One of several churches standing on Cathedral Square inside Moscow’s Kremlin, the Cathedral of the Archangel was the main burial place for Russian tsars for centuries until the capital was temporarily moved to St. Petersburg. Built in the early 16th century, it represented the culmination of a grand building project initiated by Ivan the Great. Built in a style unique from the other Kremlin cathedrals, the Cathedral of the Archangel features Italian Renaissance design elements, as well as five domes representing Jesus and the four evangelists.
While many of the cathedral’s treasures are now displayed in the Kremlin Armory Museum, the 17th century iconostasis remains, as do many 16th and 17th century wall frescoes, painted by more than 100 different artists. The oldest icon in the cathedral, which depicts Archangel Michael in full armor, dates back to the 14th century. Visitors can see more than 40 tombs inside the cathedral, with those of the Grand Dukes and their families lining the southern wall and the vaults of the Romanovs standing in the center of the building.
To visit the cathedral, visitors must buy a ticket to the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square as a whole. The ticket office is in front of Kutafya Tower and is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is best reached by taking the Metro to Alexandrovskiy Sad or Biblioteka imeni Lenina. The cathedral and the Kremlin are also included in most tours of Moscow’s highlights.