St Basil’s Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox Church located in the Red Square of Moscow, Russia and was built between 1555 and 1561. On 12th July 2011 Saint Basil’s Cathedral is celebrating its 450th anniversary. The church has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. As part of the celebrations Russia is conducting an exhibition dedicated to the “holy fool” Saint Basil, who gave his name to the cathedral.

The site of the church has been, historically, a busy marketplace between the St. Frol’s Gate of the Moscow Kremlin and the outlying posad. The cathedral is constructed to commemorate Czar Ivan’s victory over Mongol rulers, was built on the burial site where St. Basil’s body is buried.

Andrey Busygin, Deputy Culture minister of Moscow said on  Friday that the exhibition is opening  on Tuesday as part of  $50th anniversary celebrations in the cathedral after a decade-long restoration that cost 390 million rubles ($14 million). The exhibition will display relics and icons of St. Basil and other religious eccentrics, who were known as “holy fools.”

St Basil’s Cathedral suffered heavy damage during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and had been a target of Napoleon’s a century earlier.

“This cathedral is a shrine and a symbol of Russia,” says Andrey Busygin. “It’s a miracle it survived at all.”

The church represents the spirit of St Basil in its design with nine onion-shaped multi colored domes intending to represent flames rising into the sky. The church marks the geometric center of Moscow and was considered a symbolic New Jerusalem in the 17th century.

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