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Assumption Cathedral (Uspensky Sobor)

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One of several churches in Cathedral Square inside of Moscow’s Kremlin, the Assumption Cathedral is arguably the most important. Constructed between 1475 and 1479 at the request of Grand Duke Ivan III of Moscow, it is regarded as the mother church of Muscovite Russia.

It was long the place of coronation for the Romanov tsars, and it was the burial place for Moscow metropolitans and patriarchs of the Orthodox Church. Designed by an Italian architect, the cathedral was built with five domes and became a model for other churches throughout Russia with its colorful frescoes that dominate the interior and its impressive iconostasis that dates back to 1547. The tsars often added icons to the iconostasis from the cities they conquered, and the oldest of those, from the 12th century, was brought to Moscow from Veliky Novgorod after it was captured in 1561. Near the south entrance to the cathedral, you can see the throne of Tsar Ivan IV.