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St. Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral is one of Moscow, Russia’s most famous landmarks. “The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed” is the traditional name of this Christian church that is located in the Red Square.

The cathedral was officially finished being built and consecrated in July, 1561.

The Soviet Union, officially known as Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), became a sovereign state in 1922, 12 years prior to the “before” photo being taken in the slider graphic.

The captured black and white photo from 1934 was taken during Joseph Stalin’s ruling. In 1935, the Soviet Union was in full swing campaigning against religion. Joseph Stalin met with people in full hopes to save the landmark’s future.

“Upon Joseph Stalin’s ascent to the head of the Soviet Union, Saint Basil’s fell out of favor and was in danger of being destroyed in order to make room on Red Square for larger demonstrations and marches. Architect Pyotr Baranovsky supposedly sent a telegram to Stalin saying he would rather kill himself than demolish the historic cathedral, and subsequently spent five years in prison. During that time the state’s attitude changed and Saint Basil’s was spared,” according to Benjamin Lampkin on mentalfloss.com.

Today, St. Basil’s stands tall and just as colorful as it has always been. It is open for scheduled guided tours and worshipping.

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