Located in Moscow’s Red Square beside the Kremlin, the design, candy colors and onion domes are a singular phenomenon – representing Russia’s culture. The cathedral was commenced after a successful victory over the Mongols by the reign of Tsar Ivan IV as a symbol of celebration, in which Kazan was captured by the Russians.
Architectural Gist of the Cathedral:
According to one of the theories, the cathedral represents the heavenly Jerusalem, to define the holiness the walls are decorated with precious stones. The layout of the cathedral consists of a central church surrounded by eight smaller chapels. Each chapel demonstrates a story related to the battle of Kazan. Each tower is directed by the compass points, designed to resemble an eight-pointed star. Later on, a ninth chapel was added over the tomb of St. Basil. St. Basil’s interior is a hodgepodge of galleries curving from a chapel to chapel via narrow stairways and low arches. The galleries –the inner and the outer gallery connects all the churches and the outer gallery circles all the churches from outside. The interior includes icons and paintings reflecting styles of its long history. There are 16th-century frescoes, 17th-century tempera painting, 18th – 19th-century monumental oil painting, and more than 400 icons from the 14th to 19th centuries painted by famous Novgorod and Moscow icon painting schools. The walls and vaults are adorned with grapevine and floral geometric patterns.
Because the church has no analogues, in preceding, contemporary, or later architecture of Muscovy and Byzantine cultural tradition in general; the sources that inspired Barma and Postnik are disputed. Eugène Viollet-le-Duc rejected European roots for the cathedral; according to him, its corbel arches were Byzantine and ultimately Asian. By the Asian’s it is believed to be a recreation of Qolsharif Mosque, believed to be destroyed by the Russian troops after the siege of Kazan. The original ad hoc layout proposed by the architects of Ivan had more symmetrical plan with eight churches side by side around the core, developing a comprehensive plan. Despite the spurious latter concept of a structure devoid of restraint or reason, Influenced by the memory of Ivan's irrational atrocities.
The central core and the four larger churches placed on the four major compass points are octagonal; the four diagonally placed smaller churches are cuboids, although their shape is barely visible through later additions on the eastern side. Inside the composite church are a labyrinth of narrow vaulted corridors and vertical cylinders of the churches. The largest, central one, meters it is wider and airier than the church in Kolomenskoye with its exceptionally thick walls despite the fact that it is 46 meters tall internally but has a floor area of only 64 square.
Nothing like this has survived to date, we are lucky to have such a beauty between us.