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Danilovskiy Monastery

Danilovskiy Monastery

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Why is Pokrovsky Cathedral called the Cathedral of St.Basil the Blessed?
The Cathedral of St.Basil the Blessed was built as a monument to a major turning point in Russian history, the defeat of the Kazan Khanate (1552-1554). After each major victory, a small wooden church was erected near the Trinity Church which already stood here. Thus, by the end of the war, there were eight churches on this site. After the final victory, Ivan the Terrible, on the advice of Metropolitan Makary, ordered stone churches to be built in place of the wooden ones. Barma and Posnik, the master builders commissioned by the tzar to do the job, however, created a monument whose composition had no parallel in the entire history of world architecture. They built eight pillarlike churches on a single foundation, placed symmetrically round the ninth, central pillar crowned with a tentlike roof. This temple was called Pokrovsky Cathedral.

The cathedral retained its original shape until 1588, when a tenth church was added over the grave of Vasili (Basil) the Blessed, a Jester of the Lord well-known in Moscow at the time. Ever since, the Cathedral has been known as the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed.

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