by Konstantin AVERYANOV, Dr. Sc. (Hist.), RAS Institute of Russian History
The most famous of Russian cathedrals was built 450 years ago.
It is the Cathedral of the Protecting Veil "on the moat" (the Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed), near the Moscow Kremlin. The cathedral was built under the order of Ivan IV the Terrible to commemorate the annexation of the Kazan Khanate by Rus.
It would seem that this unique masterpiece of ancient Russian architecture is known comprehensively, but there are still some mysteries related to this Cathedral.
The Nikon Chronicle* contains information that the Cathedral of " Protecting Veil of the Mother of God with its side chapels was erected in 1554 to commemorate the Russian victory over the Kazan Khanate."
*The Nikon Chronicle is one of the biggest 16th century Russian chronicles. --Ed.
On September 30 of the same year, on Sunday, Macarius, Metropolitan of all Russia, held 3 religious services there: vespers, night service and matins. Next day, at the festival of the Protection of the Virgin, Macarius consecrated the
The Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed.
Cathedral in the presence of the tsar, boyars and crowds of people. There already were several churches named so in Moscow. That is why the new cathedral's name included the addition "on the moat", as the building was located near the moat around the Kremlin.
But some questions arise from this information. Historians know that just after the capture of Kazan, on October 2, 1552, Ivan IV the Terrible ordered to build the Annunciation church in Kazan to commemorate the victory. Four days later the church was built and consecrated. But why was the tsar slow to build such a monument in Moscow for almost two years?
Let us try to answer this question. The same chronicler points out that the tsar "ordered to lay a nine-dome stone church to replace the wooden one erected to commemorate the capture ... Читать далее