Kremlin Armoury

People call the Armoury a treasury museum because it holds many of the tsars’ personal treasures, priceless regalia and artifacts of Imperial Russia. It is a true embodiment of Russian history in its material form. No other Russian or foreign museum has such rich exhibits.

The Armoury is part of the Great Kremlin Palace complex. It is situated in the historical building constructed in 1851. At first the Armoury was intended to be used for storage and exhibiting the treasures of Tsars. The 2-storey building is placed on a base of variable height. The building fronts’ main embellishments are carved white-stone pillars with floral ornamentation.
The museum collection consists of valuable objects which had been stored in the Tsars’ Treasury and Patriarchal Vestry for centuries. Part of the objects had been manufactured in the Kremlin’s workshops while others were received as gifts from foreign embassies.

The first museum room represents the oldest part of the Armoury’s collection. The items from the 12th century indicate the succession of Byzantine traditions and the sophisticated level of the Russian, pre-Mongol culture. The second room is dedicated to works of the best Russian original jewellery workshops of the 17th to early 20th centuries and, of course, works of Faberge. The collection of European and Eastern ceremonial armour of the 15th to 19th centuries is exhibited in the third room. The fourth museum room contains a unique collection of Russian defensive, steel and gunpowder weapons. Most of the Russian Imperial Orders of the 18th to 19th centuries are demonstrated in this room. The West-European silverware of the 13th and 14th centuries is exhibited in the fifth museum room. The show-cases of the sixth room represent precious fabrics, pictorial and ornamental embroidery of 14th to 18th centuries and Russian secular suit of the 16th to early 20th centuries. The seventh room holds a collection of ancient royal regalia and court ceremonial objects. Unique in its size and artistic merits, the collection of the Konyushennaya Treasury is situated in the 8th room. The next ninth room exhibits the royal, horse-drawn carriages of the 16th to 18th centuries.

kremlin-armoury2Since 1967 the “Diamond Fund of Russia” Exhibit is demonstrated in the Museum. It is a collection of 18th to 20th century jewellery works, rare gems, gold and platinum nuggets. The most valuable object of the Russian treasury is deservedly considered to be the world’s dearest crown – the Great Imperial Crown which belonged to Catherine II. The crown is decorated with almost 5000 diamonds and 75 pearls. The history of the Diamond Fund goes as far back as the reign of Peter I who established the system of storing the most important and valuable objects of the Russian Empire. Tour to Moscow