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St. Basil's Cathedral

Think of Russia and you probably picture this iconic building, whose onion-shaped domes overlook the Moscow skyline.

St. Basil’s Cathedral has become an emblem of Russia due to its distinctive architecture and prominent position on the famous Red Square. Discover hidden surprises inside its walls. Take pictures of the famous exterior and then explore the maze-like interior, which is comprised of multiple chapels.

Learn the real name of this 16th-century church: the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat. It was so named to celebrate a win over Tatar troops, on the day of the Feast of the Intercession, by Ivan the Terrible and his men. The colloquial name comes from Basil, a holy fool who was laid to rest in the cathedral.

Spend a few minutes appreciating the dazzling design of the cathedral. The most recognizable features are its domes. Known as “onion domes” due to their special shape, they come in a range of different colors and designs with three-dimensional effects. See red and white stripes, green and yellow swirls and a tall golden dome at the top. The dizzying height of its tented roof also catches the eye.

Before you enter, be prepared for the interior to feel a lot smaller than the grand scale of the cathedral’s façade due to its unusual layout. Each of the domes represents a chapel within.  Explore the chapels and other religious areas in the building. Look specifically for the St. Basil Chapel and note how it is richly decorated to match the saint’s importance.

Wander along the gallery. The labyrinthine passages here are beautifully decorated and will lead you to your chapel of choice. Climb up the old wooden stairs. These were only unearthed in the 1970s and now lead to the central part of the cathedral. Here you will find a huge iconostasis.

Note that St. Basil’s Cathedral functions mainly as a museum. There is only one service here, held annually on the Day of the Intercession. Take the subway to Ploshchad Revolyutsii to visit the cathedral. The site has an entry fee and is closed on Tuesdays.


Guide to Exploring St. Basil's Cathedral


Top St. Basil's Cathedral Flight + Hotel Deals

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See all 4,038 Properties near St. Basil's Cathedral
Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel £139
Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel

Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel

11 Petrovka Street, Moscow
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of TsUM — Central Universal Department Store and Bolshoi Theatre. Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also within 1 mile (2 km). Kuznetsky Bridge Station is 7 minutes by foot and Teatral'naya Station is 8 minutes.

    Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow £278
    Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

    Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow

    Neglinnaya Street No 4, Moscow
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Moscow hotel is located in the historical district, within a 5-minute walk of Maly Theatre and Bolshoi Theatre. Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are also within 15 minutes. Kuznetsky Bridge Station and Teatral'naya Station are within a 5-minute walk.

      Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow £140
      Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

      Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

      Ul. Balchug 1, Moscow
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Zaryadye Park, Moscow Kremlin, and St. Basil's Cathedral. Red Square and Lenin's Mausoleum are also within 15 minutes. Novokuznetskaya Station is 8 minutes by foot and Tretyakovskaya Station is 10 minutes.

        Hotel Metropol Moscow £175
        Hotel Metropol Moscow

        Hotel Metropol Moscow

        2 Teatralny Proezd, Moscow
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Maly Theatre and Bolshoi Theatre. TsUM — Central Universal Department Store and Revolution Square are also within 10 minutes. Teatral'naya Station is 6 minutes by foot and Lubyanka Station is 6 minutes.

          Barin Residence Balchug £38
          Barin Residence Balchug

          Barin Residence Balchug

          Ulitsa Sadovnicheskaya 8, Moscow
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Moscow City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Moscow Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral. Red Square and Lenin's Mausoleum are also within 15 minutes. Novokuznetskaya Station is 9 minutes by foot and Tretyakovskaya Station is 12 minutes.

            Hotel Nikolsky Red Square
            Hotel Nikolsky Red Square

            Hotel Nikolsky Red Square

            Nikolskaya str. 4/5, Moscow
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Moscow City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kazan Cathedral, Moscow Kremlin and Red Square. Bolshoi Theatre and St. Basil's Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Ploshchad Revolyutsii Station is only a 3-minute walk and Teatral'naya Station is 7 minutes.

              Four Seasons Hotel Moscow £442
              Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

              Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

              2 Okhotny Ryad Street, Moscow
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of State Historical Museum and Bolshoi Theatre. Lenin's Mausoleum and Red Square are also within 10 minutes. Okhotny Ryad Station is only a 2-minute walk and Teatral'naya Station is 2 minutes.

                People Red Square Hotel £41
                People Red Square Hotel

                People Red Square Hotel

                Sofiyskaya Naberezhnaya, 30/1, Moscow
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Moscow City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Zaryadye Park, Moscow Kremlin and St. Basil's Cathedral. Red Square and Lenin's Mausoleum are also within 15 minutes. Novokuznetskaya Station is 12 minutes by foot and Tretyakovskaya Station is 13 minutes.