Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin: description, architecture

The focus of this article will be the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The monumental sacral structure draws attention with its atypical, even foreign. Its domes, besides the main one, do not have gilding. And outside the cathedral looks like an Italian palace of the High Renaissance times. But the outside chapels and the gallery correlate the church with the ancient Russian canons of architecture. And what's inside? The interiors are as if imbued with the idea of ​​autocracy, sung by the Russian Orthodox Church. And this is not surprising: after all, the temple was originally conceived as a palace chapel, and even the tomb of all the Moscow princes of the “male sex”.Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow KremlinGrand princesses and queens were buried in the nearby Ascension Cathedral. After it was blown up, the remains of the women were transferred to Arkhangelsky. Can you see all this? Sure. Indeed, since 1955 a museum has been operating in the Archangel Cathedral.And on major religious holidays in the temple services are held. An interesting detail: in front of each of them the cathedral is consecrated anew. Let's go together on a virtual tour of this temple. The photos below will help you to get an idea of ​​the elaborate architecture and beautiful rich decoration of this miracle of Italian-Russian architecture.

The Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin: history

Why is it so named? Archangel Michael has long been considered the patron saint of Moscow princes in their military affairs. The leader of the angels, who conquered Satan with the host of heaven, was honored by them. Going on a campaign, the Russian princes turned to him with a prayer for victory. That is why the Archangel Cathedral simply had to appear on the Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin. And it appeared, however, not the way we see it today. The first building was, like the entire Kremlin, wooden. Most likely, it was erected during the short reign of Prince Mikhail Khorobrit (1247-1248), brother of Alexander Nevsky. It was the city’s second largest church. However, the first Cathedral of the Archangel of the Moscow Kremlin was not intended for the burial of princes.Mikhail Khorobrit himself, who died in the war with the Lithuanians, rests in the Assumption Church in Vladimir. And only starting with the nephew of this prince, Daniel, who inherited the throne, Moscow rulers are buried within the limits of the Archangel Cathedral. But soon the wooden temple will be demolished and a stone one will be built in its place. Therefore, there was no real tomb in the first church. Daniel was buried near the southern wall, and his son Yuri was buried in the temple itself.Moscow Cathedral of Archangel

The first stone cathedral

In the 30s of the fourteenth century, the Moscow Kremlin already began to acquire a modern look to us. Stone cathedrals appeared: the Assumption, the Savior on Bor and St. John of the Ladder. Grand Prince Vladimir and Moscow Ivan Danilovich Kalita completed the ensemble of the square. And helped him in this ... crop failure rye. When the grass everywhere went up and did not give grain, the prince made a vow that he would build a stone cathedral in exchange for a dilapidated wooden one if his country was past hunger (and a riot linked to it). In fulfillment of the oath, he in 1333 — in one summer, as reported by manuscripts — erected a church. Already in September, Metropolitan Theognost was ascended it. This Moscow cathedral of the time of Kalita was small.The modest dimensions are indicated by the short construction time and the entry in the Power Book of the sixteenth century: in comparison with the “Vetkhim” temple, “the new one was great”. Most likely, it was a single-headed four-column church, similar to the Savior on Bor. Later, the chapels began to be completed, most likely, wooden ones. They were named according to the names of the sons of Kalita, buried in the Cathedral of the Archangel - Andrew of Crete and Simeon the Stylite. After a century and a half, in 1471, the church acquired two more side-chapels: the Resurrection and the Apostle Aquila. Is it possible to see anything left over from the cathedral of the time of Kalita? Scientists are still arguing about it. Some believe that the sixteenth-century architect built the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, which was modern for us, “from scratch”. Others argue that the old building was not dismantled to the ground, and was included (fragmentary) in the new one.Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin description

Cathedral of Aleviz

The epoch when the present Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin was built - the sixteenth century, its very beginning. Or rather, 1505-1508 years. In order to understand the idea of ​​a cathedral, you need to know its history. In the middle of the fifteenth century, lightning hit the building erected by Kalita. The fire was avoided, but the dilapidated temple was very much affected by strong winds and storms.During the reign of Ivan the Third, the Grand Duke of Moscow, it was decided to disassemble the building that threatens to collapse and build in its place a new Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The city of Moscow was flourishing by then. New churches, monasteries were built, bridges were built. The Kremlin took on how we see it today. For such a titanic work, Italian masters were invited, who at that time were considered unsurpassed architects. The teeth of the Kremlin walls in the form of "dovetails" are just an example of the Lombard architectural style. For the construction of the Cathedral of the Archangel, the master Aleviz Fryazin New was discharged from Milan. The question may arise: why does the Italian have such a Russian surname? In fact, Fryazin is a nickname. So in Russia they called foreigners. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, a lot of them came - according to the princes, to build something and paint ... And then came the new Fryazin, named Alevizo. So it was recorded in the books of account.Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin

Coordination of Renaissance architecture with the Orthodox canon

New Fryazin Aleviz took part in the construction of the Moscow Kremlin.However, the construction of religious buildings - a more subtle matter, it was necessary to adhere to the canon. And at the same time, the prince wanted his palace temple to be in a “fashionable style”. It was necessary to combine the strict geometry of the Italian Renaissance with the traditional five-domes, semicircular arches and round painted pillars inherent in ancient Russian sacral architecture. Aleviz coped with this task. Like his compatriot Fiorovanti, who worked on the Assumption Cathedral, he gave preference to the five-domed roof. In the layout, the architect used the cross-dome system and semicircular arches, which led to the former fragmentation and unevenness of the divisions. And by this, the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin is vaguely reminiscent of the teremkovy style of ancient Russian temple buildings. According to the Orthodox canon, Aleviz built a two-tier porch. It is located in the western part of the temple, near the chapel of St. Aquila. Women of the royal family could observe the service, standing on special choirs on the second tier. The rest of the temple is made in the spirit of the Italian Renaissance. This is manifested in the decoration of the walls with white stone (the building itself is brick),and in multi-profile cornices, order pilasters with capitals, decorated with floral ornaments, and in zakomara decorated with "shells".Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin century

History of construction

The order for clearing a place for the new Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, Ivan Vasilyevich Third, is published on May 21, 1505. By October, the old church was completely dismantled (according to another version of historians - partially). The Grand Duke of Moscow himself laid the first stone in the construction of a new cathedral, but died a few days later. Throne was inherited by his son Basil III. And the continuation of the work was already under his patronage. Four years after construction began, the building was completed. This five-apse and six-pillar structure, which now has eight aisles, was crowned with five main domes. Initially, they were covered with black glazed tile, but never gold. And this had its own reasons. The temple was consecrated by Metropolitan Simon on November 8, 1508.

Necropolis Church

It is difficult to say now, when it was Vasily the Third who had the idea to re-equip the tomb of the great Russian princes of the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.The date of his order for the burial of the ancestors in the walls of the new church dates back to the same year 1508 - the time of the completion of the construction and consecration of the temple. We emphasize once again that only male offsprings were originally buried in the Archangel Cathedral. Women of the clan - the queen or princess - found solace in the shadow of the Church of the Assumption of Our Lady in the Moscow Kremlin. Common necropolis became only in the twentieth century. When the Bolsheviks blew up the Ascension Cathedral, the remains of women of the royal family were transferred to Archangel. This explains the concept of interior paintings. In the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, in the lower tier, we see "portraits" of Russian princes. These are Vasily the Dark, Ivan Kalita, Dmitry Donskoy, Ivan the Third. Rather, they are conditional images, since it is not necessary to talk about portrait similarities. The specific princes are represented here: Ivan and Andrei Staritskys, Vladimir the Brave and his grandson Vasily Yaroslavovich, Simeon of Kaluga and Boris Volotsky, Andrei Uglich and others. In the upper, more honorable tier, you can see the image of the rulers of Kievan Rus. The most central place is occupied by the portrait of Vasily the Third - the donor of the cathedral.The Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin history

Tombs of the Kings

There are fifty-four male graves in the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. The tombstones of 46 of them were replaced in 1636-37, and in 1903 they were covered with bronze under a glass dome. Prior to the transfer of the capital to St. Petersburg, specially appointed bishops on the anniversary of the Assumption made panikhida. Almost all the kings who died before the middle of the eighteenth century - from Kalita to Ivan Alekseevich, brother of Peter the First, are buried in the cathedral. There are few exceptions: it was Daniel Alexandrovich, whose ashes in the Danilov monastery were not disturbed, Boris Godunov, whose bones were thrown by Lzhedmitry (later they were buried in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. But here is the grave of Peter II, grandson of the founder of St. Petersburg. His ashes transferred to the Peter and Paul Cathedral of the northern capital, because they were afraid of infection (the young man died of smallpox at the age of 15 in 1730). Ivan the Terrible believed that he was supposed to have a special burial place. He and two sons rest in deaconni Ke of the Archangel Cathedral in Moscow. By the way, his grave was opened in 1963. MM Gerasimov explored the king’s skull and recreated his portrait.Ivan the Terrible inherited his long nose and round eyes from his Greek grandmother, Sophia Paleolog. And the growth of the king was in the meter and eighty centimeters. In his bones, as well as in the remains of his wives Marfa Sobakina, a lot of mercury was found. Most likely, the royal family name was systematically hunted down.The Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, the city of Moscow

Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin: description

This temple is the complete opposite of the neighboring, Ouspensky. In addition, the "filling" of the Renaissance, and the appearance - Russian. In the Archangel Cathedral, the interior fully meets the canonical Orthodox church, although from the outside - especially from the western facade - the building looks like an Italian palace of the High Renaissance times. However, later extensions somewhat changed its appearance. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, whose architecture in general terms remained unchanged, acquired two side-chapels: John the Baptist and Pokrovsky (later renamed Saint Huar). On three sides the church was surrounded by an open gallery. In the eighteenth century, it was removed, but reworked the central chapter. Before she was helmet-shaped, and became an onion.Classicism made its own adjustments: decorative phials were removed from the zakomar; they acquired an arrow shape. At the same time, black-and-red roof tiles were removed from the domes. In the nineteenth century, a two-storied extension for priests clung to the temple on the south side.

Cathedral Paintings

Only half a century later, already under Alexey Mikhailovich (1565), the Archangel Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin was covered with frescoes. The description of some of them was given above. But besides the "portraits" of the kings, there are also pictures of religious content. First of all, this is the plot of the struggle of Archangel Michael with Satan, which is explained by the name of the temple. But these ancient frescoes are preserved only in the tomb of Ivan the Terrible. There you can see a picture of the Gospel story of the rich and Lazarus. In the middle of the seventeenth century, these paintings were shot down. According to their views, they were updated by the icon painters of the Armory. From the end of the XVI and in the XVII centuries, the images of kings are executed not in fresco technique, but in tempera on boards or canvases. They already have a portrait resemblance to Fyodor Ivanovich, his son Mikhail and grandson Alexey (ruled from 1598 to 1682). The original iconostasis is not preserved.The one that we see today was created in 1681.

The newest history of the cathedral

The temple building was destroyed and restored every time. During the Russian campaign of Napoleon, the military kitchen was installed in the altar part of the cathedral! At the same time the iconostasis suffered. In 1813, it was necessary to replace the columns of the lower tier and the carving of the royal gates. In 1913, on the occasion of the centenary of the Romanov family, in the Archangel Cathedral, a large-scale reconstruction was carried out. At this time, over the tomb of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich, a canopy with massive lamps was erected. During the October Revolution, the temple suffered from the shelling of the Kremlin. And the next year it was closed altogether. In 1929, the Moscow Cathedral of the Archangel received in its basement white-stone tombs with the remains of women from the dynasties of Rurik and Romanovs. And since 1955 a museum has opened in the temple. Services in the Kremlin were banned until the fall of the Soviet Union. Now the temple is transferred to the Church.

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