In a garden at the front of the cathedral stands a bronze statue commemorating Dmitry Pozharsky and Kuzma Minin, who rallied Russia's volunteer army against the Polish invaders during the Time of Troubles in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The statue was originally constructed in the center of Red Square, but the Soviet government felt it obstructed parades and moved the statue in front of the cathedral in 1936.
The initial concept was to build a cluster of chapels, one dedicated to each of the saints on whose feast day the tsar had won a battle, but the construction of a single central tower unifies these spaces into a single cathedral. A popular but untrue legend says that Ivan had the architect, Postnik Yakovlev, blinded to prevent him from building a more magnificent building for anyone else.
It has been recently speculated that certain elements of Timurid monuments in Samarkand or of Kazan Qolsharif mosque were pictured in this cathedral, because this mosque was the main symbol of Khanate of Kazan. The original look of the mosque is unknown, however. 
Saint Basil's Cathedral should not be confused with the Moscow Kremlin, which is situated right next to it on Red Square. It is not at all a part of the Moscow Kremlin. However, many publications do make the mistake of calling this structure the Kremlin. The misconception has inadvertently been reinforced by Western television journalists, who have often stood in front of St. Basil's during their reports.