The final act of the Russian Presidential Inauguration ceremony is for the newly sworn-in president to visit the ancient Annunciation Cathedral for a blessing from the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
First Lady Lyudmila Putina in keeping with tradition attended the service. The Cathedral of the Annunciation (Благовещенский собор) is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Theotokos. It was originally the personal chapel for the Muscovite tsars, and its abbot remained a personal confessor of the Russian royal family until the early 20th century.
Built between 1484-1489 on the spot where a wood Cathedral by the same name had stood previously, the Annunciation Cathedral is on the southwest side of Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin and connects directly to the main building of the complex of the Grand Kremlin Palace, adjacent to the Palace of Facets.
The service was led by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. The Patriarch gives a blessing to the new president and the two exchange gifts of holy icons.
In 1562-1564, four one-domed chapels were attached to the gallery’s corners and two more false domes were added so that the cathedral became nine-domed as it is now.