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The State Armoury Museum of the Moscow Kremlin

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Kremlin Towers and Great Kremlin Palace

Kremlin Towers and Great Kremlin Palace

Ivan Chuyev © 2006

The Museum's Importance:

The building of the State Amoury Museum was designed to hold various displays important to Russia's history. It is one of Russia's oldest museums and contains artifacts dating from the 12th century to the 20th century. The two floors of the State Amoury Museum contain nine rooms. The building itself is located near the Moscow Kremlin's Borovitsky Gate and requires pre-purchased tickets for access to the interior, but a visit to this museum is well worth it. Inside is housed a collection of some of Russia's most breathtaking examples of royal wealth.

Silver and Gold:

The State Armoury Museum contains beautiful examples of gold and silver work in the forms of jewelry, icon covers, shrines, Gospel covers, tableware, Faberge objects, and even clothing made from threads of precious metals. Many of these gold and silver pieces are also inset with jewels and decorated with enamelwork, ivory, and pearls. These objects glitter within their glass cases, and it's impossible not to be impressed with the craftsmanship required to create each piece.

Weapons and Armor:

Equally splendid are the examples of knives, swords, guns, shields, suits of armor, medals, and helmets. The State Armoury museum even displays richly decorated harnesses and saddles for horses from the time of the Russian tsars. Included are examples of Turkish and Persian armor and weapons.

Secular and Religious Clothing:

Coronation clothing, dresses belonging to Catherine the Great, and mantels worn by Orthodox patriarchs rival the sumptuousness of the gold and silver work exhibited at the beginning of the visitor's tour of the museum. Velvet, silk, precious metal brocade, and fabrics woven with pearls and jewels are preserved the State Armoury Museum.

Crowns and Thrones of Tsars:

The crowns and thrones of Russia's tsars hold pride of place in the Moscow Kremlin State Armoury Museum. From the medieval Crown of Monamakh to the Crown of Empress Anne studded with 2,500 diamonds, the crowns of Russian royalty are straight out of fairy tales. The thrones of the tsars, too, made of ivory, wood, gold, gems, pearls, and gorgeous fabrics are staggeringly ornate.

Royal Carriages:

The tour of the Moscow Kremlin State Armoury Museum ends with a glimpse of royal carriages which transported the tsars and their families. Also chased with gold and decorated with scrollwork and royal emblems, these carriages are as much works of art as anything else in the museum.
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