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The Museums of the Moscow Kremlin
The oldest museums of Moscow are located in the territory of the Moscow Kremlin. One of them is "Oruzheinaya Palata" or "The Armoury" (Armoury Chamber). The Armoury was founded about 500 years ago. In the 15th century it was called "Kazennaya Palata", where the Tsar treasures had been stored. The museum displays the unique specimens of applied art and precious utensils, i.e. collection of jewelry of the 12th-20th centuries; the collection of West-European silver utensils of the 13th-19th centuries (ambassador's gifts); the collection of elite arms and (12th to 19th centuries); the collection of golden and silver embroidery (14th to 19th centuries); the collection of fabrics and clothing of the 14th to the beginning of 20th centuries; accouterments and Tsars' carriages.
Opening hours: 10.00 to 17.00, except Thursdays
Address: "Biblioteka Lenina" or "Aleksandrovsky Sad" Metro stations
Located near the Armoury is the Diamond Fund (tel.: 229-20-36), where a collection of precious stones and Russian jewelry, golden and platinum naggets is displayed.
The ancient cathedrals of the Kremlin combine a peculiar museum ensemble. Uspensky Sobor (Cathedral of the Dormition) is the main temple of Russia and the burial place of the Moscow's metropolitans and patriarchs. In compliance with the Russian traditions the whole interior of the cathedral is covered with frescoes painted in the 17th century by the best craftsmen. The unique icons are preserved in the cathedral, among them are: "St. George" from Novgorod; "Our Lady of Vladimir" painted by craftsmtn from Andrei Rublev's school; "Metropolitan Peter" by Dionisius and many others. Close to the Cathedral of the Dormition stands the Church of the Deposition of the Robe. It was the private chapel the Russian Tsars. The iconostasis and some icons of this church were painted by Feofan Grek, Prokhor from Gorodets and Andrei Rublev. The church frescoes include the works of famous painter Simon Ushakov. The Church floor is made of the agate-jasper tiles.
The Arkhangelsky Sobor, or the Archangel Michael Cathedral was the burial place of Moscow's Grand Princes and Tsars. The southern wall of the cathedral displays the frescoes with the images of Grand Princes and Tsars, from Ivan Kalita and up to the first Tsars from Romanov's family. Totally, there are 46 tombs with 54 burials in the cathedral, including the burials of Dmitry Donskoy, Ivan the 3rd, Ivan the Terrible. The portraits of prominent political leaders of ancient Russia, Andrei Bogolubsky, Alexander Nevsky, Daniil Moskovsky are painted on four columns supporting the ceiling of the cathedral. Zvonnitsa or Belfry that stands close to Ivan the Great Bell-Tower houses the Exhibition hall of the Moscow Kremlin treasures, while the Patriarch's Palace houses the Museum of the 17th-Century Life and Applied Art (tel.: 202-3798, 921-9152).
The State Historical Museum
No doubt, the Moscow Kremlin presents a unique collection of rare specimens of the Russian history and culture. However, there is one more museum in Moscow of no less value, this is the State Historical Museum The main building of the Museum was built in 1875-1881 to the design of architect V. Sherwood in a traditional Russian style. It is now closed for repair. There are plans to open museum on the eve of the 850th anniversary of Moscow. However, the museum has six affiliates displaying some of the richest collection of over 5 million exhibits. The museum displays the most complete collections of coins and medals; the country's largest archaeological collection; the collection of ancient manuscripts and books; the collections of arms, clothing; the collection of precious ornaments and household articles.
Address: the Red Square, 1/2, the "Okhotny Ryad" Metro station
The affiliates of the State Historical Museum are located in unique buildings, which belong to the 16th - 17th centuries. These are the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed or the Intercession Cathedral (the Red Square, tel.: 298-3304); Palaces in Zaryadye (Varvarka st., 10, the "Kitai-Gorod" Metro station, tel.: 298-5018); Krutitskoye Podvorye (Krutitskaya St., 11, the "Proletarskaya" Metro station, tel.: 276-9256), Novodevichiy Convent (Novodevichiy Proezd, 1, the "Sportivnaya" Metro station, tel.: 246-8526, open from 10.30 to 17.30, except Mondays); the "Izmailovo" estate (the "Izmailovsky Park" Metro station, tel.: 367-5579).