St. Basil's Cathedral

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St. Basil's Cathedral

St. Basil's Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Intercession, is a very famous cathedral in Moscow, Russia. It is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, or Pokrovsky Cathedral. It was commissioned by Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible), for Saint Basil the Blessed. It is in the area called Red Square. It was built in 1555-1561.

The cathedral is has eight distinctive onion-shaped towers. The building itself is made up of separate chapels. There is a ninth spire in the middle, forming an eight-point star.

The cathedral has been close to destruction many times. Napoleon Bonaparte decided to take it to Paris, but such an undertaking would have been impossible. Instead, he ordered it to be demolished. Explosives were lit, but torrential rain suddenly started, extinguishing the fuses.

Joseph Stalin also ordered it to be destroyed, since it interfered with parades. Pyotr Baranovsky, who was the architect in charge, objected and was sent to the GULAG but the demolition was cancelled. The city of Moscow also caught fire numerous times, and the cathedral wasn't spared. Even so, it still stands to this very day.