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

Key Info

2 Krasnaya Ploshchad

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.6

scorecard

  • 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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Time to Spend
#1 Red Square

One of the world's most famous public squares, the Red Square sits at the physical center of Moscow and is considered the symbolic center of all of Russia. Bluntly speaking, Red Square is a must-see in the city. Allot a decent amount of time to take in the views, capture them on your camera and to just soak in the atmosphere of the place.

You'll find the Red Square is bordered by the massive GUM shopping mall on the east, St. Basil's Cathedral on the south, the State Historical Museum on the north and Lenin's Mausoleum on the west.

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