St. Basils Cathedral

#45 - Moscow, Russia
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The cathedral is actually quite beautiful and a symbol of Moscow in general. Located in the Red Square, it features nine onion shaped domes that are so representative of the 16th century Russian style. It was primarily built by 'Ivan the Terrible' to celebrate the military success against the Tartar Mongols in 1552. The origin of its name derives from the 'holy food' Basil, who was very popular then and also Ivan the Terrible. We're just glad he didn't name it after himself.
Slide 1
Onion Dome Fantasy
#1 St. Basils Cathedral Photo - Will Crowthers
Slide 2
St Basils from Top to Bottom
#2 St. Basils Cathedral Photo - Will Crowthers
Slide 3
St Basils to Kremlin to Red Square an...
#3 St. Basils Cathedral Photo - Will Crowthers
Slide 4
The Cupcake Palace - St Basil's Cathe...
#4 St. Basils Cathedral Photo - Will Crowthers
Slide 5
Christmas Time at St. Basils Cathedral
#5 St. Basils Cathedral Photo - Zhao Naidoo
 
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Brad & Will's Quick Thoughts

St. Basil's Cathedral and The Red Square sit at the heart of Moscow along the Moscow River. St Basil's is along the South East border of Red Square and has been the icon of Moscow and Russia for over 400 years! It is amazing how many people recognize this landmark with its colorful onion domes and unique spires reaching to the sky.

St. Basil's and Red Square are listed as an AbsoluteVisit for their grandeur, uniqueness and historical value. Like so many other icons around the world, it is special when you first see with your own eyes something you have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of times in a photograph. Red Square has a unifying feeling as you'll see many locals and tourists alike while being surrounded by an immense amount of history.

St. Basil's Cathedral itself is amazing to look at and its architecture will continue to enchant you even while you stand in front of it. Also, the interior is unique as each onion dome means an interior room that extends the full-height of each tower and dome.

Red Square is a huge city square lined by The Kremlin wall, The Russian Museum, GUM (a long high-end shopping building) and St. Basil's. Red Square is the home to many events and festivals that brings locals and tourists together.

When you visit this AbsoluteVisit, stand in the middle of Red Square and slowly turn yourself 360 degrees and soak in the immense history and culture that surrounds you - what a feeling!

 

Quick Facts & History

  • St. Basils Cathedral actually has a much longer name, 'Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat', but achieved its much shorter nickname after the holy fool Basil the Blessed.
  • There are actually nine chapels within St. Basils Cathedral, each one with its own unique onion dome.
  • There is an eight-point star on top of St. Basils Cathedral meant to symbolize the Christian Church, acting as a guiding light, showing the way to Jerusalem. The star is also meant to represent the Virgin Mary.
  • Legend has it that after St. Basils Cathedral was complete, Ivan the Terrible blinded the architect so that he could never build anything better than the cathedral.
 

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Photos from St. Basils Cathedral

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Onion Dome Fantasy
Ranked #1 by Will Crowthers
St Basils from Top to Bottom
Ranked #2 by Will Crowthers
St Basils to Kremlin to Red Squar...
Ranked #3 by Will Crowthers
 
The Cupcake Palace - St Basil's C...
Ranked #4 by Will Crowthers
Christmas Time at St. Basils Cath...
Ranked #5 by Zhao Naidoo
 
 

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Places That Are Nearby

St. Basils Cathedral
#45
Fjords of Norway
#22
Moscow Kremlin
#50
Hermitage Museum
#77
 

Videos of St. Basils Cathedral

Sorry, we're in the process of selecting our favorite videos for St. Basils Cathedral. Check back soon!
# 1

Onion Dome Fantasy

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# 2

St Basils from Top to Bottom

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# 3

St Basils to Kremlin to Red Square and Beyond

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# 4

The Cupcake Palace - St Basil's Cathedral

1
# 5

Christmas Time at St. Basils Cathedral

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