Cathedral of the Annunciation

Cathedral of the AnnunciationThe Cathedral of the Annunciation, with its nine gilded domes, is the smallest of the three main Kremlin cathedrals, but the decoration of the interior (in particular the frescoes and icons by Andrei Rublev and Feofan Grek) makesit one of the great treasures of Moscow. The cathedral was built in 1484-89 by a team of buildersfrom Pskov as the court church of Grand Prince Ivan III. It was connected by a passage at the gallery level with the palace of the grand prince and laterwith the tsar's residence. The passage still leads from the gallery into the GreatKremlin Palace, which immediately adjoins the cathedral.

View from the Great Kremlin PalaceThe nine domes and the arcade on the south side are reminiscent of the Cathedral of the Dormition inVladimir, but there are also Renaissance features, since the Cathedral of the Annunciation wasinfluenced by Aristotle Fioravanti's Cathedralof the Dormition, built only a short time earlier.

This cathedral was the royal chapel ofthe Russian tsar. At the western wall, according to tradition,is a choir gallery for the tsarina and the royal children. Noteworthy is the unusual floor laidin reddish-brown jasper tiles. Preserved in the Cathedral ofthe Annunciation is one of the mostancient Russian iconostasis. The icons, painted in 1405, were transferred to the cathedral froman ancient church.

© State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin.
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