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Saint Basil's Cathedral.

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The Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin on the
Mound (Russian: Собор Покрова что на Рву or simply
Pokrovskiy Cathedral, better known as the Cathedral of
St. Basil the Blessed or St. Basil's Cathedral) is a
multi-tented church on the Red Square in Moscow
traditionally perceived as symbolic of the unique
position of Russia between Europe and Asia.

The cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible
and built between 1555 and 1561 in Moscow to
commemorate the capture of Khanate of Kazan. 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).

In a garden at the front of the cathedral stands a
bronze statue commemorating Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma
Minin, who rallied Russia's volunteer army against the
Polish invaders during the Time of Troubles in the
late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The
statue was originally constructed in the center of Red
Square, but the Soviet government felt it obstructed
parades and moved the statue in front of the cathedral
in 1936.

The initial concept was to build a cluster of chapels,
one dedicated to each of the saints on whose feast day
the tsar had won a battle, but the construction of a
single central tower unifies these spaces into a
single cathedral. Legend says that Ivan had the
architect, Postnik Yakovlev, blinded to prevent him
from building a more magnificent building for anyone
else.

It has been recently speculated that certain elements
of Timurid monuments in Samarkand or of Kazan
Qolsharif mosque were pictured in this cathedral,
because this mosque was the main symbol of Khanate of
Kazan. The original look of the mosque is unknown,
however.

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Basil's_Cathedral]

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