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Cupola of Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia (XXXL) - Stock Image

Stock Photo: 10013259
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Description

The Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin on the Moat is a multi-tented church on the Red Square in Moscow that also features distinctive onion domes. It is very often mistaken for the Church of the Savior on Blood, located in St. Petersburg. In the West, it is frequently confused with the Kremlin which overlooks it. Arguably the most recognized building in Russia, it is an international symbol for the nation and for the city of Moscow.

The cathedral was commissioned by Ivan IV (also known as Ivan the Terrible) in Moscow to commemorate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan, and built from 1555 to 1561. In 1588 Tsar Fedor Ivanovich had a chapel added on the eastern side above the grave of Basil Fool for Christ (yurodivy Vassily Blazhenny), a Russian Orthodox saint after whom the cathedral was popularly named.

Saint Basil's is located at the southeast end of Red Square, just across from the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin. Not particularly large, it consists of nine chapels built on a single foundation. The cathedral's design follows that of contemporary tented churches, notably those of Ascension in Kolomenskoye (1530) and of St John the Baptist's Decapitation in Dyakovo (1547).

The interior of the cathedral is a collection of separate chapels, each filled with icons, medieval painted walls, and varying artwork on the top inside of the domes. The feeling is intimate and varied, in contrast to Western cathedrals which usually consist of a massive nave with one artistic style.
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