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The Cathedral of the Annunciation - 1860. Artist: Karl Petrovich Bodri
The Cathedral of the Annunciation, situated in the Moscow Kremlin has reopened to visitors after an extensive restoration that lasted more than 5 years.
Originally built in 1397, the cathedral was rebuilt by Tsar Ivan III in 1484. Generations of princes and tsars added to and altered the cathedral, including Tsar Ivan IV (the Terrible). During his reign, Ivan was placed under church penance when he married for the fourth time (three was the maximum that the church would tolerate), and allowed to enter the cathedral. This led to the construction of a new porch for him to stand during services.
The cathedral is famous for its magnificent iconostasis, some being ascribed to the legendary Russian painter Andrei Rublev.
The cathedral was originally built as the domestic church of the grand dukes and tsars and was connected by passages to the private quarters of the royal family. The cathedral was used to celebrate name-days, weddings, baptisms, and so forth.
The Cathedral of the Annunciation was badly damaged during the Russian Revolution, when the Kremlin came under attack from artillery fire. In 1918, the cathedral was closed as a place of worship and to this day operates as a museum.
Since 1993, every year on 7 April (25 March Old Style), at the Holy Day of Annunciation to Virgin Mary, the Patriarch of Russia holds a service here.
© Royal Russia. 2 June, 2011