Russian architecture is recognized for its vibrantly painted constructions that contain domes, slanted roofs, and intricate embellishment. It is steeped in history and heavily inspired by religion. Russian architects used to copy buildings from Europe and America; now they also create new things!
The most famous building in Russia is the Kremlin, a fortress dating back at least to the 11th century. It has been the capital city of Russia numerous times over (most recently from 1483 to 1699). The present structure was built between 1491 and 1552 by order of Ivan the Great. He wanted a grand palace worthy of a king and had many structures built using materials such as marble and gold. In addition to the Kremlin, there are other significant buildings in Moscow including the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and St. Basil's Cathedral.
Other major cities with important architectural sights include Saint Petersburg, which has many palaces and churches built by European architects; and Novosibirsk, which has modern buildings by international designers.
In conclusion, Russia is known for its rich history of design and architecture.
The dome shape was employed in Russian architecture not just for churches but also for other structures. Most Russian churches built before the Petrine period received bulbous domes by the end of the nineteenth century. The first church with an elliptical dome is believed to be the Ascension Cathedral in St. Petersburg, which was built in 1710-1730. The original builders are not known, but information from archival sources suggests that it may have been designed by Michael Peterboard.
The use of this new shape became popular after 1667, when Tsar Alexis released a decree prohibiting the construction of new churches with traditional polygonal plans. From that time on, all Russian churches were supposed to be built as basilicas (i.e., with a central nave and a single aisle).
Basilica design was very important for establishing formal relationships between church officials and lay people. It also ensured that everyone had equal access to religious services, since neither rich nor poor could build a church as expensive as this one. A basilica-shaped building was therefore used as a symbol of Orthodox unity and authority.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, many buildings belonging to the old state bureaucracy were converted into mosques or churches. In some cases, this involved simply changing the main entrance door from "for offices" to "for worship" or vice versa.
Wood was most likely the most often used building material in early Russian architecture. This was the greatest choice for buildings, churches, and town walls in vast territory surrounded by forests. To add aesthetic aspects to the structures, the material was frequently carved into various forms and colored. Red is the traditional main color of Russia.
Blue and white are also popular colors used for architectural decorations. They symbolize heaven and earth, purity and wisdom. A blue-and-white flag is a sign that something is sacred or important.
Green is related to nature. Buildings decorated with green trees or plants show that they were designed for use by a population living close to the land. Yellow is another common color used for decoration. It's associated with sunburned skin and happiness. Orange means danger. Black shows mourning or sorrow. There are many other colors used as well, but these are the most common ones.
The best way to understand why Russian buildings are painted in so many different colors is to remember that they were usually built using natural materials. The carvings and paint help bring out the beauty and nature around them.
In conclusion, Russian buildings are painted in many colors because they were made of wood and therefore had colorings applied to them. Colorful buildings are still seen today in many parts of Russia; however, they are starting to build more modern buildings now.
The onion- or helmet-shaped domes of the Russian Orthodox Church are an unusual feature. The domes of churches in the early history of the Russian Church were known to follow the classic Byzantine flat-dome form. The pre-Mongolian Russian helmet-shaped domes were replaced with onion-shaped domes.
Helmet-shaped domes were first introduced into Russia by St. Vladimir (957–1054). He had them built for his own church in Kiev. They became popular among Russian rulers and architects, who used them in many churches they built.
Why do we call this kind of dome "helmet-shaped"? It comes from the image of a crown or helm on top of it. The term "helmet" also describes the head covering worn by Orthodox Christians as a sign of faith and humility.
There are two types of helmet-shaped domes: those with horizontal ribs inside the shell (such materials include wood, metal, and plastic) and those with vertical posts inside the shell (usually made of stone). The first type is called a horizontal dome while the second type is called a vertical dome.
Many buildings in Russia have a helmet-shaped dome, such as Saint Sophia Cathedral in Moscow and Resurrection Cathedral in Novosibirsk.