of the terrace was completed in 1834. Minor repairs continued until 1848, when the domes acquired their present-day colours.

1890–1914

Preservationist societies monitored the state of the church and called for a proper restoration throughout the 1880s and 1890s, but it was regularly delayed for lack of funds. The church did not have a congregation of its own and could only rely on donations raised through public campaigning; national authorities in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 and local in Moscow denied financing from state and municipal budgets. In 1899 Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 reluctantly admitted that this expense was necessary, but again all involved state and municipal offices, including the Holy Synod
Holy Synod
In several of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches and Eastern Catholic Churches, the patriarch or head bishop is elected by a group of bishops called the Holy Synod...

, denied financing. Restoration, headed by Andrey Pavlinov (died in 1898) and Sergey Solovyov, dragged on from 1896 to 1909; in total, preservationists managed to raise around 100,000 roubles.

Restoration began with replacing the roofing of the domes. Solovyov removed tin roofing of the main tent installed in the 1810s and found many original tiles missing and others discoloured; after a protracted debate the whole set of tiles on the tented roof was replaced with new ones. Another dubious decision allowed use of standard bricks that were smaller than the original 16th-century ones. Restorators agreed that the paintwork of the 19th century must be replaced with a "truthful recreation" of historic patterns, but these had to be reconstructed and deduced based on medieval miniatures. In the end Solovyov and his advisers set upon a combination of deep red with deep green that is retained to date.

In 1908 the church received its first warm air heating system
HVAC
HVAC refers to technology of indoor or automotive environmental comfort. HVAC system design is a major subdiscipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer...

, which did not work well due to heat losses in long air ducts, and heated only the eastern and northern sanctuaries. In 1913 it was complemented with a pumped water heating
Water heating
Water heating is a thermodynamic process using an energy source to heat water above its initial temperature. Typical domestic uses of hot water are for cooking, cleaning, bathing, and space heating...

 system serving the rest of the church.

1918–41

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 the church was headed by protoiereus
Protoiereus
A protoiereus or protopriest in the Eastern Orthodox Church is a priest usually coordinating the activity of other subordinate priests in a bigger church. The title is roughly equivalent with the title of protopope or archpriest....

 Ioann Vostorgov, a nationalist
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 preacher and one of the leaders of the Union of the Russian People
Union of the Russian People
The Union of Russian People — a loyalist right-wing nationalist party, the most important among Black-Hundredist monarchist and antisemitic political organizations in the Russian Empire of 1905–1917....

. Vostorgov was arrested by Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s in 1918 on a pretext of "embezzling" nationalized church properties, and was executed in 1919. The church briefly enjoyed Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

's "personal interest"; in 1923 it became a public museum, though religious services continued until 1929.

Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 planners entertained ideas of demolishing the church after Lenin's funeral (January 1924). In the first half of the 1930s the church became an obstacle for Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's urbanist
Urbanism
Broadly, urbanism is a focus on cities and urban areas, their geography, economies, politics, social characteristics, as well as the effects on, and caused by, the built environment.-Philosophy:...

 plans, executed through Moscow party boss Lazar Kaganovich
Lazar Kaganovich
Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich was a Soviet politician and administrator and one of the main associates of Joseph Stalin.-Early life:Kaganovich was born in 1893 to Jewish parents in the village of Kabany, Radomyshl uyezd, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire...

, "the moving spirit behind the reconstruction of the capital". The conflict between preservationists, notably Pyotr Baranovsky, and the administration, continued at least until 1936, and spawned urban legend
Urban legend
An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true...

s of the "Lazar, put it back" ilk. Stalin's master planner, architect Vladimir Semyonov, reputedly dared to "grab Stalin's elbow when the leader picked up a model of the church to see how Red Square would look without it" and was replaced by pure functionary Sergey Chernyshov. In autumn 1933 the church was struck from the heritage register
Russian cultural heritage register
The national cultural heritage register of Russia is a data bank of historically or culturally significant man-made immovable properties – landmark buildings, industrial facilities, memorial homes of notable people of the past, monuments, cemeteries and tombs, archaeological sites, and cultural...

. Baranovsky was summoned to perform a last-minute survey of the church slated for demolition, and was then arrested for his objections. While he served his term in the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

, attitudes changed, and by 1937 even hard-line Bolshevik planners admitted that the church must be spared. In spring 1939 the church was locked, probably because demolition was again on the agenda; however, the 1941 publication of Dmitry Sukhov's detailed book on the survey of the church in 1939–40 speaks against this assumption.

1947 to present

In the first years after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 renovators restored the historical ground-floor arcades and pillars that supported the first-floor platform, cleared up vaulted and caissoned ceilings in the galleries, and removed "unhistoric" 19th-century oil paint murals inside the churches. Another round of repairs, led by Nikolay Sobolev in 1954–55, restored original paint imitating brickwork, and allowed restorators to actually dig inside old masonry, revealing the wooden frame inside it. In the 1960s, the tin roofing of the domes was replaced with copper.

The last round of renovation was completed in September 2008 with the opening of the restored sanctuary of St. Alexander Svirsky.

Naming

The building, originally known as "Trinity Church", was consecrated on 12 July 1561, and was subsequently elevated to the status of a sobor
Sobor
A sobor is a council of bishops together with other clerical and lay delegates representing the church as a whole in matters of importance...

 (similar to Roman Catholic ecclesiastical basilica, but usually and incorrectly translated as "cathedral"). "Trinity", according to tradition, refers to the easternmost sanctuary of Holy Trinity, while the central sanctuary of the church is dedicated to Intercession of Mary. Together with the westernmost sanctuary of Entry into Jerusalem, these sanctuaries form the main west–east axis (Christ, Mary, Holy Trinity), while other sanctuaries are dedicated to individual saints.
Sanctuaries of the cathedral
Compass point Type Dedicated to Commemorates
Central core Tented church
Tented roof
A tented roof is a type of roof widely used in 16th and 17th century Russian architecture for churches. It is like a polygonal spire but differs in purpose in that it is typically used to roof the main internal space of a church, rather than an auxiliary structure...

Intercession of Most Holy Theotokos
Theotokos
Theotokos is the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include God-bearer and the one who gives birth to God. Less literal translations include Mother of God...

Beginning of the final assault of Kazan, October 1, 1552
West Column Entry of Christ into Jerusalem Triumph of the Muscovite troops
North-west Groin vault
Groin vault
A groin vault or groined vault is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults; cf. ribbed vault. Sometimes the arches of groin vaults are pointed instead of round...

Saint Gregory the Illuminator
Gregory the Illuminator
Saint Gregory the Illuminator or Saint Gregory the Enlightener is the patron saint and first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church...

 of Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

Capture of Ars Tower of Kazan Kremlin
Kazan Kremlin
The Kazan Kremlin is the chief historic citadel of Tatarstan, situated in the city of Kazan. It was built on behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans...

, September 30, 1552
North Column Saint Martyrs Cyprian and Justinia (since 1786 Saint Adrian and Natalia of Nicomedia) Complete capture of Kazan Kremlin
Kazan Kremlin
The Kazan Kremlin is the chief historic citadel of Tatarstan, situated in the city of Kazan. It was built on behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans...

, October 2, 1552
North-east Groin vault
Groin vault
A groin vault or groined vault is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults; cf. ribbed vault. Sometimes the arches of groin vaults are pointed instead of round...

Three Patriarchs of Alexandria
Patriarch of Alexandria
The Patriarch of Alexandria is the Archbishop of Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt. Historically, this office has included the designation of Pope , and did so earlier than that of the Bishop of Rome...

 (since 1680 Saint John the Merciful
John the Merciful
John the Merciful was the Patriarch of Alexandria in the early 7th century and a christian saint.- Early life :He was born at Amathus...

)
Defeat of Yepancha's cavalry on August 30, 1552
East Column Life-giving Holy Trinity Historical Trinity Church on the same site
South-east Groin vault
Groin vault
A groin vault or groined vault is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults; cf. ribbed vault. Sometimes the arches of groin vaults are pointed instead of round...

Saint Alexander Svirsky
Alexander Svirsky
Alexander Svirsky or Alexander of Svir - an Eastern Orthodox saint, monk and hegumen of Russian Orthodox Church.Amos was born to an ordinary peasant family in the Novgorod Republic, east of Ladoga...

Defeat of Yepancha's cavalry on August 30, 1552
South Column The icon of Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas , also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra . Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker...

 from the Velikaya River
Velikaya River
For the Velikaya river in Far East Siberia, see Velikaya River .Velikaya River is located in western Russia . It starts in highlands in the south of Pskov Oblast, flows north through the cities of Opochka, Ostrov, and Pskov into Lake Peipus, which is drained by the Narva River....

 (Nikola Velikoretsky)
Miraculous finding of itself
South-west Groin vault
Groin vault
A groin vault or groined vault is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults; cf. ribbed vault. Sometimes the arches of groin vaults are pointed instead of round...

Saint Barlaam of Khutyn
Barlaam of Khutyn
Barlaam of Khutyn , also known as Varlaam, was a hermit. Born Alexis Milchalevich to a wealthy family from Novgorod. After the death of his parents, he became a hermit on the Volga and handed all of his inheritance to the poor. At this time he had gained many followers...

Indecisive, probably commemorates Vasili III of Russia
Vasili III of Russia
Vasili III Ivanovich was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1505 to 1533. He was the son of Ivan III Vasiliyevich and Sophia Paleologue and was christened with the name Gavriil...

North-eastern annex (1588) Groin vault
Groin vault
A groin vault or groined vault is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults; cf. ribbed vault. Sometimes the arches of groin vaults are pointed instead of round...

Basil the Blessed
Basil Fool for Christ
Basil the Blessed is a Russian Orthodox saint of the type known as yurodivy or "holy fool for Christ"....

Grave of venerated local saint
South-eastern annex (1672) Groin vault
Groin vault
A groin vault or groined vault is produced by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting vaults; cf. ribbed vault. Sometimes the arches of groin vaults are pointed instead of round...

Laying the Veil
Blachernae
Blachernae was a suburb in the northwestern section of Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire. It was the site of a spring and a number of prominent churches were built there, most notably the great Church of St. Mary of Blachernae , built by Empress Pulcheria in circa 450,...

 (since 1680: Nativity of Theotokos, since 1916: Saint John the Blessed of Moscow)
Grave of venerated local saint


The name "Intercession Church" came into use later, coexisting with Trinity Church. From the end of the 16th century to the end of the 17th century the cathedral was also popularly called Jerusalem (noun), in reference to its church of Entry into Jerusalem as well as to its sacral role in religious rituals. Finally, the name of Vasily (Basil) the Blessed
Basil Fool for Christ
Basil the Blessed is a Russian Orthodox saint of the type known as yurodivy or "holy fool for Christ"....

, who died during construction and was buried on-site, was attached to the church in the beginning of the 17th century.

Current Russian tradition accepts two coexisting names of the church: the "Church of Intercession on the Moat" (full name: "Church of Intercession of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat"), which is official, and the "Temple of Basil the Blessed". When these names are listed together, (as in ), the latter name, being informal, is always mentioned second. The common Western translations "Cathedral of Basil the Blessed" and "Saint Basil's Cathedral" incorrectly bestow the status of cathedral on the church of Basil, but are nevertheless widely used even in academic literature.

Sacral and social role

Miraculous find

On the day of consecration
Consecration
Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups...

 the church itself became part of Orthodox thaumaturgy
Thaumaturgy
Thaumaturgy is the capability of a saint or magician to work miracles. It is sometimes translated into English as wonderworking...

. According to the legend, its "missing" ninth church (precisely, sanctuary
Sanctuary
A sanctuary is any place of safety. They may be categorized into human and non-human .- Religious sanctuary :A religious sanctuary can be a sacred place , or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.- Sanctuary as a sacred place :#Sanctuary as a sacred place:#:In...

) was "miraculously found" during a ceremony attended by Tsar Ivan IV, Metropolitan Makarius
Macarius, Metropolitan of Moscow
Macarius was a notable Russian cleric, writer, and iconographer who served as the Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia from 1542 until 1563.-Early life and work on the Menaion:...

 and divine interference of Saint Tikhon. Piskaryov's Chronist wrote in the second quarter of the 17th century:

Allegory of Jerusalem

Construction of wraparound ground-floor arcades in the 1680s visually united the nine churches of the original cathedral into a single building. Earlier, the clergy and the public perceived it as nine distinct churches on a common base, a generalized allegory
Allegory
Allegory is a demonstrative form of representation explaining meaning other than the words that are spoken. Allegory communicates its message by means of symbolic figures, actions or symbolic representation...

 of the Orthodox Heavenly City similar to fantastic cities of medieval miniatures
Miniature (illuminated manuscript)
The word miniature, derived from the Latin minium, red lead, is a picture in an ancient or medieval illuminated manuscript; the simple decoration of the early codices having been miniated or delineated with that pigment...

. At a distance, separate churches towering over their base resembled towers and churches of a distant citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

 rising above the defensive wall
Defensive wall
A defensive wall is a fortification used to protect a city or settlement from potential aggressors. In ancient to modern times, they were used to enclose settlements...

. The abstract allegory was reinforced by real-life religious rituals where the church played the role of biblical Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

:

The last donkey walk
Donkey walk
The donkey walk is a Russian Orthodox Palm Sunday ritual reenactment of Jesus Christ's entry into Jerusalem. The best known historical donkey walk was practiced in Moscow from 1558 until 1693. The Metropolitan and later Patriarch of Moscow, representing Jesus Christ, rode on a "donkey" , while the...

  took place in 1693. Mikhail Kudryavtsev noted that all cross processions
Crucession
A Crucession, or Cross Procession , is a procession that takes place in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic liturgical traditions. The name derives from the fact that the procession is headed by a cross....

 of the period began, as described by Petreius, from the Dormition Church, passed through St. Frol's (Saviour's) Gate and ended at Trinity Cathedral. For these processions the Kremlin itself became an open-air temple, properly oriented from its "narthex
Narthex
The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church's main altar. Traditionally the narthex was a part of the church building, but was not considered part of the church proper...

" (Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square may refer to:*Cathedral Square, Brisbane, Australia*Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand*Cathedral Square, Glasgow, Scotland*Cathedral Square, Moscow, Russia*Cathedral Square, Mobile, Alabama, United States...

) in the west, through the "royal doors
Royal Doors
The royal doors, holy doors, or beautiful gates are the central doors of the iconostasis in an Eastern Orthodox or Greek-Catholic Church....

" (Saviour's Gate), to the "sanctuary
Sanctuary
A sanctuary is any place of safety. They may be categorized into human and non-human .- Religious sanctuary :A religious sanctuary can be a sacred place , or a consecrated area of a church or temple around its tabernacle or altar.- Sanctuary as a sacred place :#Sanctuary as a sacred place:#:In...

" (Trinity Cathedral) in the east.

Urban hub

Tradition calls the Kremlin the center of Moscow, but the geometric center of the Garden Ring
Garden Ring
The Garden Ring, also known as the "B" Ring , is a circular avenue around the central Moscow, its course corresponding to what used to be the city ramparts surrounding Zemlyanoy Gorod in the 17th century....

, first established as the Skorodom defensive wall in the 1590s, lies outside the Kremlin wall, coincident with the cathedral. Pyotr Goldenberg (1902–71), who popularized this notion in 1947, still regarded the Kremlin as the starting seed of Moscow's radial-concentric system, despite Alexander Chayanov
Alexander Chayanov
Alexander V. Chayanov was a Soviet agrarian economist, and scholar of rural sociology and advocate of agrarianism and cooperatives....

's earlier suggestion that the system was not strictly concentric at all.

In the 1960s Gennady Mokeev (born 1932) formulated a different concept of the historical growth of Moscow. According to Mokeev, medieval Moscow, constrained by the natural boundaries of the Moskva
Moskva River
The Moskva River is a river that flows through the Moscow and Smolensk Oblasts in Russia, and is a tributary of the Oka River.-Etymology:...

 and Neglinnaya
Neglinnaya River
The Neglinnaya River , also known as Neglimna, Neglinna, Neglinka , is a 7.5-km long underground river in the central part of Moscow and a tributary of the Moskva River. It flows in the tunnels under Samotechnaya Street, Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Neglinnaya Street and Alexander Garden and Zaryadye...

 Rivers, grew primarily in a north-easterly direction into the posad
Posad
A posad was a settlement, often surrounded by ramparts and a moat, adjoining a town or a kremlin, but outside of it, or adjoining a monastery in the 10th to 15th centuries. Usually it was inhabited by craftsmen and merchants, known as posadskiye lyudi .In the Russian Empire a posad was a small...

 of Kitai-gorod
Kitai-gorod
Kitay-gorod , earlier also known as Great Posad , is a business district within Moscow, Russia, encircled by mostly-reconstructed medieval walls. It is separated from the Moscow Kremlin by Red Square. It does not constitute a district , as there are no resident voters, thus, municipal elections...

 and beyond. The main road connecting the Kremlin to Kitai-gorod passed through St. Frol's (Saviour's) Gate and immediately afterward it fanned out into at least two radial streets (present-day Ilyinka and Varvarka), forming the central market square. In the 14th century the city was largely contained within two balancing halves, Kremlin and Kitai-gorod, separated by a marketplace, but by the end of the century it extended further along the north-eastern axis. Two secondary hubs in the west and south spawned their own street networks, but their development lagged behind until the Time of Troubles
Time of Troubles
The Time of Troubles was a period of Russian history comprising the years of interregnum between the death of the last Russian Tsar of the Rurik Dynasty, Feodor Ivanovich, in 1598, and the establishment of the Romanov Dynasty in 1613. In 1601-1603, Russia suffered a famine that killed one-third...

.

Tsar Ivan's decision to build the church next to St. Frol's Gate established the dominance of the eastern hub with a major vertical accent, and inserted a pivot point between the nearly equal Kremlin and Kitai-gorod, into the once amorphous marketplace. The cathedral was the main church of the posad, and at the same time it was perceived as a part of Kremlin thrust into posad, a personal messenger of the Tsar reaching the masses without mediation by the boyars and clergy. It was complemented by the nearby Lobnoye mesto
Lobnoye Mesto
Lobnoye mesto , also known as the Place of Skulls, is a 13-meter-long stone platform situated on Red Square in Moscow in front of Saint Basil's Cathedral....

, a rostrum
Podium
A podium is a platform that is used to raise something to a short distance above its surroundings. It derives from the Greek πόδι In architecture a building can rest on a large podium. Podia can also be used to raise people, for instance the conductor of an orchestra stands on a podium as do many...

 for the Tsar's public announcements first mentioned in chronicles in 1547 and rebuilt in stone in 1597–98. Conrad Bussow
Conrad Bussow
Conrad Bussow was a German mercenary from Lower Saxony who lived in Riga in 1590s and in Muscovy in 1600–1611. In 1614–1617 Bussow compiled The Disturbed State of the Russian Realm, an eye-witness history of the Time of Troubles...

, describing the triumph of False Dmitriy I
False Dmitriy I
False Dmitriy I was the Tsar of Russia from 21 July 1605 until his death on 17 May 1606 under the name of Dimitriy Ioannovich . He is sometimes referred to under the usurped title of Dmitriy II...

, wrote that on June 3, 1606 "a few thousand men hastily assembled and followed the boyarin with [the impostor's] letter through the whole Moscow to the main church they call Jerusalem that stands right next to Kremlin gates, raised him on Lobnoye Mesto, called out for the muscovites, read the letter and listened to the boyarin's oral explanation."

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK