Kremlin Armoury

Last updated

Kremlin Armoury or Armoury Chamber
Оружейная палата
MoscowKremlin Armoury S30.jpg
Moscow Armoury
Moscow Kremlin map - The Armoury.png
Location in the Moscow Kremlin
General information
Coordinates 55°44′58.25″N37°36′47.90″E / 55.7495139°N 37.6133056°E / 55.7495139; 37.6133056
Construction started1508
Owner Government of Russia

The Kremlin Armoury, [Note 1] (Russian : Оружейная палата) is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, located in the Moscow Kremlin, now a part of Moscow Kremlin Museums.


Kremlin Armoury interior Kremlin Armoury interior 03 by shakko.jpg
Kremlin Armoury interior
Persian Arms and Armours at the Kremlin Armoury Museum Persian Arms and Armours - Kremlin Armoury Museum Moscow.jpg
Persian Arms and Armours at the Kremlin Armoury Museum

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, and valuables stolen from occupied countries. 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 [1] in Moscow in 1806, but the collections were not opened to the public until seven years later.

Russian Diamond Fund

Beside the Armoury Chamber/Museum, the Kremlin Armoury is also currently home to the Russian Diamond Fund. It holds unique collections of the Russian, Western European and Eastern applied arts spanning the period from the 5th to the 20th centuries.


  1. Officially called the "Armou/ory Chamber" but also known as the cannon yard, the "Armou/ory Palace", the "Moscow Armou/ory", the "Armou/ory Museum", and the "Moscow Armou/ory Museum" but different from the Kremlin Arsenal.

Related Research Articles

Red Square Square in Moscow, Russia

Red Square is one of the oldest and largest squares in Moscow, the capital of Russia. Owing to its historical significance and the adjacent historical buildings, it is regarded as one of the most famous squares in Europe and the world. It is located in Moscow's historic centre, in the eastern walls of the Kremlin. It is the city landmark of Moscow, with iconic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum and the GUM. In addition, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990.

Hermitage Museum Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia

The State Hermitage Museum is a museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is the largest art museum in the world by gallery space. It was founded in 1764 when Empress Catherine the Great acquired an impressive collection of paintings from the Berlin merchant Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky. The museum celebrates the anniversary of its founding each year on 7 December, Saint Catherine's Day. It has been open to the public since 1852. The Art Newspaper ranked the museum 6th in their list of the most visited art museums, with 1,649,443 visitors in 2021.

Fabergé egg Valuable jewelled egg

A Fabergé egg is a jewelled egg created by the jewellery firm House of Fabergé, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. As many as 69 were created, of which 57 survive today. Virtually all were manufactured under the supervision of Peter Carl Fabergé between 1885 and 1917. The most famous are his 52 "Imperial" eggs, 46 of which survive, made for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers. Fabergé eggs are worth millions of dollars and have become symbols of opulence.

Kremlin Fortified complex in Moscow, Russia

The Kremlin is a fortified complex in the centre of Moscow founded by the Rurikids ruling dynasty. It is the best known of the kremlins, and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. In addition, within this complex is the Grand Kremlin Palace that was formerly the Tsar's Moscow residence. The complex now serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation and as a museum with almost 3 million visitors in 2017. The Kremlin overlooks the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and the Alexander Garden to the west.

Tsar Cannon

The Tsar Cannon is a large early modern period artillery piece on display on the grounds of the Moscow Kremlin. It is a monument of Russian artillery casting art, cast in bronze in 1586 in Moscow, by the Russian master bronze caster Andrey Chokhov. Mostly of symbolic impact, it was never used in a war. However, the cannon bears traces of at least one firing. Per the Guinness Book of Records it is the largest bombard by caliber in the world, and it is a major tourist attraction in the ensemble of the Moscow Kremlin.

Konstantin Thon Russian architect (1794–1881)

Konstantin Andreyevich Thon, also spelled Ton was an official architect of Imperial Russia during the reign of Nicholas I. His major works include the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow.

Cathedral of the Archangel Church in Moscow, Russia

The Cathedral of the Archangel is a Russian Orthodox church dedicated to the Archangel Michael. It is located in Cathedral Square of the Moscow Kremlin in Russia between the Great Kremlin Palace and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. It was the main necropolis of the Tsars of Russia until the relocation of the capital to St. Petersburg. It was constructed between 1505 and 1508 under the supervision of an Italian architect Aloisio the New on the spot of an older cathedral, built in 1333. Now it also serves as a part of Moscow Kremlin Museums.

Russian State Library National public library in Moscow, Russia

The Russian State Library is the national library of Russia, located in Moscow. It is the largest in the country and the sixth largest in the world for its collection of books. It was named the V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR from 1925 until it was renamed in 1992 as the Russian State Library.

Imperial Crown of Russia Diamond-encrusted crown first used by Catherine the Great

The Imperial Crown of Russia, also known as the Great Imperial Crown, was used by the monarchs of Russia from 1762 until the Russian monarchy's abolition in 1917. The Great Imperial Crown was first used in a coronation by Catherine the Great, and it was last worn at the coronation of Nicholas II. It was displayed prominently next to Nicholas II on a cushion at the State Opening of the Russian Duma inside the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg in 1906. It survived the 1917 revolution and is currently on display in Moscow at the Kremlin Armoury's State Diamond Fund.

Palace Armoury

The Palace Armoury is an arms collection housed at the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta, Malta. It was the main armoury of the Order of St. John in the 17th and 18th centuries, and as such it was the last arsenal established by a crusader military order. Although today only a part of the original armoury still survives, it is still one of the world's largest collections of arms and armour still housed in its original building. The Palace Armoury has been open to the public as a museum since 1860.

Central Naval Museum

Central Naval Museum is a naval museum in St Petersburg, Russia. It is one of the first museums in Russia and one of the world’s largest naval museums, with a large collection of artefacts, models and paintings reflecting the development of Russian naval traditions and the history of the Russian Navy. The museum’s permanent display includes such relics as the Botik of Peter the Great, Catherine II’s marine throne, trophies captured in sea battles, and the personal belongings of prominent Russian and Soviet naval commanders. The collection includes paintings by Ivan Aivazovsky, Alexey Bogolyubov, Lev Lagorio and other marine artists, ship sculpture, navigational instruments, naval equipment and machinery from the 17th to 20th centuries and numerous models of ships. The main exposition consists of nineteen halls. There is a complex of six museum halls for exhibitions.

Coronation of the Russian monarch

Coronations in Russia involved a highly developed religious ceremony in which the Emperor of Russia was crowned and invested with regalia, then anointed with chrism and formally blessed by the church to commence his reign. Although rulers of Muscovy had been crowned prior to the reign of Ivan III, their coronation rituals assumed overt Byzantine overtones as the result of the influence of Ivan's wife Sophia Paleologue, and the imperial ambitions of his grandson, Ivan IV. The modern coronation, introducing "Western European-style" elements, replaced the previous "crowning" ceremony and was first used for Catherine I in 1724. Since tsarist Russia claimed to be the "Third Rome" and the replacement of Byzantium as the true Christian state, the Russian rite was designed to link its rulers and prerogatives to those of the so-called "Second Rome" (Constantinople).

Regalia of the Russian tsars

Regalia of the Russian tsars from the 13th to the 20th centuries of the history of Russia, are the insignia of tsars and emperors of Russia. Some of the artefacts were changed or substituted, the most radical change happened in the 18th century, when Peter the Great reformed the state and transitioned it to European-style monarchy.

The Georgian Crown Jewels were the regalia and vestments worn by the monarchs of Georgia during the coronation ceremony and at other state functions. The last Georgian monarchs, Heraclius II and George XII, had their regalia invested, respectively in 1783 and 1798, from the Russian tsars, their official protectors. Of these royal jewels—a crown, sword, and scepter—only the latter staff survives, in the collection of the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow.

Moscow Kremlin Museums Major museum in Moscow

Moscow Kremlin Museums is a major state-run museum in Moscow Kremlin. Its roots lie in the Kremlin Armoury museum founded in 1806, the current form of the museum started in 1991. The Head of the museum is Yelena Gagarina, daughter of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. There were 424,922 visitors to the Kremlin Museums in 2020, a drop of 86 percent from 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it still ranked 46th on the List of most-visited art museums in the world in 2020.

Alexei Maximov

Alexei Maximov is a Soviet-born enamellist, portrait painter of European royals, and oil painter who currently resides in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He is known for using traditional methods of enamel art production, without the aid of contemporary digital set ovens, and is considered a modern master of the artform.

Commandants Office of the Moscow Kremlin

The Commandant's Office of the Moscow Kremlin is an administration unit of the Federal Protective Service of Russia. Its duties include inspecting visitors to the Kremlin and providing security to the Kremlin interior and buildings exterior from the Kremlin Wall such as Lenin's Mausoleum. It is also responsible for keeping the order among servicemen of Moscow Garrison organizing parades in the national capital. Internally, has authority over the operation of certain Kremlin museums. The Commandant of the Moscow Kremlin is the operational head of the office. It has direct control over the Kremlin Regiment, which notable maintains a permanent honor guard at the eternal flame of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Rostov Kremlin (museum-reserve)

Rostov Kremlin - is a National museum-reserve situated in Rostov, Yaroslavl region, Russian Federation. Museum-reserve preserves the architectural ensamble of the Rostov Kremlin, Church of St. John the Evangelist (1687) on Ishnya river, and has got different branches within the Rostov municipal district. The only museum of national level in the Yaroslavl region. Museum was founded in 1883 and now is a huge scientific center for the study of archaeology, architecture, art, and history. Museum has got vast collections of archeology, ancient Russian art, modern and contemporary art, decorative and applied arts, numismatics, photos, bells, enamel and ecclesiastical art.


  1. "About The Kremlin Armoury Museum [In English]".