Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Google Doodle : St Basil's Cathedral turns 450

St Basil's Cathedral will mark its 450th anniversary today - and has been celebrated with a Google doodle.

The Russian Orthodox church sits on Moscow's Red Square just yards from the Kremlin, and its distinctive onion domes have been a backdrop for military parades, concerts, New Year celebrations and Muscovites' wedding photos.

St Basil's, built by order of Ivan the Terrible to celebrate Kazan and Astrakhan being captured, was completed in 1561 after six years of work.
Legend has it the church's architect was blinded on its completion to ensure he could not recreate the spectacular design elsewhere.

Originally made up of eight churches around a central church, a 10th was later built over the grave of local saint Vasily - Basil in English. It was made entireley secular in 1929 under the Communist regime.

Now a museum, it is part of the Unesco World Heritage Site designated as the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square.


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