Jubilee of the St. Basil's Cathedral

Jubilee of the St. Basil's Cathedral

On this day, 1561, the construction of the the Cathedral of the Protection of Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, known also as the cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed  was finished. The Cathedral, built on the order of tzar Ivan the Terrible, was a witness of many great historical changes in Russia and remained a symbol of the Russian capital. 450 years agon, on this day the St. Basil's Cathedral was consecrated, erected on the order of tzar Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. According to the legend, tzar ordered to dig out eyes of the constructors of the cathedral, Borma and Postnik, so they could never build such a beautiful temple.

The Protection Cathedral, known as the St Basil's Cathedral, has changed its appearance many times, it was a witness of many historical changes and survived many dangers. The Cathedral after the construction was a witness of many fires that hit Moscow in XVI and XVII century. During the war of 1812, it was pillaged by the French. Among the people there was a story saying that Napoleon wanted to blow up it, but he was stopped by the hard rain, which extinguished burning wick.

One dome of the St. Basil's Cathedral was damaged by the Bolsheviks, when they attacked the cathedral in 1917. After the revolution, the head of the cathedral was shot dead by  them, the property was confiscated and the church was closed. During the Soviet Union, the St. Basil's Cathedral was again in peril. The architects suggested to blow up the cathedral, because it obstructed the movement of tanks during military parades. According to one legend, when they showed a model where the cathedral did not exits to Stalin, the leader of the USSR said "Don't touch the cathedral, leave it alone!".

So the Cathedral of the Protection survived all those who wanted to destroy it and today remains the symbol of Moscow and Russia. In honour of the jubilee of the cathedral, in which is the branch of the Historical Museum in Moscow since 1920, the Russian Patriarch Kyrril served the Liturgy. The anniversary of the Cathedral wil be marked until October 14 with many exhibitions, religious services and other events. However, today the bells will not be ringing because a day of mourning was declared in Russia for the Volga boat victims. 

Source: RTS