I’ve walked past it at least once a week, I have hundreds of photographs of it, and it always fascinates me. However, I had never been inside- until now. This is the inside of St. Basil’s Cathedral, or more accurately- the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed.
The cathedral on Red Square is iconic, and even survived the extensive anti-religion campaign of the communists which led to the destruction of so many other religious buildings. For this reason I have always treated the building with a little more respect- it feels authentic, unlike the newly re-built Church of Christ the Saviour. The building is also unusual because it is actually a collection of shrines, which gives the two-storied structure the feeling of a complex maze.
Walking through, your eyes are bombarded by colour and pattern. As typical of Russian churches, each square space is covered in flowers, saints, angels and art, floor to ceiling. Now a museum, the cathedral has displayed some of the items that were hidden between its walls for decades, old coins, and new models. Altars and icons shimmer gold, and you get an unusual view over the busy Red Square.
Although I am slowly getting tired of churches, having visited so many of them, I think this one is really special. I think I’d even recommend this one over the churches in the Kremlin, although it is atypical because it does not have the vaulting high ceilings, nor the central, open space. Take a tour around this one, and it’s look alike in St. Petersburg, and I think you have a feel for the architecture, style and glamour of the Russian orthodox church.