Rus Articles Journal

Cathedral of the Protection of the Holy Virgin that on a ditch (St. Basil`s Cathedral) of

Pokrovsky Cathedral was constructed at top of abrupt descent to the Moskva River (nowadays Vasilevsky Descent), near the Kremlin surrounded with a ditch with water, limiting Red Square from the river. It is erected by the Russian masters in the middle of the 16th century in honor of a victory over the Kazan khanate.

Accession of the extensive lands by Ivan the Terrible of Kazan and Astrakhan gave vent to Russia to Caspian (Hvalynsky) to the sea through Volga on which there were Russian vessels now. The victory was huge therefore also the temple in honor of it which rose over the square at 65 m up was under construction with big scope. Majestic and festive, it also until now blows the mind of our contemporaries the unusual beauty, being allocated in the blue sky with the huge stone flower appearing to a human look in all magnificence.

On the general character and richness of the architectural forms inherited from masters of wooden architecture, the temple of the Cover it is possible to carry to national traditional construction. Pokrovsky Cathedral first and itself was wooden, having played subsequently as if a model role for the further embodiment it in a stone.

Earlier on the populous Red Square representing big torzhishche the white stone church of the Trinity around which after each considerable victory in fight for the Kazan lands the small wooden church (side-altar) for the sake of that Saint or a holiday which memory was noted in each of 7 unlucky days of a siege and storm of the city was built stood. Thus on one platform there were 7 churches (side-altars) around one (main) in the center, renamed soon into church of the Protection of the Holy Virgin, having determined by it the name to all temple (falling of Kazan coincided on October 1 - 2 with a Christian holiday of the Cover). Subsequently architects attached the eighth church necessary for traditional symmetry.

three years Later Ivan the Terrible enjoined to build the stone temple on this place, having charged construction ďare wiseď to masters Barma and Postnik. Their names are fanned by legends, one of which says that upon completion of construction of a cathedral, the tsar allegedly ordered to blind them. But researches showed that on it there are no historical bases.

the Temple was under construction from 1555 to 1561 - e years. The scheme of creation of the stone temple remained former: eight separate small churches around the central tent temple. All group was placed on a uniform massive podklet now and connected narrow transitions. Internal premises of churches (side-altars) small, finishing of interiors more than modest that results in contrast with rich external furniture of the temple. However their role is invaluable in the general architectural composition. All features of creation of its space are reflected in the plan of the temple. It is the octagon consisting of two squares (bigger and smaller) imposed at each other at an angle in 45 degrees with the uniform center.

In a big square on corners, the corresponding parts of the world, are cost by six-sided high churches - pillars, in smaller - what is lower. All 8 churches put thus appeared at considerable distance from each other. Surrounded with air and light getting between them they create easy, picturesque composition of all temple in general with any of the parties. And thanks to a pyramidal design and the heavy general basis stability and steadiness are reached.

it is visible to

From the plan that at so unusual structure of the temple, talented architects could keep the conditional scheme traditional a pyatiglaviya, repeated twice, and also symbolics of the only star allowed in Christianity - vosmikonechnoy*.

are also traditional

of Gallery. They were attached in 1588 along with a tent belltower and a side-altar of Vasily Blazhenny by whose name the people called the temple.

the Few know that after completion of construction Pokrovsky Cathedral looked not such, what it now at all: krasnokirpichny, decorated with a white decor, it was topped with the domes covered with the tinned iron casting on the sun white gloss.

National ideas of poetic beauty and the memory of the East connected with a gain of Kazan played a role. In the XVII-XVIII centuries facades of the temple were decorated with fresco, all bulbous central boards (helicoid, wavy, trimmed with rhombuses) covered with a festive multi-color coloring. Even kokoshniks were tinted inside.


In this colourful game as old residents, being dissolved in the general scale of a variety of colors, mashikula (loopholes), rustovanny columns of the main tent temple entered a various form of a niche; the whole tiers of the kokoshniks (triangular, semicircular) repeating repeatedly on walls of all churches; the arcades passing on perimeters of the main church, a podklet etc.

Game of a treatment of light and shade of a former decor in combination with new colourful decorative furniture created a unique, fantastic image of the temple. However dressed in so new magnificent clothes he did not lose the majestic shape.

At the Soviet power the temple several times was tried to be demolished: prevented pass of demonstrations. According to stories, the oldest honored architect Pyotr Dmitriyevich Baranovsky laid down at his bottom, having told that he will die together with the temple. From Moscow it was sent for a while, but the temple was not blown up.

Now the temple on restoration, and soon it will appear before the viewer in the updated look.

Architectural graphics of the author

* Value of an eight-pointed star in Christianity

Number eight - bible value of next century: after six-day creation God of the world and to the Last Judgement the seventh Lord`s day lasts, after the Last Judgement there will be a day of the eighth - life eternal. The star of Bethlehem also is eight-pointed.