Russia to mark jubilee of St. Basil’s Cathedral with four-month celebrations

Russia will mark the 450th anniversary of one of its most famous tourist attractions, St. Basil’s (Intercession) Cathedral on Red Square, with four-month-long celebrations.

The festivities will begin on July 12, the day when the cathedral was finished and blessed, and will end on October 14, on Pokrov (the Orthodox holiday of Intercession), to which the cathedral is dedicated.

It took 10 years and 390 million rubles ($14 million) in state and sponsorship funds to renovate the building before the anniversary celebrations.

The construction of the church was ordered in 1555 by Ivan the Terrible and it took 11 years to build it.

The church has served as a branch of the State Historical Museum since 1928 and remains the federal property of the Russian Federation, though services are conducted there every Sunday under an agreement between the museum and the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 1990, UNESCO declared the cathedral a World Heritage Site as part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square complex.

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