St Basil's  

Cathedral of the ProtectingVeil of the Holy Virgin (Sobor Pokrova Bozhiye materi chto po Rvy u Frolovskikh vorot, literally on the moat at the gate) also known as the Cathedral of St Basilius the God's Fool). It was built in 1555-60 on order of Ivan IV to commemorate the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. Ivan's first idea, of eight individual churches, each to commemorate an important feast day, didn't turn out to his liking so he tore them down. Then Postnik Yakovlev designed a single edifice comprised of seven individual chapels surrounding a larger central one. He then added an eighth small one for symmetry. The central tent roof is 151 feet high and was named for the Protecting Veil because the final successful assault on Kazan occured on that feast day, October first. In 1568 a chapel was built into the outer wall over the grave of St Vassili Blazhennii and that is the origin of the popular title - St Basil's cathedral.


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