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[Moscow] St. basil’s cathedral- why you have to give it a visit

I have to admit that visiting St. Basil’s cathedral of Moscow was never on my pocket list. Yeah, it’s pretty on the outside, but to go in…nah
Luckily(❓🤔) stranded in Moscow during the pandemic, after the quarantine months were over, one day this thought just popped up in my head:
why not pay St.Basil’s a visit! There must be very little people.
And guess what, I’m right😉 and after my visit, I would highly recommend you to do so too.

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it might be the cup of coffee accompanying me now.
Happy planning😉

st basil's cathedral interior

St. Basil’s Cathedral from the outside 

聖瓦西里主教座堂周圍羅波諾耶梅思托平台

Lobnoye Mesto

This “forehead place” Lobnoye Mesto was often mistaken as a real execution platform. In fact, Lobnoye Mesto was never a place for executions, but a place where the Tzar used to announce something important or religious ceremonies will be held here.
Ps: Even my bf, originally from Moscow, thought that this platform used to execute people.🤫

米寧和波扎爾斯基紀念碑

The Monument to Minin and Pozharsky 

As you are approaching the St. Basil’s cathedral you will find this statue of Minin and Pozharsky right before your entry.

And why is this statue so important that I have to see it before St. Basil’s?

The Monument to Minin and Pozharsky is the first statue that was fundraised by citizens in Russia’s history. The two men are the ones who gathered an all-Russian volunteer army and expelled the forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Moscow.

The Bronze plaque on the base of the statue shows patriots sacrificing their own belongings for their country.
Originally, the statue of Minin and Pozharsky was located in the middle of the red square with Minin’s hand raising towards the Kremlin. When the communists ruled the country this statue was standing in the way of the parade so it was moved to where you see it today.

👇🏻Be more than just a Visitor, book and know more👇🏻

聖瓦西里大教堂 門票

St. Basil’s cathedral Entry ticket:

2020 

from May 15 to August 311000 roubles/ 1500 roubles (w/ audio guide)
from September 1 to May 14700 roubles/ 1200 roubles (w/ audio guide)

st. basil's cathedral entrance

St. Basil’s Cathedral Working hours:

 

7 September — 8 November:
daily 11 a.m. – 18 p.m.

9 November — 31 December:
daily 11 a.m. – 17 p.m.

Last admission: 45 minutes before closing

st basil's cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral Dress code:

Might sound funny😅Dress code?
In my former experiences, while entering Orthodox churches in Moscow women cover their heads with clothes. My boyfriend mentioned also that there were some rules about wearing a skirt so I was more cautious with this part.
Since in 1929 St. Basil’s cathedral transformed into a museum, so I guess that’s why I found some pictures with men wearing tank tops inside St. Basil’s cathedral during the summer.
So…No dress code guys! ☺but please dress appropriately.

St basil's cathedral interior

About St. Basil’s cathedral

Since I’m writing this blog post, I was digging stories out of St. Basil’s cathedral, and guess what I found!
Actually, what stood here in the exact same spot while Ivan the terrible was still alive was another church called Trinity church.

St basil's cathedral interiorBefore being deconstructed, the original Trinity Church had seven churches surrounding the central core.
Every time Ivan the Terrible (Ivan IV) won a Russo-Kazan War he ordered to add a wooden church to the original Trinity church’s wall, at last, there were 7 of them surrounding the main core.
Finally, Kazan was fallen in 1552, in 1555 Ivan IV ordered the construction of a new stone cathedral which took 6 years(but still, it is not exactly what you will see today, St. Basil’s was renovated several times). The architect turned the original 7 churches surrounding 1 into a more symmetrical 8 churches and the main core.

Did Ivan IV really blinded the architect who constructed St. Basil’s Cathedral?

Until today, there is still no certain answer about who really was/were the architect of St. Basil’s cathedral. An old chronicle mentions the name of Barma and Postnik Yakovlev.
Many historians believed that it was a myth that Ivan IV blinded the architect because Postnik Yakovlev was believed to construct the Kazan Kremlin and Cathedral of the annunciation inside the Kremlin, both built after the St. Basil’s cathedral.




St basil's cathedral introduction

Why is St. Basil’s cathedral so special

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There is no rear part

Every side of the Cathedral is the front part. Can you tell that the above 2 pictures are different sides of St. Basil’s Cathedral?

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9 onion heads

There are nine separate chapels inside St. Basil’s cathedral. Every onion head is a different chapel and every chapel has its own name and each dedicated to a different Saint.


The first chapel you’ll see after entering (click to enlarge)

聖瓦西里St. Basil’s icon

St basil's cathedral interior聖瓦西里大教堂 參觀St basil's cathedral interior

All 9 chapels connected to each other

When you walk into St. Basil’s, you can wander easily between all 9 chapels, they are all connected to each other but every chapel is an individual room with benches for you to sit and clear your mind or to admire the icons.

St basil's cathedral interior聖瓦西里大教堂 參觀

The interior covered by Frescos and  floral ornaments

聖瓦西里大教堂 裡面St. Basil’s cathedral is definitely more than what we see from the outside. The cathedral is covered with frescoes and oil paintings with plant ornament and images of saints. (click to enlarge)

St basil's cathedral interior

St basil's cathedral interior 聖瓦西里大教堂 參觀 聖瓦西里大教堂 參觀 St basil's cathedral interior


 

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