The Armoury Chamber is a unique treasury-museum displaying the wealth accumulated by Russian rulers from the 12th century till the October revolution of 1917. Walking in the exhibition halls you are having a journey through the centuries. You can see the life of Russian monarchs reflected in the precious items of applied art. Each exhibit characterizes its possessor as well as it shows his status. The cradle of Alexander I studded with numerous diamonds, the measuring icon with saint patron of Ivan the Terrible's elder son, Ivan are among bright examples.
|The ivory-palted throne of Ivan the Terrible|
The life of the monarch was closely linked with religious ceremonies. The icons put in lavishly decorated frames, gems-adorned covers for gospels, holy communion sets made of precious metal, pearl-embroidered vestments of high clergy were its essential part. The coronation ceremony was also held in the major cathedral of Moscow Kremlin. Up to the early 18th century, all the tsars had been crowned with the Monomakh's Cap which can be seen on display. The other main attributes were scepters, orbs, ceremonial chains . The sovereign was blessed by the patriarch, the head of the Russian Orthodox church to ascend to the throne. The collection of real thrones, the ivory-plated throne of Ivan the Terrible, the Diamond throne of Tsar Alexis numbering 900 diamonds, the Double silver throne of half-brothers Ivan and young Peter (future Peter the Great) are exhibited there.
|Catherine I's coronation dress|
Peter the Great was the whole époque in the Russian history. Military and civil orders, new items of tableware (tea, coffee sets), new men's and women's outfits were borrowed from Europe in his time. The coronation dress of Catherine I, Peter's wife proves these innovations. Short sleeves, low-cut neckline, a narrowed waist, a wide bell-shaped skirt - everything due to the European fashion. The whole coronation "wardrobe" of Russian Empresses is shown here including the 47 centimeter in waist wedding dress of Catherine the Great.
Once again you will be amazed by a big collection of royal carriages decorated with paintings, adorned with gems, upholstered with precious fabrics. Horses harnessed in such carriages were beautifully decorated during the ceremonial processions. The harness was often made of gold and silver incrusted with precious stones. Most of these items were made in the Kremlin workshops the main of which was the Armoury. It produced arms and armour both for ceremonial needs and military ones. It gave the name to the whole museum which obtained the status of Imperial Museum in the early 19th century .
|Faberge Easter egg|
For many centuries It assembled a huge collection of gold- and silverware, weapons and horse harness, ancient state regalia, medieval Russian embroidery made in Kremlin workshops and brought to Russia as ambassadorial gifts. Among the most famous gifts of the Armoury is Faberge Easter eggs. They were the Easter presents by two last Emperors of Russia, Alexander III and Nikolas II to their wives. Each egg had a surprise. Either it was a Music box, a clock with revolting face or an egg with a model of Trans-Siberian train.
Those interested in other secrets of Faberge Easter eggs or desired to see all these treasures should definitely visit the Armoury chamber.
Take in account that at high season tickets can be sold out. It is better to buy them in advance or to book a guided tour with our Moscow tour guide.