Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Birthday St. Basil's Cathedral!

Today marks the 450th Anniversary of the opening of St. Basil's Cathedral. 

The popular thought on the creation of this cathedral is that Ivan the Terrible, or rather Ivan Grozny (awesome), had it built to be the greatest and most beautiful cathedral in the land and then blinded the builder so that he could not build another one like it. 

Our Coordinator tried to tell us that this is just a myth.  Okay.  But Ivan did kill his son in a fit of rage. . .not really a nice guy.

But the cathedral is really beautiful.  And it is awesome.  It sits at the far end of Red Square with the Kremlin on the right and GUM Department Store on the left.  When you walk onto Red Square, the road rises before you and the cathedral is not in full site.  But, when you walk up the Square, it rises before you and then ultimately is in full majestic site. 

For a Westerner who grew up during the Cold War and seeing the Soviet troops marking on Red Square on May Day, the fact that we were walking freely on Red Square was incredible enough.  But to also see St. Basil's. . .wow.

We toured the nine chapels, on Good Friday in the Western Church, that make up this cathedral while in Moscow and it is truly a unique sight.  The walls are covered in Icons and the smell of incense is everywhere.  It was definitely worth the rubels we spent to see it.  And then later, we took Aidan there to see it and have our first family picture taken.

The best picture, though, was one we took in November on our first trip.  I don't have it on this computer or I would share it--it is on my Russia wall, though.  It was a cold grey day and snowed off an on so some of the domes had snow on them.  The colors, though, really stood out much more vibrantly than on a sunny day.  I think the backdrop of the grey sky is what did it.

So, Happy 450th St. Basil's cathedral!  May your beauty continue to delight and mesmerize people for generations to come!

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