MUSEUMS. Kremlin Complex
Metro stations - Alexandrovsky Sad, Okhotny Ryad, Ploshchad' Revolutsiyi
Open Friday through Wensday, from 10.00 am to 05.00 pm.
Closed on Thursday.
Since time immemorial the Moscow Kremlin has been the center of Russian statehood, the residence of Russian tsars and hierarchs of Russian Orthodox Church. Like most other fortifications in old Russian cities, the Kremlin was originally built to defend the town and his inhabitants. The Moscow Kremlin takes up 28 hectares. Its walls including the towers are 2 235 metres long. The height of its walls ranges from 5 to 19 metres depending on the local relief, they are from 3.5 to 6.5 metres thick. There are firing platforms 2.0 to 4.5 metres wide on the top of the walls. Many changes have taken place over the centuries reflecting the long history of the city. Under Ivan III (1462 - 1505), the Kremlin became the seat of government for the now independent tsars and the spiritual leaders or patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox church. Foreign architects were summoned to Moscow to redesign the wall in Renaissance style and to build cathedrals and palaces which reflected the power and dignity of the strongest state in eastern Europe.
The Armoury Museum is the oldest museum in Russia. From the 16th to the early 18th century the arms and armour, jewelry and household articles used by the royal family were made and kept in the Armoury. The museum has nine halls. There are over 4000 exhibits presented in 55 show-cases containing unique works of applied art of Russia, Western Europe and Oriental countries. The wonderful collection of the Armoury includes art silver, arms and armour, state regalia, the magnificent clothes of Russian tsars and church hierarches, tableware, precious horse harness and saddles, court carriages and other objects which are the pride of the national artistic heritage. Many artifacts in the Armoury collection are ambassadorial gifts to Russian tsars from England, Holland, Austria and Sweden, presented at special ceremonies that were held in the Palace of Facets in the Kremlin. The collection of the Armoury museum is unique and unrivaled.
The Diamond Collection Exhibition Hall houses one of the largest collections of jewels. The pride of the collection is historical relics such as State Regalia (consisting of the crown, the orb and the scepter), unique precious stones and articles made thereof. This is a part of the royal treasures which were previously kept in the Diamond Room of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg. A considerable number of the exhibits date from the mid-18th century and give a vivid idea of the jewelry art in the baroque and rococo styles. You'll see bouquets, diadems, earrings, aigrettes and bow necklace made from sparkling diamonds, glowing rubies, sapphires, emeralds and olive-green chrysolites.
If you walk around the territory of the Kremlin you'll turn out on Cathedral Square with the
Assumption Cathedral (it was the main cathedral of the state; the most important state ceremonies such as coronations of the tsars, royal wedding ceremonies, taking of holy orders by the heads of Russian Church, - took place here),
Annunciation Cathedral ( a domestic church of the grand princes and tsars; the cathedral boasts the 15th century iconostasis, one of the earliest extant) and
Archangel Cathedral ( it was the necropolis of the grand Moscow princes and Russian tsars; they were buried under the Cathedral's floor), the
Church of the Deposition of the Robe (in its early days it was attached to the
Patriarch's Palace and was the patriarchs' domestic church and part of the palace complex that belonged to them). The Patriarch's Palace (the former residence of moscow patriarhcs), the
Tsar Cannon (a huge cannon, it was the biggest cannon in the world) and the
Tsar Bell (the biggest bell in the world) are worth seeing too. And the last thing we'd like to mention here is the
Great Kremlin Palace. The Palace was built for Nicolas I between 1838-49. An ornate staircase leads to the state rooms and the apartment used by the tsar whenever he visited Moscow. The Palace contains no fewer than 700 rooms in all. St. George's Hall is without doubt the finest room in the palace and is used for state receptions and other official ceremonies. The palace contains a number of chapels and is connected to another smaller palace, which is only ever shown to visiting heads of state. The interior incorporates elements of various styles from Baroque to Classicism. A great number of porcelain and bronze articles, cloaks, crystal chandeliers, artistically made doors and parquetry compiles an ensemble reflecting the taste and aesthetic standards of 19th century high society in Russia.
This palace is not open to public. But if you'd like to have a look at it from inside write us and we'll try to help you.
You are welcome to visit other museums in Moscow!