Cathedral of the Archangel

Cathedral of the Archangel

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The Cathedral of the Archangel is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Archangel Michael. It is located in Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square
Cathedral Square may refer to:*Cathedral Square, Brisbane, Australia*Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand*Cathedral Square, Glasgow, Scotland*Cathedral Square, Moscow, Russia*Cathedral Square, Mobile, Alabama, United States...

 of the Moscow Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...

 in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 between the Great Kremlin Palace and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower
Ivan the Great Bell Tower
The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is the tallest of the towers in the Moscow Kremlin complex, with a total height of . It was built in 1508 for the Russian Orthodox cathedrals in Cathedral Square, namely the Assumption, Archangel and Annunciation cathedrals, which do not have their own belfries...

. It was the main necropolis
Necropolis
A necropolis is a large cemetery or burial ground, usually including structural tombs. The word comes from the Greek νεκρόπολις - nekropolis, literally meaning "city of the dead"...

 for members of the Tsars of Russia until the relocation of the capital to St. Petersburg.
It was constructed between 1505 and 1508 under the supervision of an Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 architect
Architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 Aleviz Fryazin Noviy on the spot of an older cathedral, built in 1333.

History


A precursor to the present cathedral was built in 1250, and was replaced with a stone church in 1333 by Grand Duke Ivan Kalita, who would later become the first Russian monarch to be buried in the church. In 1505, Grand Duke Ivan III
Ivan III of Russia
Ivan III Vasilyevich , also known as Ivan the Great, was a Grand Prince of Moscow and "Grand Prince of all Rus"...

, already in the midst of major renovation project for the Kremlin, turned his attention to the church, as in the case of the rebuilding of the Assumption Cathedral
Assumption Cathedral
Assumption Cathedral or Dormition Cathedral may refer to a number of Cathedral churches consecrated to the Dormition of the Theotokos in the Orthodox tradition and Assumption of Mary in the Roman Catholic tradition:*The Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir, aka Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir...

 two decades earlier, turned to architects from Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 for assistance. A Milanese
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Lamberti Aloisio da Mantagnana was invited to Moscow, and ground was broke for a new cathedral on 21 May 1505. Ivan died in the autumn of the same year, and was buried in the still unfinished building. Work on the cathedral was completed by the end of 1508, but it was not formally consecrated until 8 November 1509.

The new building incorporated many elements of the Italian Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, and numerous of these details (considered “exotic” by Moscow standards) disappeared during later repairs and restorations. The interior walls were not painted with fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

es until the 1560s.

The cathedral was damaged in the 1737 Kremlin Fire, and was further threatened by the construction of the predecessor of the Grand Kremlin Palace, which led to soil subsidence, and caused a slight tilt in the orientation of the walls.

Victories of the Russian military were celebrated in the Cathedral of the Archangel. All Russian tsars and grand prince
Grand Prince
The title grand prince or great prince ranked in honour below emperor and tsar and above a sovereign prince .Grand duke is the usual and established, though not literal, translation of these terms in English and Romance languages, which do not normally use separate words for a "prince" who reigns...

s were buried within the cathedral until the time of Peter the Great, along with many empresses and princes of the blood, with the sole exception of Boris Godunov
Boris Godunov
Boris Fyodorovich Godunov was de facto regent of Russia from c. 1585 to 1598 and then the first non-Rurikid tsar from 1598 to 1605. The end of his reign saw Russia descend into the Time of Troubles.-Early years:...

. After the royal necropolis was moved to Peter and Paul Cathedral
Peter and Paul Cathedral
The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Zayachy Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were...

 in St. Petersburg, only Tsar Peter II
Peter II of Russia
Pyotr II Alekseyevich was Emperor of Russia from 1727 until his death. He was the only son of Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich, son of Peter I of Russia by his first wife Eudoxia Lopukhina, and Princess Charlotte, daughter of Duke Louis Rudolph of Brunswick-Lüneburg and sister-in-law of Charles VI,...

, who happened to die in Moscow, was interred here.
There are 54 burials in the cathedral, with 46 ornamented whitestone tombstones (1636–1637) and glazed cases made of bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 (1903). Of note is the tomb of Tsarevich Demetrius, the son of Ivan the Terrible, was buried there in the early 17th century and was later canonized.

During the 1917 Russian Revolution, the cathedral was damaged during the fighting. Afterwards, it was closed by the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 regime. During the 1950s, along with the other surviving churches in the Moscow Kremlin, was preserved as a museum. A large portion of the church’s treasures were either transferred to the Kremlin Armory Museum, or sold overseas.

After 1992, the building was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church and occasional religious services resumed.

Architecture



Compared with the other two major Kremlin cathedrals, the Archangel Cathedral is substantially different in style, despite maintaining a traditional layout. It echoes the layout of the Assumption Cathedral in its use of five domes (representing Jesus Christ and the Four Evangelists
Four Evangelists
In Christian tradition the Four Evangelists are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors attributed with the creation of the four Gospel accounts in the New Testament that bear the following titles:*Gospel according to Matthew*Gospel according to Mark...

. However, the exterior ornamentation its characteristic semi-circular niches with shell-shaped ornaments and gateways with arc-shaped frames made of white limestone, which are coated with paint and decorated with floral ornaments point to the Italian Renaissance influence.

The interior of the cathedral, however, was largely constructed in a manner typical for Russian churches. The large iconostasis of the cathedral of the archangel
Iconostasis of the Cathedral of the Archangel
The Iconostasis of Cathedral of the Archangel Michael is a traditional Russian iconostasis, which dates from 1678-81. The iconostasis, which has been preserved to our day, is located in The Cathedral of the Archangel in the Kremlin of Moscow-History:...

, 13 meters high, dates from 1678-81. The icon of Archangel Michael, the oldest in the iconostasis, is believed to have been created for Princess Eudoxia
Eudoxia of Moscow
Eudoxia Dmitriyevna —monastic name, Euphrosyne— was a Grand Duchess of Muscovy and wife of Dmitry Donskoy.-Family:Eudoxia Dmitriyevna was a daughter of Dmitry Konstantinovich, Grand Prince of Nizhny Novgorod and Vasilisa of Rostov....

, the wife of Dmitri Donskoi
Dmitri Donskoi
Saint Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy , or Dmitry of the Don, sometimes referred to as Dmitry I , son of Ivan II the Meek of Moscow , reigned as the Prince of Moscow from 1359 and Grand Prince of Vladimir from 1363 to his death. He was the first prince of Moscow to openly challenge Mongol authority in...

 to the memory the victory in the Battle of Kulikovo
Battle of Kulikovo
The Battle of Kulikovo was a battle between Tatar Mamai and Muscovy Dmitriy and portrayed by Russian historiography as a stand-off between Russians and the Golden Horde. However, the political situation at the time was much more complicated and concerned the politics of the Northeastern Rus'...

.

The wall fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

es date to the 16th and 17th centuries. Some were painted by Yakov of Kazan, Stepan of Ryazan, Joseph Vladimirov
Joseph Vladimirov
Joseph Vladimirov was a Russian painter of the 17th century from Yaroslavl. It is known that he was the one to paint icons for the Kremlin Armoury...

and others between 1652 and 1666.

External links