St Basil’s Cathedral

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Postnik Yakovlev

Moscow, Russia; 1554

The Russian Orthodox Church used to be overseen from Constantinople but declared its independence just before Constantinople was taken over by Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453.

Russia’s tradition of building domed and multi-domed churches developed from that link, but there were other influences. The external decoration and colour seem to have come from further east, along the Silk Road. St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow is the most famous Russian church, and there is nothing to match its exuberant display. It now seems to be in a permanent state of carnival, but it was not always so brightly ...

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