Kremlin Armoury

Moscow, Russia

The Kremlin Armory is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1808. The Kremlin Armoury originated as the royal arsenal in 1508. Until the transfer of the court to St Petersburg, the Armoury was in charge of producing, purchasing and storing weapons, jewelry and various household articles of the tsars. The finest Muscovite gunsmiths (the Vyatkin brothers), jewelers (Gavrila Ovdokimov), and painters (Simon Ushakov) used to work there. In 1640 and 1683, they opened the iconography and pictorial studios, where the lessons on painting and handicrafts could be given. In 1700, the Armoury was enriched with the treasures of the Golden and Silver chambers of the Russian tsars.

In 1711, Peter the Great had the majority of masters transferred to his new capital, St.Petersburg. 15 years later, the Armoury was merged with the Fiscal Yard (the oldest depository of the royal treasures), Stables Treasury (in charge of storing harnesses and carriages) and the Master Chamber (in charge of sewing clothes and bedclothes for the tsars). After that, the Armoury was renamed into the Arms and Master Chamber. Alexander I of Russia nominated the Armoury as the first public museum in Moscow in 1806, but the collections were not opened to the public until seven years later. The current Armoury building was erected in 1844-1851 by the imperial architect Konstantin Ton. The director of the museum from 1852 to 1870 was the writer Alexander Veltman.

After the Bolshevik Revolution, the Armoury collection was enriched with treasures taken from the Patriarch sacristy, Kremlin cathedrals, monasteries and private collections. Some of these were sold abroad on behest of Joseph Stalin in the 1930s. In 1960, the Armoury became the official museum of the Kremlin. Two years later, the Patriarch chambers and the Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles were assigned to the Armoury in order to house the Applied Arts Museum.

The Kremlin Armoury is currently home to the Russian Diamond Fund. It boasts unique collections of the Russian, Western European and Eastern applied arts spanning the period from the 5th to the 20th centuries. Some of the highlights include the Imperial Crown of Russia by jeweller Jérémie Pauzié, Monomakh's Cap, the ivory throne of Ivan the Terrible, and other regal thrones and regalia. The ten Fabergé eggs in the Armoury collection (all Imperial eggs) are the most Imperial eggs, and the second-most overall Fabergé eggs, owned by a single owner.

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Details

Founded: 1508
Category: Museums in Russia

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Pavan Rao (2 months ago)
What an amazing collection this is. Rich and varied with things to interest all. The collection of gold and silver objects and the weapons are amazing. The horse carriage collection is astounding. Aim to spend about 3-4 hours here and use the supplied audio guide. Enough seating to relax. The collection may seem to be in a compact place as they have a lot to show...they could use a space 5 times bigger to display in a better way but would be less secure and more tiresome too . Very much recommend. Book online if possible and get there for the allocated time, no time limit to leave once inside . Keep a snack and water with you.
Julio Cesar Perez (2 months ago)
The Armoury Chamber preserves ancient State regalia, ceremonial royal garment and coronation dresses, vestments of the Russian Orthodox Church Hierarchs, the largest collection of gold- and silverware made by Russian craftsmen, West European artistic silver, ceremonial arms and armour, carriages and horse ceremonial harness.
Gomathi Shankar (3 months ago)
Veey Well maintained. The audio guide equipment given is awesome and you can easily change to the display room as you wish...
Murilo Cesar Martins (3 months ago)
I expected a little more. It is a common complex, there are others in the Kremlin more interesting and more beautiful. But anyway, it's worth a visit.
J.J. M. (4 months ago)
A truly spectacular and wonderful experience. The Kremlin Armoury is a must see as you will get to see various artifacts and relics from some of the more older aspects of Russian History (the Russian Empire in particular). It's worth noting that you're not allowed to take any pictures in the armoury. I saw one person in particular getting an earful for doing so.
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