Church Objects on Show
at St. Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square marks its 450th anniversary this year

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A new exhibition, “The Golden Vestry,” is now on in part of St. Basil’s Cathedral as the church marks its 450th anniversary this year.

The exhibit displays valuable liturgical objects from the State Historical Museum including a chalice in the image of the one used by Christ for his disciples at the Last Supper, an intricate set of Communion utensils, a tabernacle and other objects in gold and silver.

“It is only at certain rare moments that the items used during church services are brought out so that worshippers can see them. What makes our exhibition so valuable is that it offers a chance to marvel at those unique treasures as long as you wish.” said Tatyana Saracheva, an art expert who works at the museum.

The Communion set once belonged to Tsar Mikhail I, the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty.

Much of the work on display has intricate engravings that show the level of craftsmanship that was once at use in Russia.

But the exhibition is only a small part of what the remarkable cathedral has to offer.

After entering through the basement, you see icons and paintings from as far back as the 16th century, and a shrine where St. Basil is buried.

The huge steps of a previously secret spiral staircase lead up from the basement to the main cathedral, where in one of its nine chapels — the famous onion domes — you will find the new exhibition.

Ivan the Terrible ordered St. Basil’s Cathedral to be built on Red Square after his victory over the Khazan and Astrakhan Khanate.

The exhibition will be open till July 12, which will be exactly 450 years after the cathedral’s completion in 1561.

The museum did not know whether any other events would be arranged for the anniversary.

St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin are UNESCO world heritage sites, and the cathedral has been nominated as one of the Wonders of the World.

The cathedral is considered part of the Kremlin museum and is federal property.

Source: The Moscow Times
18 January, 2011