Thursday, September 01, 2005

Ivan the not so Terrible?

OK, so this old Russian fellow, known either as Ivan the Fourth or Ivan the Terrible, depending on whether you were his mother or his victims, was not the nicest fellow. But he did leave Russia a few marvellous legacies in the form of cathedrals built to honour his battle victories.

On our day trip to Sergiev Posad's monastery complex, we found the literally star-spangled Assumption Cathedral attributed to Ivan. In Moscow, perhaps my favourite building in the world, St Basil's Cathedral, was completed on Ivan's orders in 1561 - and, the story goes, the architects were subsequently blinded so they couldn't reproduce such a magical building for
anybody else. Character judgements aside, Ivan the Terrible did have a taste for just my kind of buildings, and I'm glad of that. Pop back here soon for photos of these masterpieces - I certainly took dozens!

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