Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is a church in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The building, now a museum, is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat. It was built from 1555–61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan.
The original building, known as Trinity Church and later Trinity Cathedral, contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local saint Vasily (Basil).
The design of St. Basil’s Cathedral provides strong religious symbolism and is based on architectural designs found in Jerusalem. Eight of the domes make a circular formation around the ninth dome, which looks like a star when viewed from the top. The construction of the cathedral used various kinds of bricks for different elements of design and decor. The interior contains modest decorations with narrow corridors.
Throughout its history, the cathedral has suffered several damages due to fires, looting, and other incidents. The last round of renovation was completed in September 2008 with the opening of the restored sanctuary of St. Alexander Svirsky. The building is still partly in use today as a museum but since 1991 is occasionally used for periodic services by the Russian Orthodox Church. The church has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.