Museum display
Architecture and painting
History
Saints and sacred objects
Living antiquity
1st floor 2nd floor
 

The cathedral’s central church is consecrated to the Protecting Veil of the Mother of Church of St. Vasily the Blessed on the feast day of which — October 1 (October 14, New Style), 1552 — the victorious assault of the city of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible’s troops began. The height of the church is 47.50 meters. Up to the end of the 16th century, the Cathedral of the Protecting Veil remained the tallest structure in Moscow.
The church is a tetrahedral pillar with two octahedrons of different diameters placed on top of it and crowned with a tented roof, which dominates the architectural composition of the cathedral. The octagonal tented roof is topped with a small lantern drum and a vault decorated with the image of the Mother of Church of St. Vasily the Blessed “The Sign.”
Leading into the central church are three entrances with portals on the side of the cathedral’s inner gallery. The architectural decor of the portals is quite varied and distinctive. They are lavishly decorated with carved brickwork in the shape of beads, rosettes, scales, and rhombs. The final dressing of the brickwork was done in place after the bricklaying of the portals was completed.
In the process of restoration of the church, the original wall painting was partially restored and fragments of painted layers dating from later periods were preserved. On the northern and western walls, the original painting imitating brickwork and on the southern wall, 18th-century (on the right) and 19th-century (on the left) oil painting was recreated. The 16th-century checkerboard-patterned brick floor was restored.
 
 
Below the tented roof and under the window openings, fragments of a fresco inscription were discovered, which made it possible to restore a 16th-century church building record. For a long time, the lettering was concealed under layers of oil paint. It was only in the late 1950s that they were cleared in the process of restoration. The church building record
includes the exact date of completion of the cathedral’s construction — June 29 (July 12, New Style), 1561. The inscription is arranged in five tiers. The letters in the bottom tier are 98 cm high and those in the topmost tier, 56 cm high.
Its present iconostasis was made in the Baroque style. It was moved into the church in 1770 from the Moscow Kremlin’s Cathedral of the Miracle Workers of Chernigov, which was dismantled at the time. The iconostasis is decorated with gilt cornices, convoluted columns, kokoshniki (corbel arches), and openwork pewter overlays.