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Churches & Cathedrals in Moscow

Russia has one of the most interesting histories in the world, and till date preserves the ancient beauty of the architecture from its past. Religion has been intertwined with the culture of Moscow almost inseparably, and it is to this fact that we can attribute the presence of beautiful churches, cathedrals and monasteries in the city.

Moscow Cathedrals & Churches
An inerasable imprint in your mind.

Moscow has a host of these architectural gems, embellishing its cityscape.As a visitor to the city, one must make it a point to visit these sites, for their beauty is something that legends are made of.

Borrowing from different cultures, the architecture and design of these religious sites is a combination of European, Byzantine, and Asian influences as well as the traditional Russian design. The elaborate frescoes, the deftly detailed reliefs, the breathtaking figures and of course the golden hued onion domes will leave an inerasable imprint in your mind.

St. Basil's Cathedral.

The most important Cathedral in Moscow , St. Basil's turrets and cupolas are a trademark image for Moscow. Built in the 16 th Century by Ivan the Terrible, to celebrate the Russian victory over Kazan , defeating the Tartar Mongols, this Cathedral is nestled towards the south of Red Square in Moscow.

St. Basil's Cathedral is a visual delight, with its multi-colored onion shaped domes and turrets. The Cathedral consists of nine chapels, built on a single foundation; one chapel dedicated to each saint whose feast day it was when the Tsar won over the Tartars. It is said that the architect of St. Basil's Cathedral, Postnik Yakovlev was blinded after he completed the structure, lest he build another one overriding the beauty of St. Basil's Cathedral.

Cathedral of Christ the Savior.

Situated on the banks of the Moskva River, the Cathedral of Christ the Savior's original building was destroyed during Stalin's rule, however it was rebuilt in the 1990's to commemorate the 850 th birthday of Moscow. This Church is an Eastern Orthodox Church, and is the largest of its kind in the whole world.

The exterior of this church is done up in white, with domes of gold crowning it. The Cathedral was first commissioned by Tsar Alexander I, to commemorate the Russian victory over Napoleon's troupes. The Cathedral boasts of beautiful frescoes and the brilliant architecture of Konstantin Ton, the renowned architect of 19 th Century Russia.

Kazan Cathedral.

A Cathedral with a tumultuous history, Kazan Cathedral was originally built on the orders of Prince Dmitry Pozharsky to mark the release of Moscow from the hands of Polish invaders in the 17 th Century.

Built in the honor of Theokotos of Kazan, the cathedral was destroyed a number of times; first by fire, then by later demolitions including the last one ordered by Stalin. However the Kazan Cathedral was consecrated between years 1990-1993, and today stands in the North Eastern Quarter of Red Square in Moscow.

Novodevichy Convent & Monastery.

One of the best known cloisters in Moscow , the Novodevichy Convent & Monastery was distinguished as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The convent dates back to 16th Century and has avoided suffering demolition and destructions, unlike other religious structures in Moscow.

Also known as the New Maidens Monastery and the Bogoroditse-Smolensky Monastery, the Convent was built as a fortress on the banks of the Moskva River . However, it later went on to become a shelter for women running away from the Tsars and the boyars. Also, the Convent was used as a Necropolis, and many a members of the Russian Royal family have been buried here. The convent boasts of some of the best frescoes designed by many renowned Russian artists and painters.

Andronikov Monastery.

Also known as St. Andronik Monastery, it is located on the banks of the Yauza River and served as a residence of the male monks in the olden times.

Built in the year 1357 by Metropolitan Alexis to show his gratitude to the heavens for being saved from death in a storm, this monastery has the oldest existing cathedral in Moscow. This is also the monastery where the renowned Russian painter Andrei Rublev of medieval times lived in the last years of his life.

Danilov Monastery.

The headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church since 1983, this monastery was built in the 13 th Century by Prince Danill Moskovosky . The Danilov Monastery is situated on the banks of the River Moskva, and was a male monastery.

In the late 19 th Century, a number of Russian luminaries including Nikolai Gogol, Vasili Perov and Nikolai Yazykov were buried at the monastery. The bells of the Danilov Monastery can be found till date at Harvard's Lowell House, donated by American industrialist Charles R. Crane.

Cathedral of the Annunciation.

Built in the 15 th Century, the Annunciation Cathedral is a part of the Kremlin. This white and gold structure was used by the Tsars and their families, and displays designs influenced by the Italian Renaissance. The Cathedral is rich in murals, gold foil work and fretwork.

Church of Intercession at Fili.

Built in between 1693-1694, Church of Intercession at Fili is a beautiful church ordered to be built by Prince Lev Naryshkin. Located in the village of Fili on the banks of the Moskva River , this church displays Baroque architecture and was built in the shape of a Greek cross. The interestingly tiered building displays some beautiful stone carvings as well as the characteristic onion shaped dome in gold.

Nativity Church in Putinky.

The last tent-structured church to be built in Russia , the Nativity Church of Theokotos in Putinky is a charming structure. The church structure consists of six tent roofs, and was ordered to be built by Tsar Alexis Mikhailovich in the 17 th Century. The blue and white domes of the church add to its charm, and it is said that the unusual design of the church impressed the French architect Eugene Viollet le-Duc that he termed its design as "Russian Gothic".

Simonov Monastery.

Founded by the monk Fyodor in 1370, Fyodor Monastery was considered to be the richest in Moscow in the 15 th Century. The high walls of the Monastery resisted attacks many a times, and earned the name " Moscow 's Sentinel". However, this Sentinel could not defend itself from the attacks of the Bolsheviks, who razed the monastery to the ground to start an automobile factory.

All that remains of this monastery today are three canon-like towers and some buildings of Naryshkin baroque style. It is said that the Moscow government has ordered the reconstruction of the Simonov Monastery, and it shouldn't be long before people can see this Sentinel back in its daunting glory.


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