Melodie Baeza

Melodie Baeza

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


St. Basil’s Cathedral, located in Moscow, Russia, is a world-renowned architectural masterpiece that has captivated people for centuries. With its mesmerizing design and rich historical significance, this iconic landmark attracts millions of visitors every year. In this article, we are going to delve into the fascinating world of St. Basil’s Cathedral and uncover 19 mind-blowing facts that will leave you in awe. From its unique and colorful domes to the legends surrounding its construction, there is so much to discover about this extraordinary cathedral. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embark on a journey through time as we unravel the secrets and enchantment surrounding St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Table of Contents

The Cathedral is located in Moscow, Russia.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, is a world-famous landmark situated in the heart of Moscow. It stands prominently on Red Square and is a symbol of the city and the country itself.

The Cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible.

In 1552, Ivan the Terrible, the first Tsar of Russia, ordered the construction of the cathedral to commemorate the capture of the Tatar stronghold of Kazan. The cathedral was built between 1555 and 1561 and has since become one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

St. Basil’s Cathedral has a unique architectural style.

The cathedral’s architecture is a blend of Russian and Byzantine influences, characterized by colorful onion-shaped domes, intricate details, and vibrant patterns. It is a masterpiece of medieval Russian architecture and stands as a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of its builders.

The Cathedral originally consisted of eight chapels.

When St. Basil’s Cathedral was first built, it consisted of eight individual chapels, each dedicated to a different saint. Over time, additional structures were added, expanding the complex and creating the iconic appearance we see today.

The domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral represent different meanings.

The cathedral’s domes come in various shapes and colors, each carrying a specific meaning. The central and largest dome symbolizes Jesus Christ, while the surrounding smaller domes represent different saints. The vibrant colors are said to depict the majesty and glory of the spiritual realm.

St. Basil’s Cathedral has survived fires and war.

Throughout its history, St. Basil’s Cathedral has faced numerous challenges. It has been damaged by fires, partially dismantled, and even threatened with destruction during wartime. However, it has managed to survive and has been restored to its former glory.

The Cathedral has been a museum since 1928.

Following the Russian Revolution, St. Basil’s Cathedral was turned into a museum in It has since become a popular tourist attraction, allowing visitors to explore its rich history and marvel at its stunning architecture.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1990, St. Basil’s Cathedral was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is recognized for its outstanding cultural and historical significance, as well as its architectural uniqueness.

The cathedral has inspired numerous works of art.

St. Basil’s Cathedral has served as a muse for artists, writers, and filmmakers over the centuries. Its enchanting beauty and mystique have been captured in paintings, literature, and even featured in movies, making it an enduring symbol of Russian culture.

The Cathedral attracts millions of visitors each year.

As one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, St. Basil’s Cathedral attracts millions of visitors from across the globe. Its historic significance, architectural marvels, and cultural importance make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Moscow.

The interior of the Cathedral is equally captivating.

While the exterior of St. Basil’s Cathedral is undoubtedly impressive, the interior is equally breathtaking. The cathedral’s walls are adorned with beautiful frescoes, intricate carvings, and striking iconostasis, creating a captivating atmosphere of spirituality and artistic brilliance.

St. Basil’s Cathedral was nearly demolished in the 1930s.

During the Soviet era, there were plans to demolish St. Basil’s Cathedral to make way for new construction. However, thanks to the efforts of architects and historians, the cathedral was saved from destruction and has continued to stand as a symbol of Russia’s rich heritage.

The cathedral’s design has influenced architecture worldwide.

St. Basil’s Cathedral has left a lasting impact on architectural styles around the world. Its unique design and striking domes have inspired countless structures, both religious and secular, showcasing the cathedral’s enduring legacy.

St. Basil’s Cathedral is a popular venue for concerts and cultural events.

The cathedral’s magnificent interior provides an awe-inspiring backdrop for concerts and cultural events. From classical music performances to traditional Russian folklore shows, St. Basil’s Cathedral offers a truly immersive experience for visitors seeking to witness the fusion of art and history.

The Cathedral’s official name was changed in the 20th century.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, originally known as the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, had its name changed during the Soviet era to “The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat.” However, it is still commonly referred to as St. Basil’s Cathedral by locals and tourists alike.

The Cathedral has undergone several restoration projects.

Over the years, St. Basil’s Cathedral has undergone multiple restoration projects to preserve its architectural integrity and historical significance. Skilled artisans and craftsmen have worked tirelessly to repair damages caused by time, weather, and human intervention, ensuring that the cathedral remains a timeless masterpiece.

St. Basil’s Cathedral has been featured in various movies and television shows.

St. Basil’s Cathedral has lent its enchanting presence to numerous films and television shows, adding a touch of grandeur and authenticity to the scenes. Its distinctive silhouette and vibrant colors make it instantly recognizable on the silver screen.

The Cathedral’s celebration day is on October 1st.

Every year on October 1st, St. Basil’s Cathedral is celebrated. It is a day filled with festivities, cultural events, and religious ceremonies, paying homage to the historical and cultural significance of this iconic landmark.

St. Basil’s Cathedral remains a symbol of Russian identity.

St. Basil’s Cathedral stands as a symbol of Russian identity and national pride. Its unique beauty, rich history, and enduring presence continue to inspire awe and admiration, serving as a reminder of the cultural heritage and resilience of the Russian people.


St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia is undoubtedly a marvel of architectural brilliance. Its unique design, rich history, and cultural significance make it a must-visit landmark for travelers from around the world. The 19 mind-blowing facts about St. Basil’s Cathedral we’ve explored only scratch the surface of its allure.

From its inception as a victory monument to its transformation into a symbol of Russian identity, this iconic cathedral continues to captivate visitors with its colorful onion domes, intricate interiors, and religious significance. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a memorable experience, a visit to St. Basil’s Cathedral promises to leave an indelible impression.

So next time you find yourself in Moscow, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this architectural masterpiece and delve into the captivating stories that surround St. Basil’s Cathedral.


1. When was St. Basil’s Cathedral built?

St. Basil’s Cathedral was built between 1555 and 1561 during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.

2. Who designed St. Basil’s Cathedral?

The cathedral was designed by a Russian architect named Postnik Yakovlev.

3. Why is St. Basil’s Cathedral so famous?

St. Basil’s Cathedral is famous for its unique and colorful onion domes, as well as its historical and cultural significance as a symbol of Russia.

4. Can visitors enter the cathedral?

Yes, visitors can enter St. Basil’s Cathedral and explore its beautiful interior, which includes several chapels and exhibits.

5. Is St. Basil’s Cathedral a functioning church?

While it is primarily a tourist attraction, services are still held in some of the chapels of St. Basil’s Cathedral.

6. How long does it take to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral?

A typical visit to St. Basil’s Cathedral takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the level of exploration and crowd size.

7. Is photography allowed inside the cathedral?

Photography is generally allowed inside St. Basil’s Cathedral, but it is advisable to check with the staff for any specific restrictions.

8. Can visitors climb to the top of the cathedral?

As of now, climbing to the top of St. Basil’s Cathedral is not allowed for visitors.

9. Is there an entrance fee to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral?

Yes, there is an entrance fee to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral. The fee varies depending on the visitor’s age and nationality.

10. What are the best times to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral?

The best times to visit St. Basil’s Cathedral are during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and enjoy the beautiful lighting.