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Red Square, St-Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia

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Red Square, St-Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia - free coloring page

This very famous cathedral is in Moscow, Russia. It is located in the Red Square area and was built by Ivan the Terrible between 1555-1560. 

It is a splendid cathedral with 8 distinctive onion domes. 

In 1561, while Napoleon Bonaparte was invading Russia, he wanted to take the St-Basil's Cathedral to Paris.  This huge scheme would have been unfeasible. Finally, he decided to demolish it. On demolition day, the explosives were all installed and ready to explode when suddenly, like a miracle, mother nature created a torrential rain. So the explosives were not operational, which discouraged Bonaparte to pursue his goal. 

Did you know that Joseph Stalin also ordered it to be destroyed?

Joseph Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party in Russia and became a dictator after the death of Vladimir Lenin.  Collectivization of agricultural and rapid industrialization was forced upon the people of Russia. Because of this, millions died of famine, and others were sent to labor camps. He also helped defeat Nazi Germany with his Red Army. Because the St-Basil Cathedral interfered with his parades, he wanted to destroy it. But his architect who was shocked by the request of Stalin decided to stop him from doing so by threatening to slit his throat in protest. Miraculously, Stalin decided against destroying the cathedral. 

During the Soviet period, the Cathedral was a museum for the public. Many names were attributed to this landmark over the years. For example:

  • Dedicated to the protection of the Virgin Mary, it was named The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat or the shorter version of the name which is Church of the Intercession In Russian, the translation is Pokrovsky Cathedral.
  • In 1561 it was named Trinity Church 
  • Cathedral of St. Vasily the Blessed – or for most, St. Basil’s Cathedral

How did architects from the 16th century manage to build such a complex structure without design drawings was a mystery for centuries?

But in the fifties, it became evident for the restorers of the Cathedral that the walls had been outlined with timbers that were thin and this trick gave a three-dimensional blueprint as a handy guide for the bricklayers. 

The colors have been created in 1860. The cathedral used to be white and the onion domes were gold color.

Over time it has endured several fires but stands strong to this day.


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