Saint Basil's Cathedral (Pokrovsky Cathedral)

Nikolay Galkin/ТАSS
The majestic Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow's most readily recognizable temple, a must-see landmark for all tourists and visitors in Moscow, dominates the Red Square. It has a second name: Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat, or Pokrovsky Cathedral. Saint Basil's is not one, but nine churches with 11 domes. The church was ordered to be built by none other than Ivan the Terrible to commemorate his victory over the Kazan Khanate. The multicoloured domes, as most historians believe, were created and built in 1561 by two architects: Barma and Postnik Yakovlev. However, some argue that Barma was simply an alias of Postnik Yakovlev, and the domes were a one-man job. Yet another hypothesis asserts that the church complex was created by some unknown Italian architect. They say that Postnik and Barma (or Postnik alone) were blinded once the construction was finished, to make sure they never build something as beautiful again somewhere else. But historians will not buy this, knowing that Postnik would build the Kazan Kremlin after St. Basil's was built. Saint Basil's Cathedral has museum status. Visitors are admitted with or without a tour guide.