You have seen it in movies, in cartoons and in travel photos and if you’ve ever considered visiting Moscow, the capital city of Russia, St. Basil’s Cathedral has definitely been on top of your attractions list. This impressive, breathtakingly beautiful cathedral has been a prominent landmark of Moscow for 450 years, an anniversary it celebrates today, with Google’s help and a new doodle.
This Red Square flagship monument of the Russian Orthodox Church goes by a far longer and harder to remember name, Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, but is commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral. Erected over six years, the construction began in 1555 and was completed in 1561, exactly 450 years ago.
Built at the order of tzar Ivan IV of Russia to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan, St. Basil’s Cathedral marks the geometric center of Moscow and the hub of the Russian city’s growth since the 14th century. For a brief period of less than 4 decades, it was the tallest building in Moscow, surpassed in 1600 by the Ivan the Great Bell Tower.
Famous for its colorful exterior and bonfire reaching for heavens shape, it celebrates Saint Basil, or Saint Vasily, by his Russian name. It has been opperating as a division of the State Historical Museum since 1928 and is part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.
To celebrate the 450 years of existence of this magnificent piece of art and history, make sure you include St. Basil’s Cathedral, located right in the heart of Moscow, on your next tour of the Russian capital.