St Basil’s Cathedral: A Photo Story

St Basil's Cathedral
St Basil’s Cathedral, outlasting construction cranes and the passing of time.

This is a continuation from: Four top sights to visit around Moscow’s Red Square

If you, like me mistook the colourful domes of St Basil’s Cathedral (St Basil’s) for the Kremlin, you should be forgiven. After all, St Basil’s lies side by side the Kremlin, separated by a high brick wall.

St Basil’s Cathedral is a must-go for every visitor to Moscow. It’s the highlight because I can confidently say that it’s probably the most colourful cathedral in the word with the most unusual of all architecture.

(In case you’re wondering what’s the difference between a cathedral and a church, a cathedral is a church with a seat for a bishop.) Click on the Wiki link for more information.

What’s important is that the inside of the cathedral is as interesting and beautiful as the outside. We had previously been to a Russian Orthodox church in Irkutsk, so it wasn’t so much of a culture shock. Like the one we had visited, there were murals that covered almost every inch of the wall. On the ceiling of the dome, there was a painting of what seems to be Jesus or a saint on it. I guess the difference lied in the fact that St Basil’s Cathedral, a world-famous star attraction, was bigger in size and had more intricate artwork.

I’m not a history or architecture buff, but it’s the simple yet beautiful views of St Basil’s Cathedral that makes you not want to leave. It’s the stuff of fairy tales, an unexpected surprise. And it does make the seven-day Trans Siberian trip seem all very worth it.

St Basil's Cathedral coloured domes
The coloured domes of St Basil’s.
St Basil's Flower murals
Beautiful flowered murals on the wall
St Basil's saint mural
Picture of a saint on the ceiling of a dome
St Basil's Cathedral gold miniature
Cool exhibit of a mini golden St Basil’s below.
St Basil's flower murals
Pretty flower murals on the wall. Makes for a good wallpaper
St Basil's Cathedral Saint painting
Picture of a saint – These are sacred objects which are worshiped by followers.
St Basil's Cathedral intricate carvings
Intricate carvings
St Basil's Cathedral dome inside
Painting of a saint on the ceiling of the dome
St Basil's Cathedral ceiling
Beautiful coloured ceiling
St Basil's Cathedral chandelier
Electric chandeliers that light up the cathedral
St Basil's Cathedral mural
Beautiful painting
St Basil's Cathedral painting
Painting we saw, kept behind glass
In St Basil's Cathedral
This is kept behind a glass piece too. Another type of shrine.
In St Basil's Cathedral
Nice piece of artwork
In St Basil's Cathedral
The worship pedestal – not sure if it is correct to term it as a shrine
In St Basil's Cathedral
Could this be.. the night of the Last Supper?
In St Basil's Cathedral
Painting with a different touch
St Basil's Cathedral mural
This looks like Jesus when he was captured by the guards. (Sorry I can’t be sure as there is no explanation in English 🙁 )
St Basil's Cathedral chandelier
The majestic halls of the cathedral
St Basil's Cathedral mural
Is this Jesus with the scriptures?
St Basil's Cathedral mural
So intricate and lifelike! Looks a wee bit like Mona Lisa
In St Basil's Cathedral
Olden green door
In St Basil's Cathedral
The disciples with Jesus (I’m guessing).
In St Basil's Cathedral
The opposite tower of St Basil’s, from the window.
In St Basil's Cathedral
Flowered mural on the wall
In St Basil's Cathedral
Not sure what’s the story behind this.. what are your thoughts?
In St Basil's Cathedral
Another painting of a saint on the ceiling of the dome.
St Basil's Cathedral window
An unexpected scenery
St Basil's Cathedral view
View from the windows of St Basil’s
St Basil's Cathedral view
Looking at the cars parked neatly in a row below
St Basil's Cathedral choir singing
Choir at the Cathedral – they were singing old hymns in Russian

It was an early afternoon, when I noticed a crowd around the shrine. A man pushed past me hurriedly, muttering “Excuse me” to join a group in front of the shrine.

After a short introduction, the group started singing (acapella style). The strangest sort of Russian folk songs, which sounded perfectly in sync with the whole cathedral, with the fullness of the baritone bouncing off the great walls. For a moment, you are brought back to the past, where I can imagine a congregation singing hymns of worship in a holy place.

Even though the songs were in Russian and we didn’t understand a word of it, it just felt nice to be immersed so deeply in someone else’s culture that very moment.

St Basil's Cathedral
One last shot before we go…

Credits: Thanks to Xiao Huo Zi for the photos inside St Basil’s.

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Four top sights to visit around Moscow’s Red Square

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