Church of the Twelve Apostles

Moscow, Russia

Church of the Twelve Apostles

The Patriarchal Chambers and the Church of the Twelve Apostles (Russian: церковь Двенадцати Апостолов) is a minor cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, commissioned by Patriarch Nikon as part of his stately residence in 1653 and dedicated to Philip the Apostle three years later. Now it is used by the Moscow Kremlin Museums.

The church is almost as prominent as neighbouring grand cathedrals of the 15th century, due to its placement upon a high podium, pierced by two large arches allowing passage from the Cathedral Square to the patriarch's courtyard. The exterior walls are decorated with two belts of columned arches which reference both the neighbouring cathedrals of the Cathedral Square and the great churches of the 12th-century Vladimir-Suzdal school which had been their inspiration. The rigorous outline of five helmeted domes, in keeping with Nikon's conservative architectural tastes, serves to accentuate the church's Byzantine pedigree.



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