Saint Basil’s Cathedral

“The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat”, or the Saint Basil’s Cathedral how people call it is probably the most attractive and colorful building in Moscow. Possessing both incredible architecture and mysterious history, the church serves as one of the most popular tourist attractions and as a source of pride for all muscovites.


One of the most interesting places to visit in Moscow, Saint Basil’s Cathedral was built by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate seizure of the Kazan Khanate. The construction of the church comes to a period from 1555 to 1561. In fact, the cathedral consists of 9 different chapels surrounding one central church, eight of which are symbols of Ivan’s victories over the Tartars. The tenth church is more of a mausoleum. It was added later where Vasily (Basil) the Blessed, a “holy fool”, was buried.

Interesting facts about St. Basil Cathedral:

  • Massive and majestic on the outside, the Cathedral is rather cramped in the inside.
  • Saint Basil’s Cathedral wouldn’t hold religious processions in winter because of the cold.
  • A legend says, that Ivan the Great blinded the architects for them to never build something as beautiful.
  • The cathedral used to be part of the Russian Orthodox Church but was later separated for purposes of the Soviet Union’s campaigns and has been operating as a branch of the State Historical Museum ever since.
  • The cathedral is an ensemble of 10 different churches united as one.
  • The facade of the church used to be white with golden domes. Only in the 17 century did the building start to become colorful.

St. Basil’s Interior

What can you see in the inside this iconic Russian church? As soon as you step into the splendid cathedral, you will get struck by an unusual contrast, comparing to the facade. You will walk through narrow corridors and admire walls painted in Christian Orthodox motifs. Each little church has its own altar and we can insist on the church being an agglomerate of a mausoleum and nine different chapels. Some of the spectacular ceiling images of saints will give you a shivering feeling of their actual presence.


Tips for visitors:

Where. Where is Basil Cathedral situated? On the south end of Red Square. Metro stations nearby are: Okhotny ryad, Teatralnaya and Ploshchad Revolyutsii.

Announced Opening Hours 2018/2019:

From 1 September to 7 November: 11:00 – 18:00, daily

From 8 November to 30 April: 11:00 – 17:00, daily

From 1 May – 31 May: 11:00 – 18:00, daily

The first Wednesday of the month — sanitary day. Out of service.

From 1 June – 31 August: 10:00 – 18:00, daily

June 6 & August 8: sanitary days, our of service.

The territory of the Intercession Cathedral works from: 9:00 – 21:00, daily

The ticket office and the territory shut down 45 minutes before the museum closes.

The museum might be closed during temperatures below -15С

  • During the festivities and mass events at Red Square, the working hours of the Museum can be changed. Follow the information at the official site or ask us.

    Admissions for foreign citizens
    : Adults – 700 rubles. Children under 16 – free entrance. ISIC & IYTC holders: 150 Rub.

Sightseeing with Pradiz

You will be able to attend this true miracle of architecture during one of the unforgettable Moscow tours. Our friendly Pradiz family welcomes guests from all over the world to admire Russian history, culture and hospitality. A private guide in Moscow will make your trip around the most interesting places in Russia absolutely stress-free and memorable. While doing sightseeing around Red Square, you will notice a colorful chapel with domes looking like delicious ice cream topping – mind popping inside to give your soul a tasty snack.