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The larger or larger the ancient structure, the more complex and sometimes longer the process of the museum’s birth. One of these museums is Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin. Its peculiar architectural qualities, its half-thousand-year history, its enormous artistic wealth have long attracted the attention of scientists. In the last quarter of a century, the most intensive surveys have been carried out here. They continue today, restoration and research work is constantly being carried out here.
The construction of the Assumption Cathedral It dates back to the 15th century, but among the preserved architectural structures of the Kremlin, it is perhaps more than others connected with the earliest history of Moscow. The cathedral building that has reached us is the fifth in a row since the time when a wooden church was built in this place in a wooden city of the 12th century, located on the high bank of the Moscow River at the confluence of the Neglinnaya. Recent studies of the ancient topography of the Kremlin show that the temple was placed on top of a coastal hill: apparently, it was the main Moscow temple. Obviously, even then to the south, before the steep descent to the river, the town square with a belfry extended, where solemn gatherings took place and, which was characteristic of those times, the veche could be gathered.
The discoveries of scientists are increasingly convincing that this building of ancient Moscow was given a large place in the official life of the city. Apparently, it was the patronage church of Moscow, and then the Moscow Principality, its symbol. It was with perestroika and the renewal of this monument that they usually started the next major construction. This was the case for two centuries, when Moscow gradually rose above other Russian cities and turned into a center of unity of national forces.
At the end of the 13th century, in connection with the creation of the Moscow Principality as a part of Northeast Russia, the first white-stone church in Moscow was built on the site of an ancient wooden church. In the XIV century, when the Moscow princes received the title of Grand Dukes of Vladimir, large stone construction began in the Kremlin, and it began with the construction, instead of the old one that was dismantled, of the new white-stone Assumption Church. Finally, in the second half of the next, XV century, Ivan III, the creator of the Russian centralized state, embarking on a grand reconstruction of his capital, ordered to dismantle the church and build a new Assumption Cathedral.
The creation of the Assumption Cathedral in the 15th century was given special significance.. Chronicles tell about this in detail. In its dimensions, it was supposed to surpass the Assumption Cathedral of the city of Vladimir, which was taken as a model during the construction of a 15th-century Moscow church. The first attempt by Moscow builders was unsuccessful: the almost completed grandiose cathedral suddenly collapsed. To achieve the intended goal, Ivan III turned to the architects of Italy, then the most experienced architects in Europe.
Arriving in Moscow in 1475, the Bologna master Aristotle Fioravanti erected on the site of the collapsed cathedral a unique building that reached us, which played an exceptional role in the further development of Russian architecture.
All works of art that are in the Assumption Cathedral brought to our days all the wealth of thinking of artists of that time.