Kazan Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox church located
on the northeast corner of Red Square in Moscow.
The current building is a reconstruction of the
original church which was destroyed at the direction
of then Premier of the Soviet
Union, Joseph Stalin in 1936.
The original cathedral
The original church was erected as a shrine in the
early 1630s to mark the city's liberation from the
Polish aggressors by the Russian people's volunteer
army at the close of the Time of Troubles.
Upon clearing Moscow from the Poles in 1612, Prince
Dmitry Pozharsky attributed his success to the divine
help of the icon Theotokos of Kazan, to whom he had
prayed on several occasions.
From his private funds, he financed construction of
a wooden church to the Virgin of Kazan
on Red Square in Moscow.
After the diminutive shrine was destroyed by fire in 1632,
the Tsar ordered it replaced by a brick church.
The one-domed edifice, featuring several tiers of kokoshniki,
a wide gallery and a tented belfry,
was consecrated in October 1636.
That its history was tempestous is evidenced by the fact
that its archpriest Avvakum led the party of
religious dissenters, or Old Believers.
After numerous renovations of the cathedral undertaken
in the imperial period, the original design was
lost behind later additions.
The distinguished Russian restorer Peter Baranovsky
supervised a complete reconstruction of the church's
exterior to its original design in 1929-1932.
Some specialists, however, criticised
the accuracy of this reconstruction.
In 1936, when Red Square was being prepared for
holding the military parades of the Soviet Union,
Joseph Stalin ordered the square cleared of churches.
Although efforts were made by Baranovsky to save it,
he could not prevent the Kazan Cathedral from being
demolished (though Baranovsky did manage to save
another of the square's cathedrals, Saint
Basil's Cathedral from destruction).
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Kazan Cathedral
was the first church to be completely rebuilt after
having been destroyed by the Communists.
The cathedral's restoration (1990-1993) was based on the
detailed measurements and photographs of the original
church Peter Baranovsky made
before its destruction in 1936.
Kazan Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow, Russia (YouTube.com)
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Kazan Cathedral see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia