Archangel Cathedral - Kremlin, Moscow, Russia

Starting from the time of Alexander Nevsky, churches were built here in the name of Archangel Michael, the leader of the heavenly powers and the patron of Moscow princes ...

Archangel Cathedral - Kremlin, Moscow, Russia

The Cathedral of the Archangel received its appearance at the turn of the XV - XVI centuries, under Ivan III. Venetian architect Aleviz Fryazin was invited to build the cathedral. He managed to make it different from the Assumption Cathedral: if that one has an Old Russian appearance and a Renaissance filling, then here is a typical Russian church with a Renaissance palazzo attire — unusual horizontal cornices, while Russian temples are divided by vertical blades.

The bulk of these Italian architects are unknown. At that time, Muscovites called all foreigners "fryagi" or "Varangians", and a common surname for foreign architects appeared - Fryazin.

At the Archangel Cathedral all domes are not gilded, unlike other Kremlin churches. This is associated with the ritual purpose of the cathedral, it is the oldest tomb of the Moscow princes. It is here that all the Russian tsars, who died before the formation of St. Petersburg, rest, only Boris Godunov rests in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, but the grandson of Emperor Peter I, Peter II, is buried in the Archangel Cathedral, not in St. Peter and Paul Cathedral.

In total in the Archangel Cathedral there are 54 burials of Russian tsars, of which 52 have tombstones of the XVII century. Apart from all, Ivan IV is buried, believing that he deserves an extraordinary burial site. He rests with his two sons, in the deacon of the cathedral.

In 1963, the grave of Ivan IV was opened for study, and MM Gerasimov recreated his image. It turned out that Ivan the Terrible had a Slavic face with round eyes and a long, sharp nose. The height of the king was about 180 cm with an athletic physique. The third wife of Ivan IV, Martha Sobakin, like other princely and royal wives, was buried in the Ascension Monastery, but after the monastery was demolished in the 20th century, all the burials were moved to the basement of the Archangel Cathedral.

Tsarevich Dmitry, who died in Uglich under unknown circumstances, was buried in this cathedral. Until today, none of the historians know whether he really fell on a knife in a fit of epilepsy or was stabbed to death. Only one person could answer this question - Boris Godunov, but he took this mystery along with his death.

Also in this cathedral is the empty tomb of B. Godunov, his ashes in 1605, at the direction of False Dmitry I, were thrown out onto the street, allegedly "not to defile" the temple. Later, Boris Godunov, found his last refuge in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.

The Cathedral of the Archangel is painted with oil paints, according to the still not frozen plaster (fresco painting), performed by 92 artists during the reign of Alexei Mikhailovich. The main place in painting is occupied by military themes and subjects with Archangel Michael. It is known that Michael was considered the heavenly intercessor and patron of princes in military affairs. Therefore, gathering in military campaigns, the monarchs, in the Archangel Cathedral, performed the ritual of worshiping their ancestors, asking them for help and spiritual strength to win.

Under Soviet rule, services in the Kremlin churches were banned, but since 1990 all of them have been returned to the Orthodox Church. Currently they are museums, but on church holidays solemn divine services are held in them. It is noteworthy that before starting the service, the cathedrals illuminate each time anew.

Address and coordinates


Address: Moscow, Russia, Cathedral Square of the Kremlin

Throw tickets online and learn about the cost, you can on the official website - Museum of the Moscow Kremlin

Ticket offices: Moscow, Alexander Garden.
Telephone for information: (495) 695-37-76

The nearest metro stations are:
Lenin's Library. Alexander Garden

Archangel Cathedral on the Kremlin map

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