Moscow is a city brimming with extraordinary cathedrals and religious buildings. Visitors will discover a variety of architectural styles, vibrant colors and incredible interiors in the beautiful churches of the Russian capital. From the Gothic pinnacles of cathedrals to colorful patterned domes, churches form an important part of the city’s character and are real attractions for visitors. Check out the most beautiful ones below.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral
The Cathedral of Intercession of Theotokos, more commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is one of Moscow’s most iconic buildings, in the heart of Red Square. Saint Basil’s Cathedral is made up of a cluster of red brick churches topped with vibrant colored domes. The building is so beautiful that there’s a local legend which says that Ivan the Terrible blinded the architect so that he could never better its creation. Whether you go to see the vivid colored church in the daylight or admire Saint Basil’s Cathedral lit up at night, it’s a must-visit Moscow attraction.
Cathedral of Archangel Michael
There are many incredible churches located within the Kremlin, but the Cathedral of Archangel Michael (Archangel Cathedral) is one of the most historic. For many years the Cathedral of Archangel Michael was a celebration place for Russian military victories, as well as the burial site for Ivan the Terrible and other Russian tsars, Empresses and Princes. While it has the traditional domes of many Russian churches; the arcs, ornamental touches and paint give it a unique style, and inside the church is decorated with vivid frescoes.
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior
The Cathedral of Christ the Savior can be found on the banks of the Moskva River, and is the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world. A church was built on the site in the late 1800s before being demolished in 1931. The rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was completed in 2000, and has become a religious focal point in the city. The five domed neo-classical exterior of this Moscow church stands out on the skyline, while inside the paintings and gold leaf gilding are spectacular.
The Novodevichy Convent
Arguably the most famous monastery in Moscow, the Novodevichy Convent is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The convent was founded in 1524 and housed many high status Russian women, including members of the royal family. The Novodevichy Convent was linked to the Kremlin by the ‘Tsar Road’, and its importance meant that it remained intact during revolutions. The Novodevichy Convent is an excellent example of the Moscow Baroque architectural style, and a unique Moscow attraction.
Moscow Immaculate Conception Catholic Cathedral
For a different taste of religious architecture, visit the Moscow Immaculate Conception Catholic Cathedral. This gothic church is the largest Catholic building in Russia, restored to glory in the 1990s after years of dilapidation. The cathedral houses an organ, bells and a library, and has daily religious services. At night the red brick church is beautifully lit, and the pinnacles jutting into the sky are particularly inspiring.