St. Basil's Cathedral
Philippe Jacquemart / EyeEm/Getty Images

Key Info

2 Krasnaya Ploshchad

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.6scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

St. Basil's Cathedral, also known by its much longer title as the Cathedral of Intercession of Theotokos on the Moat, is the most iconic landmark in Russia. It's located in Red Square, immediately recognizable by its unique bonfire-style design.

Built in the mid-16th century under the orders of Ivan the Terrible himself, (a popular legend says he had the architect blinded to prevent him from duplicating the beauty) St. Basil's Cathedral is most known for its vibrantly colored onion domes. Frommer's says the cathedral is "essentially a union of nine different churches and styles, and nine different chapels, beneath nine domes, each unique in size, form, and color."

Travelers say that the interior is relatively plain and that you shouldn't bother if you're pressed for time. Fodor's says, "Compared with the exotic exterior, the dark and simple interiors are somewhat disappointing." If you do feel like touring the inside, you'll find that it's relatively small, so an hour will be more than enough time.

Admission will set you back around $3 USD (or 100 rubles). The cathedral is usually open daily from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. (it's always closed the first Monday of the month).

  • Literature about the different chapels and niches is surprisingly limited, though vendors offer icons and souvenirs." -- Frommer's
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