sobota, 15 maja 2010

Saint Basil's cathedral

Hello again,

Nice to meet everyone on my blog again.
However, I have very few ideas what to write as a next entry about Russia.
One thing is sure - I should stay in Red Square for a little longer
so here I am on Moscow's Red Square again :-)
Well... to start with I have to ask you to have a look at a photo in my first entry to this blog.
What a building can you see there?
Do you know its name?
I am explaining - It is Saint Basil's Cathedral on Moscow's Red Square.
How do you like it?
I hope you like it.
I like this building very much. It is a very original building and has really great colours.
I have never been in Moscow yet but I would like to go there to check what are really colours of Saint Basil's cathedral?
Look at the pictures beneath - are these colours true ones?
How do you think?
Below you can also read some basic info about Saint Basil's Cathderal.
I hope it will be interesting to you.
Besides I want to write that I will stay on Moscow's Red Square a little bit longer.
Many other interesting objects there (what can you see a little bit on last picture in this entry).
So read me soon again:)
You are welcomed :)

Some facts about Saint Basil's cathedral (from

1. Popularly known as the Cathedral of Basil the Blessed is a Russian Orthodox cathedral erected on the Red Square in Moscow in 1555–1561.

2. Built on the order of Ivan IV of Russia to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, it marks the geometric center of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century.

3. It was the tallest building of Moscow until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.

4.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 Fool Vasily (Basil).

5. In the 16th and the 17th centuries the cathedral, perceived as the earthly symbol of the Heavenly City was popularly known as the "Jerusalem" and served as an allegory of the Jerusalem Temple in the annual Palm Sunday parade attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and the tsar.

6. The building's design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky has no analogues in Russian architecture: "It is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium of Byzantine tradition 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 but has never been reproduced directly.

7. The cathedral has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum since 1928

8. It was completely secularized in 1929 and, as of 2009, remains a federal property of the Russian Federation.

9.The cathedral has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.


The cathedral acquired its present-day vivid colors in several stages from 1680s to 1848. Russians' attitude to color in the 17th century changed in favor of bright colors; icon and mural art experienced an explosive growth in number of available paints, dyes and their combinations. The original color scheme, missing these innovations, was far less challenging. It followed the depiction of Heavenly City in the Book of Revelation:

And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

Twenty-five seats of the Revelation were recreated literally: by adding eight small onion domes around the central tent, four around the western side church and four elsewhere, the builders indeed created a church with twenty-five "crowns of gold"; this arrangement survived through most of 17th century.

Walls of the cathedral mixed bare red brickwork or painted imitation of bricks with white ornaments, in roughly equal proportion. The domes, covered with tin, were uniformly gilded, 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 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.

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