Cathedral of the Dormition

Cathedral of the DormitionThis is the largest and the most historic of the cathedrals in the Kremlin. Here princes, grand princes and tsars were crowned by themetropolitan or patriarch; here metropolitans and patriarchs were enthroned and buried, and here many a chapter in the history ofMoscow and of Russia began or was concluded. From its completion in 1479 until the 17th century, it provided an unmatchable model forall cathedral - building in Russia.

Southern portalThe Dormition (Falling Asleep or Death) of the Virgin, a festival celebrated by the Orthodox Church on the 15th of August,corresponds to the Roman Catholic festival of the Assumption, also celebrated on 15 August. The Cathedral of the Dormition is,therefore, sometimes referred to - incorrectly - as the Cathedral of the Assumption.

In 1325-26, Pyotr, the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Russia, moved his seat from Vladimir to Moscow, the same year thatIvanI Kalita laid the foundation-stone of the Cathedral of the Dormition, Moscow's first stone church.The cathedral was consecrated on 4 August 1427. In 1475-79, this church was replaced by a new Cathedral of the Dormition built by theVologda architect Aristotle Fioravanti for Ivan III as astate church. This church has survived substantially in its original form (minor alterations to the facade were made after the 1547fire and other small alterations to the interior were made in the mid 17th century).

InteriorThe icon painters Dionisius, Timofey, Yarets and Konia painted the cathedral's iconostasis in 1481.The painting of the cathedral was completed in 1513-15. Of great artistic merit are the surviving murals dating from 1642-43.The original iconostasis has not survived. It was replaced in 1652-53 by a new one, the icons of which were painted by Luka Afanasyev,Fyodor Kondratyev and Yakov Grigoriev. The proclamation of acts of state (for example there unification of the Ukraine with Russia in 1654)were made in the Cathedral of the Dormition. It was also the coronation church and the burial place of Moscow's metropolitans and patriarchs.

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