The Cathedral of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God is located opposite the GUM (State department store) and the State Historical Museum. Its entrance faces the Red Square.
Every year on 4 November the Russian Orthodox Church conducts a prayer celebration of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God in memory of the freedom of Moscow and Russia from the Polish-Lithuanian invaders in 1612.
Special grace and intercession of the Queen of Heaven in the unanimous opinion of the Orthodox was revealed on October 22, 1612, when the invaders were finally driven out of the Kitai-gorod due to decisive actions of the rebels, and the Polish garrison ensconced in the Kremlin fled a few days later.
By order of the young Czar Mikhail Romanov the Cathedral dedicated to the Kazan icon of the Mother of God was built in Moscow near the Kremlin.
This temple was built by the Orthodox people in gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ and His most blessed Mother for freedom of the Fatherland from foreign invaders and ending of the Time of Trouble in the Russian land.
Originally the Church was made of wood, but soon was built in stone. The consecration of the high altar of the Kazan Cathedral took place in 1636. A year later the Northern chapel in the name of Averky Equal-to-the-Apostles, Bishop of Hierapolis, was constructed. His memory day, that is celebrated on 22 October, was marked by the release of the Kitai-gorod. On October 3, 1647 the dedication of the South chapel in the name of the Sainted-hierarchs Gurias, archbishop of Kazan, and Barsanuphius, bishop of Tver, was held.
Reconstructions of the temple from the ХVII to the ХIХ centuries have significantly changed the original appearance of the ancient Moscow holy shrine. In 1800 South aisle of the Cathedral was dismantled during the expansion of the Nikolskaya street. However, the temple has suffered the most changes in the XX century.
In 1930 the liturgical life of the Kazan Cathedral was stopped; it was closed at the request of the staff of the State Historical Museum.
Previously the restoration of the Cathedral was conducted under the guidance of the famous architect P. D. Baranovsky. Before its beginning P. D. Baranovsky managed to make the measurements of the temple. In the summer of 1936 the Kazan Cathedral was demolished.
In the later 1980s a movement for the restoration of the Kazan Cathedral on the Red Square was initiated by the inhabitants of the capital. On June 5, 1990 the city Executive committee adopted a decision on the restoration of the temple. On 4 November, same year, on the day of celebration of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God, after the Divine Liturgy, served by His Holiness Alexis II Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in the Dormition Cathedral of the Kremlin, a mass procession of the Cross, headed by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church went to the construction site of the future temple. His Holiness consecrated the foundation stone, laid the foundation capsule and blessed the cross installed at the construction site of the temple.
As a gift to the temple he handed the Kazan icon of the Mother of God, which is now placed in the main iconostasis.
Rebuilt on the money raised by the whole Orthodox Russia this temple is a visible testament of the awakening of the historical memory of our people. On November 4, 1993, his Holiness Patriarch Alexis II consecrated the restored Kazan Cathedral. Its painting was started in November 1996 and carried out in strict accordance with the description of the historical appearance of the Cathedral.