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When Tsar Mikhail Romanov defeated the joint forces of the Lithuanians and Poles in 1612 he accredited his victory to Our Lady of Kazan, to whom he had prayed on numerous occasions. In the 1620s he funded the building of wooden cathedral on the site where you will find Kazan Cathedral today. After that burnt down almost immediately a stone version was built, which was in turn destroyed in 1936 by the Bolsheviks for daring to get in the way of various Commie parades. Today's version is a 1993 replica of the 1636 original and functions as a church proper, with daily services. It is famous for housing the holy Kazanskaya Icon, a symbolic protector of Russia.
Editor & Moscow Local
It's easy to be overwhelmed by the Red Square - St Basil's Cathedral alone is astonishing. But tucked away in the corner is a smaller, more intimate church which is well worth the visit. Entirely reconstructed in the early 1990s, the Kazan Cathedral is an intimate and "working" church, home to dozens of people praying, dropping in on their way home from work to light a candle, and bemused tourists. The intricacy and delicacy of the interior decor contrasts well against the exuberant external colours. There is a true feeling of spirituality in this little chapel which I thought was very special indeed.