The Archangel’s Cathedral

The history of the Archangel’s Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin dates back to the XIV century: in 1333, the first Great Moscow Prince Ivan Kalita ordered to lay the foundation of a white-stone church devoted to St. Archangel Michael. In 1505-1508, a new majestic cathedral was erected on the place of the old church.

Up to the XVIII century, the Archangel’s Cathedral was the burial place of Moscow Princes and Tsars. The white-stone gravestones of Princes adorned with praying words and epitaphs stand under the cathedral’s vaults in strict order. The tombs of the Ryurikovich dynasty are located along the cathedral’s walls. The tombs of the Romanov dynasty are situated near the south-western and north-western pillars. The first Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible and two his sons are buried in a special tsar’s shrine set in the altar part of the cathedral.

The cathedral was first adorned with wall painting in the reign of Ivan the Terrible. The ancient murals have not survived except small fragments on pillars and several compositions of the altar and the tsars’ shrine. In 1652-1666, the cathedral was painted anew by a big team of Russian masters. The program of the new wall painting had the same idea of the one of Ivan the Terrible’s times. One of the main themes was the glorification of the Great Princes’ and Tsars’ power through the images of Saint Russian Princes. The particular point of the cathedral’s wall-painting is the circle of tombstone portraits: the ideational portraits of Princes from the Ryurikovich dynasty are painted over their tombs in the lower tier. The “portrait” gallery of historical persons opens with the image of Moscow Great Prince Ivan Kalita and ends with the image of George Vasilyevich, the younger brother of Ivan the Terrible.

The cathedral’s iconostasis, crowned with the scene of Crucifixion, was created during the reign of Tsar Feodor Alekseevich Romanov in 1679-1681.

Essential Information for Visitors

Address and Contact Details

Kremlin, Sobornaya Pl.
(495) 695-37-76
Metro: Alexandrovskiy Sad

Opening Hours

10.00-17.00. Closed Thursdays.

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