St. Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral, officially the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat (also the Intercession Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Intercession on the Moat), is an Orthodox church on Red Square in Moscow, a monument of Russian architecture. It was built in 1555-1561.

It unites eleven churches (chapels), some consecrated in honor of the saints whose days of memory fell on the decisive battles for Kazan. The central church was built in honor of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, around which separate churches are grouped in honor of the Holy Trinity, the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, St. Nicholas of Velikoretsky, placed on the same base basement, as well as a chapel in honor of St. Basil the Blessed, after which the temple received a second, better-known name, and the Church of St. John the Blessed, reopened after a long desolation in November 2018.

The name mentions a moat that ran along the Kremlin wall and served as a defensive fortification (Alevizov moat), its depth was about 13 meters, and its width was about 36 meters.

A branch of the State Historical Museum is included in the Russian list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In 1918, the Intercession Cathedral became one of the first cultural objects taken under state protection as a national and world significance monument. At the same time, services were stopped in the upper churches. From that moment began its museumification.

In 1923, it was decided to create a historical and architectural museum in the cathedral.

In 1954-1955, the restoration of the entire surface of the walls and the study of their paint layers were carried out for the first time. At the same time, the “brick-like” painting of the 16th century was opened, and this appearance was returned to the cathedral, restoring the white-stone detdécorof the decor.

In 1967-1969, for the first time in the cathedral’s history, the domes, covered with iron and requiring restoration every ten years, were covered with copper, which did not need to be updated for a long time.

In 1990, the museum began to collect bells again. As a result, the existing collection is one of Russia’s richest collections. The cathedral chimes contain bells weighing from 8 kg to 2.6 tons. The museum has 19 bells, created in 1547-1996, and cast in Russia and abroad.

Since 1991, the Intercession Cathedral has been in the joint use of the State Historical Museum and the Russian Orthodox Church; services are held regularly on Sundays and the second.

Working hours:

September 1 – October 31: 11:00 – 18:00, daily
November 1 – April 30: 11:00 – 17:00, daily
May 1 – August 31: 10:00 – 18:00, daily
December 31 and January 1: closed
First Wednesday of the month – sanitary day


Full – 500 rubles, foreigners – 1000 rubles.

Address: Red Square, 2.

Nearest metro stations: Okhotny Ryad, Teatralnaya, Revolution Square, Kitay-gorod.

Red square ensemble (full list):

State Historical Museum

Lenin mausoleum

GUM department store

Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God

Spasskaya Tower

Senate Tower

Nikolskaya Tower

Lobnoye Mesto

Monument to Minin and Pozharsky

House of the Provincial Government

See also architecture of Moscowchurches and cathedrals of Moscow

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