Saint Basil the Blessed

or Pokrovsky Cathedral

Church constructed at the southern end of Red Square in Moscow (1554–60) by Ivan IV as a votive offering for his military victories over the Tatars.

The brick-and-stone church was designed by the architects Postnik and Barma (who may in fact have been one person). It is a unique and magnificent architectural fantasy exhibiting Byzantine influences. Eight chapels topped by onion domes surround a central church with a tower topped by a tent-shaped roof and a small golden cupola. Each of the painted domes differs in design and colour.

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also called  Pokrovsky Cathedral,  Russian  Svyatoy Vasily Blazhenny, or Pokrovsky Sobor,  
 church constructed on Red Square in Moscow between 1554 and 1560 by Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible, as a votive offering for his military victories over the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan. The church was dedicated to the protection and intercession of the Virgin, but it came to be known as the Cathedral of Vasily Blazhenny (St. Basil the Beatified) after Basil, the Russian holy fool who was “idiotic for Christ's sake” and who was buried in the church vaults during the reign (1584–98) of Tsar Fyodor I.

      The church was designed by two Russian architects, Posnik and Barma (who may in fact have been one person). According to popular legend, however, it was built by an Italian architect who was blinded so that he could never create anything that was similar or equal.

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Universalium. 2010.

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