Cathedral of the Annunciation

Moscow, Russia

The first church was built on the site of current Cathedral of the Annunciation in 1397 by order of Grand Duke Vassily I. The present building dates from 1484, when Ivan III (the Great), the great Muscovite empire-builder, ordered a new cathedral. It was completed in 1489 by Krivtsov and Mishkin, masons from Pskov, who blended Greek and Russian styles in their design.

Generations of princes and tsars added to and altered the Cathedral. Ivan IV (the Terrible) had the cathedral rebuilt in the 16th century and added four small side chapels, each with a single dome, while two more domes were added at the rear of the building and all nine domes were gilded. The Tsar was put under church penance when he married for the fourth time (three was the maximum the church would tolerate), and not allowed inside. This led to the construction of a new porch for him to stand under during services.

The cathedral is famous for its magnificent iconostasis, shielding the sacred part of the church from view. Icons by various artists from the 14th to 19th centuries make up the screen. Icons on the diesis (prayer) tier are ascribed to the legendary Russian Painter Andrei Rublev, the greatest of the Russian icon-painters (whose work can also be seen in the State Tretyakov Gallery) and Theosofanus the Greek, possibly Rublev's mentor, with whom he frequently collaborated.

The Cathedral of the Annunciation was originally built as the domestic church of the Grand Dukes and tsars and was connected (along with the Cathedral of the Archangel) by passages to the private quarters of the royal family. The cathedral was used to celebrate name-days, weddings, baptisms and so forth. The Cathedral of the Annunciation was badly damaged during the Revolution, when the Kremlin came under attack from artillery fire. In 1918, the cathedral was closed as a place of worship and now it operates officially as a museum.

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Details

Founded: 1484
Category: Religious sites in Russia

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Francesca Pinna (7 months ago)
Looks incredible from outside but unfortunately we found it closed
Joseph Gilbert (8 months ago)
A beautiful small church.
BradJill Travels (11 months ago)
The Cathedral of the Annunciation is one of the impressive churches that can be visited at the Kremlin in Moscow. Commissioned by Ivan III in 1484 as a Royal Chapel, this is a beautiful church to see. Entrance is included with the general 'Cathedral Square' ticket for the Kremlin. This church is located on the southern side of Cathedral Square in the Kremlin. The entrance is across from the Cathedral of the Archangel. The exterior is similar to that of other churches on the square, highlighted by golden domes topped with crosses. The interior of the Cathedral of the Annunciation is smaller than others on the square but it remains impressive with heavily frescos walls and pillars as well as an decorative iconostasis that is worth some time to view. A handful of historic icon paintings and other religious items worth spending a few minutes to enjoy are on display as well. Note: There are information sheets in multiple languages that you can use during your visit to the church. This can be useful for identifying the many highlighted items of interest within the Cathedral of the Annunciation. Overall, we found the Cathedral of the Annunciation to be a nice inclusion to the group of cathedral visits at the Kremlin. While not our favourite the attractions visited here, we did enjoy our 15 minutes viewing the inside of the cathedral. It is worth making time for.
Ruslan Issayev (14 months ago)
The Cathedral of the Annunciation (Russian: Благовещенский собор, or Blagoveschensky sobor) is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos. It is located on the southwest side of Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia, where it connects directly to the main building of the complex of the Grand Kremlin Palace, adjacent to the Palace of Facets. It was originally the personal chapel for the Muscovite tsars, and its abbot remained a personal confessor of the Russian royal family until the early 20th century.
Gregory Burnett (2 years ago)
One of my favorite. Awesome little chapel. You can feel the history in every niche in this place.
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