St Basil’s Cathedral

St Basil’s Cathedral tickets and tours

St Basil’s Cathedral is an Orthodox church in the Red Square in Moscow. Viewed as a symbol of the city the church carries many names including Cathedr...

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The inside story

St Basil’s Cathedral is an Orthodox church in the Red Square in Moscow. Viewed as a symbol of the city the church carries many names including Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed or Pokrovsky Cathedral. From the outside this iconic building features colorful onion shaped domes seated in front of a garden with a bronze statue honoring Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin. It’s interiors hold nine chapels surrounding a high belfry with walls and vaults covered in frescoes and oil paintings of saints.

The construction of the cathedral was ordered by Tsar Ivan the Terrible between 1555 and 1561 to celebrate his many victories during the Russo-Kazan war and was once the tallest building in Moscow. Built in the busy marketplace outside of the Kremlin walls, this church once began as a single wooden memorial created next to the Trinity Church, concluding in a cluster of seven wooden churches. Its final red bricked structure was created on the same site of the Trinity Church to commemorate the conquest of Kazan with a unique architectural style which is disputably accredited to Barma and Postnik.

Today St Basil’s Cathedral is a museum, operated by the State Historical Museum, it holds temporary exhibitions presenting rare examples of the ancient Russian icon-painting school and masterpieces of the applied art.

Getting there:

  • Exit at ‘Okhotny Ryad’, ‘Teatralnaya’, ‘Ploschad Revolyutsii’ or ‘Kitay-Gorod’ metro stations to reach the cathedral

Visiting hours:

  • From June to August: from 10.00am to 6.00pm
  • Note during the summer months the Territory of St. Basil’s Cathedral is open daily from 9.00am to 7.00pm
  • Because of church services on the feast day of St Basil the Blessed: 14 August museum is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, last admission at 3.15pm and 15 August museum is open from 11.00am to 6.00pm, last admission at 5.15pm
  • In September, October and May: from 11.00am to 6.00pm
  • From November to April: from 11.00am to 5.00pm
  • The cathedral is closed the first Wednesday of each month for cleaning
  • During the school holidays (autumn, winter and spring), the museum's opening hours are extended by 1 hour.
  • The ticket office and last admission is 45 minutes before closing time

Pricing:

  • Audio guides are available in English
  • Entrance to St Basil's Cathedral interiors and St Basil's Cathedral’s territory has an additional fee that is not included in the entry ticket
  • Children and teenagers up to 16 years can enter for free

Cathedral rules:

  • You can’t touch the windows, nor any exhibit objects and decorations.
  • Bags and backpacks whose size exceeds 30 × 40 cm and umbrellas, must be left in the designated storing areas
  • You can take pictures or videos for free without flash and without tripod. However, in temporary exhibitions, both photos and videos are prohibited
  • Due to the characteristics of the cathedral, where the accesses are by stairs, children and disabled carts are prohibited
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How to get there

St Basil’s Cathedral Red Square, Moscow, Russia, 109012 Moscow