This cathedral, built in 1505-08 by Alevis Novi, was the burial church of the tsars.Here all the Russian princes, grandprinces and tsars from Ivan Kalita onwards had their last resting-place (with the exceptionof Boris Godunov, who, with his wife, is buried inthe Monastery of the Trinity at Sergiev Posad). The present church was built onthe foundation of an earlier church built by Ivan Kalita in 1333 in thanks giving for relief from famine.
The original church had frescoes (not preserved) painted by Feofan Grek (Theophanes Greek) in 1399. The demolition of the first Cathedralof the Archangel began on 21 May 1505; the new one built by Alevisio the Younger, a rectangular structure with a system of five domesoffset towards the east end, was consecrated on 8 November 1508. The two slightly smaller domes are overthe lateral apses.Unlike the other Kremlin cathedrals, the Cathedral of the Archangel has silver domes, apart from the recently gilded central dome.
The cathedral was surrounded on three sides by galleries; these were demolished in the 18th century with the exception of part of thesouth gallery. The tent-roofed annex at the southwest corner was built in 1826, and the buttresses on the south side were also lateradditions.
The cathedral was thoroughly restored in 1955. Though built at the beginning of the 16th century, the Archangel Cathedral was paintedonly in the second half of that century. Only part of this painting has survived - in the altar and on the west portal.In 1652-66, a large team of artists from Yaroslavl, Kostroma, and Vologda under direction of Simon Ushakov and Stepan Riazanets paintedthe cathedral's frescoes, repeating the motifs of the sixteenth century painting.
© State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin.
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