The Armoury Chamber

Address: 103073, Moscow, The Kremlin Museums Hours of operation: Fri - Wed 10am - 5pm Web: kreml.ru

The Armory Chamber is a very special museum located on the territory of the Moscow Kremlin. It serves as a treasure house of Russia and contains over four thousand precious items. Most of these items were presented to the Russian Tsars and Emperors by overseas ambassadors who sought to improve diplomatic relations and to appease Russia on various occasions.

The collections of the Armory Chamber preserve the state regalia of Russia. The most precious exhibit of the entire museum is the famous Cap of Monomakh. This first diplomatic gift in the history of Russia was presented to the Great Prince Vladimir of Kiev by the Byzantine Emperor in 1116 proclaiming him to be a Russian tsar. Since then the beautifully decorated cap has been the official crown of all Russian tsars until early 18th century.

The Armory Chamber also contains unique collections of Russian ceremonial and coronation dresses, and vestments of the Russian Orthodox Church top hierarchs. Of particular interest are court dresses of the young and slim Catherine the Great, and over-sized dresses of Peter the Great. The collection of the Russian and English gold and silverware is considered to be among the best in the world.

A rare collection of medieval weaponry is also on display. All items belonged to the Russian Tsars and Great Princes, and were either produced by Russian masters or given to the Russian Crown as diplomatic gifts. Each weaponry item here is an exquisite work of art richly decorated with ivory, gold and various precious stones. The ancient sabers, swords and daggers dazzle the eye with the iridescence of their gold engravings and the sparkle of their over-sized gems. A colorful collection of the state carriages is located in one of the halls of the museum. Other exhibits include ceremonial horse harnesses, precious textiles, and ornamental embroidery.

The Diamond Fund is a very special exposition of the Armory Chamber. As its name suggests, the Diamond Fund stores the biggest and most valuable diamonds which were ever found on the territory of Russia. Famous for the high purity of its Yakut diamonds, Russia is the second largest producer of diamonds in the world. The collection of the Diamond Fund also houses some of the most precious jewelry items in Russia, including several of the famous Faberge Easter Eggs.

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