- For the eponymous structure in Constantinople, see Church of the Holy Apostles.
The Church of the Twelve Apostles
() 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.
Although premises for the Muscovite metropolitan had existed in the Kremlin ever since the 14th century, Patriarch Nikon, who aspired to rival the tsar in authority and magnificence, had them replaced with a much more ambitious residence, centered on a spacious chamber in the form of the cross, once used as a banqueting hall but now serving as a museum of applied arts. To this structure adjoins from the south a domestic church of the patriarchs, originally consecrated to Philip the Apostle until the dedication was altered to the present one in 1682.
The church is almost as prominent as neighbouring grand cathedrals of the 15th century, due to its placement upon a high pediment
, pierced by two large arches allowing passage from the Cathedral Square
to the patriarch's court-yard. 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.
The patriarchal... Read More