7 of the most BEAUTIFUL churches in Moscow (PHOTOS)

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The lofty lines of Old Russian architecture, ornate examples of the Baroque style and a variety of golden and multicolored domes have all become symbols of Moscow and some of the best masterpieces of Russian Orthodox architecture.

1. St. Basil's Cathedral

The most beautiful church, probably not only in Moscow, but in the whole of Russia. According to experts, its appearance has shaped the aesthetic preferences of many generations of Russians (that's why we love bright and colorful things so much!). Officially, this 16th-century church is called the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God. And only one of the nine chapels inside the cathedral is dedicated to Basil the Blessed.

2. The Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin

This church was built in the 15th century by Italian architect Aristotle Fioravanti. And his name is known to every Russian schoolchild. It is believed that this main cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin is the oldest fully preserved building in the capital. And it has been a witness of great history, because, in it, the crownings and coronations of Russian monarchs were held.

3. Christ the Savior Cathedral

This 19th century Russian-Byzantine style church became infamous as a symbol of the Soviet government's fight against religion. In 1931, it was blown up and an outdoor swimming pool was built in its place. In the 1990s, the cathedral was reconstructed according to the original project and, now, it is officially the main cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church and the largest Orthodox church in Russia.

4. Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye

According to legend, Russia's Grand Prince Vasily III built this church in honor of the birth of his heir, future Tsar Ivan the Terrible. And this is the first stone tent-roofed church in Russia. Before it, only wooden tent structures of this type were built. It is one of the oldest churches in Moscow, a true masterpiece of the 16th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. The Church of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fili

This church was built by Lev Naryshkin, Peter the Great's maternal uncle, on his estate in the district of Fili (then outside Moscow). The emperor, by the way, presented colored stained-glass windows for the church and donated a considerable sum for its construction. Now, this architectural masterpiece of the late 17th century is considered one of the most striking examples of the Moscow, or "Naryshkin", Baroque style.

6. St. Clement's Church

One of the most beautiful churches in Moscow is also a real symbol of Zamoskvorechye, a district south of the Kremlin, where foreign merchants used to come. The church is dedicated to the Holy Martyr, a Roman Pope St. Clement I, which was considered the patron saint of all those traveling by water. The church acquired its present form in 1769, rebuilt from an older church at the expense of Zamoskvorechye merchants. It is another beautiful example of the Baroque style.

7. The Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Khamovniki

This 17th century church resembles a large gingerbread house. The architectural masterpiece is referred to the style of Russian patterning, because of the abundance of colored decorative elements and arches and ‘kokoshniks’. The church is dedicated to one of the most revered saints in Russia, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. But, believers also flock to it to worship the main relic, the icon of the Mother of God ‘The Redeemer of Sinners’. A separate side chapel is dedicated to her.

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