The Intercession Cathedral, “that on the moat,” or St. Basil’s Cathedral, is an outstanding monument of Russian architecture. It was built in the middle of the XVI century by the ingenious Russian architects Barma and Postnik according to the royal decree of Ivan the Terrible, who decided to erect this cathedral in memory of the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. The bright colors of the temple and its majestic architecture reflected the idea of a triumphant victory as a sign of the unification of the lands of the great Russian state.
The architecture of the cathedral is interesting: in its center – the main pillar-shaped church, completed by a tent with a small head; it is surrounded by a regular octagon of the church, different in size and shape, with domes that are typical of Russian architecture in the form of bulbs. These churches are united by a common ground and a bypass gallery.
Originally, the church was called the Cathedral of the Intercession “on the ditch” by the name of the central church. At the end of the XVI century on the territory of the temple was buried Basil the Blessed, known in Moscow as “God’s Man.” Over the place of his burial, the chapel of St. Basil the Blessed was annexed to the cathedral, and after his cathedral since then his second name – the temple of St. Basil the Blessed.
The temple stands on an oval stone terrace, which is surrounded by an iron forged lattice. By order of VI Lenin in 1918, it was decided to proceed with the restoration of the cathedral, and in 1923 the cathedral was turned into an architectural and art museum. Later, after the Great Patriotic War, restoration work was resumed in the cathedral. Now the temple is returned to its original form.
Now the temple is a branch of the State Historical Museum. This is one of the most popular museums in our country.
We will go inside the cathedral. First of all, we find ourselves in the smallest church built over the grave of Basil the Blessed. And on the steep white stone staircase you can climb to the main church of the Intercession. It is surrounded by a gallery that connects all the tower-churches. The frescoes are very interesting here. This is a true painting of the 17th century in the form of interwoven stems and fantastic colors and plants that do not repeat according to the pattern and color.