Home  >>  Write  >>  Travel  >>  Landmarks of the World  >>  Saint Basil_s Cathedral, RUS


St. Basil’s Cathedral

Much like the Eiffel Tower in France, of the Statue of liberty in America, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow is a symbol for the entire country, and is thus easily recognizable by most people in the world.

The history of St. Basil’s Cathedral dates back to its construction in the 1550’s.  The Russian people had recently expelled the last remnants of Mongol occupation and they were pretty thrilled about it.  Due largely to the military skill of Ivan the Terrible, the Russians had won several consecutive victories and were proud to have their country back.  Ivan was pretty excited as well and he commissioned the Cathedral to represent each of those consecutive victories.  Hence the eight onion domes that give the Cathedral it’s very cool look.

Also, the architect of St. Basil’s Cathedral had his eyes poked out so he could never build a structure quite as beautiful ever again. 

For the next several hundred years the Cathedral was the focal point for Russian religious expression.  At the time, it country was deeply orthodox and any pious individual would make a stop there if they were in Moscow.

But, as the centuries rolled on, Russia became prime real estate and most Western European rules were keen on getting their hands on Russia and its resources.  The best attempt was surely by the original Napoleon.  After assembling the largest army Europe had ever seen, he marched it east into Russia and steam rolled the Russian army.  Well, actually the Russian army just kept on retreating.

Then winter hit. 

Napoleon found himself too far extended, but he pushed into Moscow anyway, only to see it on fire.  A little disappointed that the jewel of his conquest had been torched he set out to finish the job.  He planned to blow up St. Basil’s Cathedral, but just as he the fuses were lit, a large rain storm appeared and doused the fuses…the cathedral was spared…but for how long.

For the next hundred years St. Basil’s Cathedral was still doing all right.  But after the communist revolution, the powers that be felt that the massive religious symbol should be torn down. For some reason it wasn’t and from then on the Cathedral was always being threatened with destruction.  But as we can see today, it is still standing, and it is still the enduring symbol of Russia and the Orthodox church.