The Cathedral of the Dormition and the Chrysler Imperial Touring



The Cathedral of the Dormition, Copyright Татьяна Чеп (Tatyana Chep)

The Cathedral of the Dormition, also called Assumption Cathedral (Russian name Uspenskiy Sobor), is on the northern side of Cathedral Square in Moskvá’s Kreml. It’s surrounded on all sides by the Palace of Facets, Ivan the Great Bell Tower, and the Church of the Twelve Apostles. This beautiful, imposing cathedral is Muscovite Russia’s mother church.


Northern door, Copyright Alvesgaspar

Tsar Ivan III, the Great, the first Russian ruler to call himself Tsar, ordered its construction in the 15th century. Architect Aristotele Fioravanti built it from 1475–79. Under the reign of Ivan I (Ivan Kalita [Moneybag]), a cathedral dedicated to Theotokos (the Virgin Mary) had been built and dedicated, but this cathedral had fallen into disrepair by the end of the 15th century. A new cathedral was built from 1472–74, but as it neared completion, the placement of the drum of the main cupola caused it to collapse, and they had to start all over again. The new cathedral combined Russian traditions with Renaissance style.


Copyright user:shakko

In 1547, the coronation of Tsar Ivan IV (Ivan Grozniy, whose title truly translates as “fearsome,” “awe-inspiring,” and “dreadsome,” NOT “terrible”) took place in the cathedral. Starting in 1721, with Peter the Great, it became the location for all coronations. The installation of patriarchs and metropolitans of the Russian Orthodox Church also took place here, and this is where most of those religious leaders’ tombs are.


Copyright Elenak1211

Sadly, this beautiful cathedral has suffered much through the ages, with fires in 1518, 1547, 1682, and 1737; looting by Polish–Lithuanian forces during the Smutnoye Vremya (Time of Troubles) in 1612; and more looting and being used as a stable by the occupying French in 1812. In 1894–95, it underwent a thorough restoration. Its final religious service was held on Easter 1918, with special permission from Lenin. Following this, it became a museum. A story claims Stalin held a secret service here in the winter of 1941, when the Nazis were at the threshold of Moskvá, to pray for the country’s salvation.

It underwent repairs in 1949–50, 1960, and 1978. In 1990, it reopened for sporadic religious services, and since 1991, has been fully restored to the Russian Orthodox Church.


Holy Doors and part of the ikonostasis, Copyright user:shakko

During the coronation ceremony, the Tsar would enter the Holy Doors to take Communion with the priests for the first and only time in his life, taking the bread and wine separately instead of mixed together in a special spoon. In my alternative history, a new tradition is started when the Tsaritsa, Arkadiya, also goes inside the Holy Doors to receive Communion. Prior to this fantasy coronation in 1931, the Tsaritsa always remained outside to take Communion like everyone else. Not only does the Tsaritsa come inside, but the baby Tsesarevich, Yaroslav (Yarik), also comes inside for Communion. In Eastern Orthodoxy, infants take Communion. Hey, it’s the 20th century, and Russia has become a constitutional monarchy.

Chrysler Imperial Touring

Copyright Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden

The Chrysler Imperial Touring is probably my third-most desired antique car, after the sweet, sweet Duesenberg and Rochet-Schneider. This was Chrysler’s top of the line vehicle for much of its existence, starting with its début in 1926. It was initially manufactured until 1954, and then brought back from 1990–1993. In my alternative history, this is one of the cars in Tsar Aleksey II’s garage. He’s not allowed to drive, for fear the worst might happen, but there’s nothing the matter with being a passenger.


11 comments on “The Cathedral of the Dormition and the Chrysler Imperial Touring

  1. That’s funny that the Tsar can’t drive the car, but he can be the passenger. The cathedral would be a terrific setting for a novel! Gorgeous architecture and decor.
    Mary at Play off the Page


  2. Glad it’s finally a church again. Beautiful building. It’s survived a lot of stuff.


  3. Absolutely beautiful architecture. They don’t build ’em like they used to that’s for sure. Very interesting history too.


  4. cleemckenzie says:

    The architecture is beautiful and the colors so vivid. I love the stylized images with sainted head rails. I’ve always wondered about the variant spelling of Tsar and Czar. Must have something to do with a phonetic translation, but I’m not sure.


  5. jazzfeathers says:

    Beautiful building. And if I may be honest, that’s a beautiful car too 😉

    The Old Shelter – Jazz Age Jazz


  6. Tarkabarka says:

    That is one good-looking car 😀
    Have I mentioned how much I enjoy these behind-the-scenes looks into all the research you do? Alternate history is probably the hardest genre out there…

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary


  7. The styling of the old buildings and car are so much more ornate than what we see today. They really don’t make things like they used to and that is a shame.


  8. Russian architecture and design and the gilded era is beyond impressive. Hard to imagine anything like this duplicated. Beautiful images and thank you for the behind-the scenes on the Tsar. Quite the family history there.


  9. ellaedge says:

    Dazzling and so, ornate!


  10. ahtdoucette says:

    A beautiful church. Thanks for sharing the photos and the background. Hope you can have your dream Chrysler one day. 🙂


  11. […] Aleksey II (54 views) Batumi, Georgia (23 views) The Cathedral of the Dormition and the Chrysler Imperial Touring (34 views) The Dowager Empress and the Duesenberg (22 views) Electrotherapy and Easter (22 views) […]


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