Cathedral of the Annunciation
The Cathedral of the Annunciation is the largest building within the Kazan Kremlin complex. Initially, the cathedral was a classic cross-domed temple with five domes and two annexes. The main shrine of the cathedral preserved until the present day, is the relics of St Guria in Kazan, who headed the erection of this very cathedral. The majestic cathedral has been honoured by various famous and historical figures who visited it over its lifetime. Among these are Russia’s emperors Peter I, Paul I, Nicholas I, Catherine II, Alexander Pushkin, Alexander Radishchev and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Feodor Chaliapin also regularly sang in the choir of the cathedral. On the pavement near the Cathedral of the Annunciation, a semi-circled "hearth" is laid out. It was in this place where up until the 1920s, a five-tiered bell tower once stood. Twice a year, a religious procession is held which journeys from the Cathedral of the Annunciation to the area where the Our Lady of Kazan icon was found.
Cathedral of the Annunciation was built in 1561-1562 on the order of Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) by Pskov masters headed by Postnik Yakovlev and Ivan Shirya. For a long time, the cathedral was the centre of Christianity in the Volga region and a necropolis for many Kazan archbishops. The temple was set on fire many times, and was repeatedly restored and rebuilt - a total of three times. In the late 1920s, the bell tower and the covered porch in the west wing were demolished. These days the appearance of the Cathedral of the Annunciation, with the exception of the bell tower, has been practically fully recreated.
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