Pearls of Russia
Annunciation (Blagoveshchenskiy) Cathedral
The Blagoveshchenskiy Cathedral (the Cathedral of the Annunciation) is located next to the Grand Kremlin Palace.
Originally it functioned as a house-church. The one-domed Blagoveshchenskaya church, that was standing there in the end of the 14th century, was considerably reconstructed. By the end of the 15th century the house-church was pulled down and on its ground floor a new cathedral was built in 1484-1489.
Evidently, the architects from Pskov, who built it, were sticking by the basic structural parameters of the preceding temple. The Cathedral was crowned with 3 cupolas and surrounded by the open gallery for promenades that had passages leading to Cathedral Square.
When in the sixties of the 16th century the Cathedral was being restored after the fire of 1547, the gallery was vaulted, its corners were decorated by four pillars made in the shape of one-domed churches and two more domes were installed on the top of the building itself.
During that time the Cathedral gained a new status becoming the Czar's Palace temple. The gallery was connected with the Czar's Palace by the open passage.
The Iconostasis of the Blagoveshchenskiy Cathedral is one of the oldest Russian ones. It contains icons of the 14th-19th centuries. Icons of Jesus with praying Mother of God and Ioann the Forerunner as well as the festive ones apparently date from the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century.
The central icons ( Jesus Christ, Mother of God, Ioann the Forerunner, the Apostle Pavel) and their general conception are ascribed to Theophanus the Greek and the icon of the Archangel Michael was probably the work of Andrei Rublev.
Festive icons damaged in the fire of 1547 were believed to be done by Prokhor of Gorodets and Andrei Rublev. The Church of Priestly Ordination (Rizopolozheniye) is located on the west side of the Uspenskiy Cathedral.
Architects from Pskov built it in 1484-85 at the site of the metropolitan's private church that was burned down. The Church is small but it is distinguished by a number of original decoration solutions and forms.
All its frescoes were done in 1644 by the Czar's icon-painters Sidor Osipov, Ivan Borisov and Semen Abramov.
The distinctive feature of the Church's wall murals is the absence of the Doomsday composition on its western wall. The four-tiered iconostasis was done in 1627 by the group of craftsmen under the direction of the well-known master Nazariy Istomin- Savin (the icon of Trinity, as is thought, was done by him).
Address: Kremlin, Moscow
Underground: Alexandrovskiy Sad