The Cathedral of Intercession of Theotokos on the Moat, popularly known as the Cathedral of Basil the Blessed, is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located on the Red Square in Moscow, built in 1555 next to the Kremlin. It was built on the order of Ivan IV (the Terrible) to commemorate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan.
St. Basil's Cathedral is one of the symbols of Moscow. There were originally 8 chapels each representing an attack on Kazan. Later the ninth one was added above the grave of St. Basil. The vibrant colours of onion shaped domes are recognisable and highly symbolic features. As the legend has it Ivan the Terrible had the architect blinded to stop him from creating anything more attractive than this Cathedral.
The inside of St. Basil's is a number of corridors connecting the different chapels. A wooden spiral staircase takes visitors up to view its icon stand that dates from the 16th century. The Cathedral was nearly demolished under Stalin.
Since 1990 the St. Basil's Cathedral, along with the Red Square and the Kremlin, have been protected by the UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
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