Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow

The Cathedral of the Annunciation (Blagoveschensky sobor) is a cathedral in Moscow's Kremlin. Originally the royal chapel of the Muscovite tsars, the Annunciation Cathedral's abbot was a personal confessor of the royal family until the early 20th century.


History of Cathedral of the Annunciation

The Cathedral of the Annunciation was built on the Sobornaya Square (Cathedral Square) by architects from Pskov in 1484-1489. It was erected on the spot of an older cathedral, a triangular brick church in the early Moscow style.

Initially, the Cathedral of the Annunciation had three cupolas (two of them built around 1572). It was surrounded by parvises from three sides. In 1562-1564, four single-cupola side chapels were built over the arched parvises.

Ivan the Terrible had to enter the church by the southeast porch entrance, built especially for him. This is because he was married three times too many (for a total of six wives) and was therefore, under the rules of the Orthodox Church, not allowed to enter the church through its main entrance.

What to See at Cathedral of the Annunciation

The north and west entrances from the parvise are decorated with whitestone portals of the 16th century. The fretwork is clearly influenced by the Italian Renaissance. The copper doors of the north and west portals are decorated with golden foil.

The interior walls are covered in brilliant frescoes painted by the Russian artist Feodosy (1508). The floor is covered in tiles of agate jasper, said to be a gift from the Shah of Persia in the 16th century.

But the highlight of the Cathedral of the Annunciation is the striking iconostasis. The icons of the second and third tiers were painted by some of Russia's greatest masters: Andrei Rublev, Theophanes the Greek, and Prokhor of Gorodets.

Quick Facts on Cathedral of the Annunciation

Site Information
Names:Cathedral of the Annunciation
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:55.750074° N, 37.616919° E
Address:Moscow, Russia
Lodging:View hotels near Cathedral of the Annunciation
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

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© Joan Rubió
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© Alan Cordova
© Joan Rubió
© Joan Rubió

Map of Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow

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