THE ANNUNCIATION CATHEDRALClose
- TOWERS OF THE KREMLIN
- BUILDINGS IN THE KREMLIN
The Annunciation Cathedral was erected in 1484-1489 by the team of the Pskov stone-layers that had built the Church of Laying Our Lady's Holy Robe on the Metropolitan's court. The cathedral is situated at the south-western corner of Cathedral Square on the place of the stone Annunciation Church of the XIV century that had been the church of the Great Princes' estate. It was raised on high podklet and connected with the palace by a covered way. In 1416, the cathedral was expanded and came to be triapsidal. The podklet's walls were made twice as thicker by a new white-stonework.
During the reconstruction of the Kremlin under Ivan III, the Pskov masters dismantled the cathedral to the podklet'’s level and erected a new brick one. The small cube cathedral was crowned with three domes, two of which were placed over the eastern corners. The Cathedral’s walls were divided into three pryaslas topped with keel-like zakomaras and adorned with an arch-and-column belt. The drums were decorated with a brick belt of arches and triangular holes in the style of Pskov architecture. The cathedral of 1484-1489 became the heart of the building's composition.
Nowadays, the Annunciation Cathedral is one of the most frequented Moscow Kremlin's museums. Here you can see unique murals of the XVI century and the invaluable multi-tiered iconostasis, the deesis and festive rows of which (XIV-XV centuries) are presumed to be painted by famous icon-painters Theofan the Greek, Prokhor from Gorodets and Andrei Rublev.
In 1562-1564, four one-domed chapels were attached to the gallery's corners and two more false domes were added so that the cathedral became nine-domed as it is now. The domes and the roof were covered with gilt copper and the cathedral was nicknamed «gold-topped».
Since 1993, regular divine services have been recommenced in the cathedral.