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Home > 27 Church of Saint Basil in Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow

Church of Saint Basil in Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.

16-private-tour-guide-moscow Excursion to Saint Basil's Cathedral with private tour guide.

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In the Church of Saint Basil 

On the northern and southern walls there are scenes from the life of Saint Basil: “Miracle of rescue in sea” and “Miracle about fur coat”.

One of the miracles of Saint Basil “Miracle of rescue in sea” depicted on shrine and on the south wall. Persian merchants sailed to Moscow and run into a gale on Caspian Sea. The environment power was so strong that they didn’t hope for survival and prepared for death. Suddenly they saw that naked man went on the waves. Suddenly the sea subsided and this person helped them reach the port and disappeared. And when they arrived to Moscow with goods, they met this man on the market. It was Saint Basil.

Miracle of Basil the Blessed about the fur coat” is directed above the shrine and on the northern wall.

Basil the Blessed spoke with noble boyar and predicted to him many things. In gratitude for this the boyar gave to the fool in Christ a fur coat from his shoulder. Two robbers found out about this and decided to take this fur coat by the ruse. “Why Basil needs this fur coat, he doesn’t wear clothes anyway and it won’t hurt us to have this fur coat”. But it wasn’t easy to own it since to kill the fool in Christ is the most severe sin. And they decided to take it using the ruse. One robber lied in the middle of the road and pretended to be dead. Another robber approached Basil the Blessed and said: “look, my friend died and I don’t have anything to cover him”. Basil took off the fur coat, covered the robber, made the sign of the cross over him and told that the covered really dead man. And he went away. And when second robber raised the fur coat he saw a really dead accomplice. The meaning of the legend is that it’s not allowed to make jokes and deceive fools in Christ.

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The part of paintings in every temple is dedicated to the holiday or saint in whose honor in was consecrated. In the Church of Basil the Blessed the Intercession of Holy Mother of God is depicted in front of iconostasis. This painting paid homage to the Intercession cathedral.

Flourished grapevine is an image of Paradise garden. The lower tier of the walls is decorated by traditional ancient Russian ornament in a form of towels. The floor is covered with cast iron plates (of Kaslin cast). The floor of this church was of earth up to XVIII century.


XVIII в. Ancient iconostasis and the shrine above the burial of Saint Basil haven’t remained. Chancel screen was made in 1895. Icons are painted under the guidance of Moscow icon-painter (Osip Chirikov). Iconostasis is rather wide for such a small church and it’s called “with turning” because one raw of icons continue on one of the side walls and sometimes on both walls. In iconostasis of the church, to the left of tsar gate there is ancient icon of XVI century “Virgin Hodegetria”. On the south wall in the Sovereign tier of the iconostasis there is an icon “Saint Basil the Blessed on the background of Moscow Kremlin”.

On the south wall of the church, behind the shrine of Saint Basil there is rare large-scale icon painted on metal, “Mother of God Vladimirskaya with chosen saints” 1904. The icons displays sovereign saints among whom there is Saint Basil, to the right there are Maxim the Blessed, Venerable Sergius of Radonezh and saint Varlaam Hutynskiy, saint prince Dmitriy.

Shrine of St. Basil

In XVI century the entrance to the church of St. Basil was from the other side. Here, on the church yard there was cemetery. Behind the wall of the cathedral St. Basil was buried. The cathedral above his tomb was built in the end of XVI century. Shrine of St. Basil installed in the church is not a coffin but the headstone. The coffin as usual was buried in earth. If to open the lid of shrine there won’t be any relics, it’s empty. The

relics of St. Basil are under the floor of the church. Shrine in the chapel is late (XIX). The original shrine hasn’t remained. On the lid of the shrine there is an icon of St. Basil, such icons are placed not on the coffin bur on the headstone. The canopy above the shrine is called “sen’” which means shade in ancient Russian. Shade symbolizes that above this place there was shadow God grace. Ancient shadow is decorated by metal figured linings and icons in medallions with image of the Virgin of the Sign in the center, cherubs, St. Basil and John the Blessed, Nicolas Wonder-Worker and St. Russian right-believing princes and princesses. Icons are painted on the coper plates in oil technique.

Church of St. Basil was closed in 1929. In the end of XX its interior was recovered and on August 15, 1997, at the day of the memory of St. Basil, in the church there were renewed Sunday and holiday divine services.

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