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On July 12, 1561, St. Basil's Cathedral opened in Moscow, Russia. St. Basil’s has been the symbol of Moscow and all of Russia ever since.
 
Many myths surround the brightly patterned onion domes of St. Basil’s. The most gruesome is that Czar Ivan IV was so dazzled by the church that he had its architects blinded—so they could never again design anything as beautiful! (The czar didn’t earn his nickname, Ivan the Terrible, for nothing, although historians agree he probably didn't blind St. Basil's architects.)
 
Today, St. Basil’s Cathedral is part of Moscow’s famous Red Square. Red Square was named after the Russian word for “beautiful,” not the color of its bricks. Red Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also includes the State Historical Museum and the Kremlin, where Russian leaders have ruled for more than 1,000 years.
architect
Noun

person who designs buildings or other large structures.

bulging
Adjective

swelling or bent outward.

cathedral
Noun

important regional church.

church
Noun

building used for spiritual worship and religious practices.

dazzle
Verb

to happily astonish or impress.

gruesome
Adjective

gross or violent.

Kremlin
Noun

(Moscow, Russia) historic building complex that houses the offices of the Russian government.

myth
Noun

legend or traditional story.

onion dome
Noun

shape of a half-sphere with a thin, pointed top.

St. Basil's Cathedral
Noun

(1561) Russian Orthodox church, now a museum, in Moscow, Russia.

symbol
Noun

something used to represent something else.

Noun

the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

World Heritage Site
Noun

location recognized by the United Nations as important to the cultural or natural heritage of humanity.