Google Doodle Honors the 450th Anniversary of St. Basil's Cathedral

Standing in the Red Square, St. Basil's, with intricate, colorful domes and numerous spires, looks nothing like any other building in Russia

GoogleDoodleBasil-Post.jpg

Russia's St. Basil's Cathedral had an official groundbreaking ceremony in 1555, but because it wasn't officially completed until July 12, 1561, Google waited until today to celebrate the church's 450th anniversary with a special Google Doodle.

The Russian Orthodox church stands in Moscow's Red Square and, with intricate, colorful domes and numerous spires, looks nothing like any other building in Russia. It is officially known as "The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat," and towers over the tomb of Basil the Blessed, a Russian Orthodox saint who shoplifted in order to give to the poor.

"The eccentrically devout St. Basil wore no clothes even during the harsh Russian winters and was one of the very few Muscovites who dared to lambast tyrannical Czar Ivan the Terrible," according to the Associated Press. "Ivan, whose gory purges claimed tens of thousands of lives, feared St. Basil as 'a seer of people's hearts and minds,' according to one chronicle. He personally carried St. Basil's coffin to a grave right outside the Kremlin. The cathedral, constructed to commemorate Ivan's victory over Mongol rulers, was built on the burial site."

After a lengthy restoration process, Russia is celebrating the anniversary of the cathedral's construction by opening an exhibition dedicated to Basil.

Image: Google.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Technology

Just In