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I don’t know about you but when I think about Russian culture and style, Saint Basil’s Cathedral is the first image that pops into my head. Standing tall as a testament to all things uniquely Russian, this awe inspiring building draws just as much attention from its locals as it does its tourists.
St. Basil’s Cathedral was built in the 16th century, between the years 1555 and 1561. It was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to honour the capture of the Khanate of Kazan, which was a territory ruled by Mongol forces. It originally had 25 domes, which symbolized God and the 24 elders surrounding His throne. However, in the 17th century, the cathedral was a ravaged by a massive fire and underwent major repairs. Today, it retains only 9 of its original domes.
The fantastic colors that adorn the Cathedral’s onion domes distinguish it from all others. In its early life, it was fashioned with plain white domes, their only distinguishing feature being their gilded tops. However, in the late 17th century, Russian opinion towards color and style changed to favor bold and rich hues over the more muted tones. Today, vibrant reds, yellows, blues, and greens swirl themselves around the church towers, making the building an architectural rainbow.
St. Basil’s Cathedral’s is a wonder to behold. Photographs can only do it so much justice so I suggest you don your burka, brave the cold, and head on over to Moscow to experience this magnificent piece of architecture in the flesh.