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Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow

Photo © GFDL. View all images in our Cathedral of the Annunciation Photo Gallery.
Photo © Joan Rubió.
Photo © Spolster.
Photo © Alan Cordova.
Photo © Alan Cordova.
Photo © Joan Rubió.
Photo © Joan Rubió.

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.


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

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; Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow
Faiths:Christianity; Russian Orthodox
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Moscow, Russia
Coordinates:55.750074° N, 37.616919° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Cathedral of the Annunciation

Below is a location map and aerial view of Cathedral of the Annunciation. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

More Information

Article Info

Title:Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:12/09/2009
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/russia/moscow-cathedral-of-annunciation/russia/moscow-cathedral-of-annunciation">Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow</a>