The Cathedral of Saint Basil

If I walk the noisy streets,
Or enter a many thronged church,
Or sit among the wild young generation,
I give way to my thoughts –

– A. Pushkin

Saint Bails Cathedral.jpg

Be honest, doesn’t it look a castle in a Disney version of the Arabian Nights? I imagined this crazy candy crush structure would be in some hard to spell, harder point out on the map place like Kyrgyzstan or Kazakhstan, but no – it’s in Moscow. It’s no castle either, it’s a cathedral. It’s colourful and whimsical, and absolutely fascinating on a whole other level. The Cathedral of St Basil holds deep religious and historical meaning and symbolism. It has eight chapels set around a ninth one to form a perfect eight-sided star. The star can be interpreted in several ways religiously. In the old Jewish calendar, the number eight represents the day of Christ’s Resurrection. This mid-16th century magnificence was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible as both a mark of gratitude to his God for his victory over the Mongols and a tribute to himself that would remind people of his greatness long after he was gone. The nine chapels mark victories in the battles fought  between the Khanate of Kazan and Muscovite Russia.  The architectural entirety represents the Heavenly Kingdom from the Book of Revelation of St John the Divine.There have been many additions and renovations since.

What fun it will be to explore this beautiful building, with a matching  swirly ice-cream cone in hand!

*Original picture can be seen here. If this photo belongs to you and you have any objection to my using it, please let me know and I will take it down. If not, thank you for letting me use it.



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