The Assumption Cathedral

For six centuries, the Assumption Cathedral was the state and cultural centre of Russia: Great Princes were set for reigning and local princes swore fealty, inaugurations of Tsars and coronations of Emperors took place here. Bishops, Metropolitans and Patriarchs were inaugurated; statements and ceremonial documents were publicly read, church services before military campaigns and in case of a victory were held at the Assumption Cathedral.

The first stone cathedral’s foundation was laid in 1326 by the first Moscow Metropolitan Peter and Prince Ivan Kalita. In late XV century, Great Prince Ivan III who had consolidated all Russian princedoms under the power of Moscow began the construction of the new residence from rebuilding of the Assumption Cathedral. It was erected by a specially invited Italian architect in 1479.

Because of ceremonial functions, particular attention was paid to the cathedral’s interior. Its wall-paintings, icons and various secular utensils are artworks of international artistic value.

The murals and the grand iconostasis of 1653 create the present-day look of the cathedral.

In front of the iconostasis, you can see the Tsar’s, Tsarina’s and Patriarch’s praying-seats. The Tsar’s one is of special interest. It is situation in the south-western corner under a bronze marquee.

In XIV-XVII centuries, the Assumption Cathedral was the burial place of the Russian Orthodox Church heads - Metropolitans and Patriarchs.

After the Revolution of 1917, the Assumption Cathedral became a museum. The interior has been extremely well preserved. Thanks to permanent restoration works, practically all the icons and murals were able to be displayed. Since 1990, church services have recommenced.

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.

Back to all Moscow Museums

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