The collections of the State Historical and Cultural Museum-Preserve "The Moscow Kremlin" comprise over than 60 thousands historical, cultural and artistic monuments. Only three and a half thousands are included to the museum’s permanent displays. The chronological frames are rather wide - from the late III millenium b.c. till our days. The main part of the museum funds belongs to the period of Russian Middle Ages and Modern Time.
The peculiarity of Moscow Kremlin Museums’ collections comes from the history of their origin. The collection was based on valuables that had been preserved in the Kremlin for centuries in the treasury of Moscow Great Princes and Tsars. Dynastic regalia were always used in festive court ceremonies, such as setting for reigning, receptions of foreign ambassadors and ceremonial processions of rulers.
The sources for filling the tsars’ treasuries were creations of Kremlin masters, gifts from foreign rulers and ambassadors, presents from Russian noblemen and purchases in Russia and abroad.
In the early XVIII century, after the capital had been transferred to Saint-Petersburg, the work of palace institutions and workshops was stopped. They were integrated in one storage of ancient treasures that became the basis for the foundation of the museum in the Kremlin in 1806 on the Decree of Emperor Alexander I.
In 1806-1917, the museum’s collections were filled by items from the palace property, gifts to Russian Emperors, archaeological finds and special purchases. At that time, the artillery collection of the Moscow Kremlin, one of the biggest ones in the world, was registered.
After the October Revolution 1917, the museum was filled with valuables of Russian Orthodox Church, also from destroyed churches, cathedrals and monasteries. Here we should mention first the valuables from the Patriarch’s Vestry, vestries of the Kremlin cathedrals and monasteries that had been formed on its territory for centuries. The transfer of these valuables to the museum saved many of them from elimination or saling abroad.
In Soviet times the museum’s collections were filled up through purposeful purchases and transfers from state and party organizations, gifts from individuals and archaeological research in the Moscow Kremlin’s territory.
The collections of Moscow Kremlin Museums are still being replenished. However, the complexes of precious items, many of which have become the symbols of the Russian State and culture, that have been formed in the Kremlin throughout the long Russian history, are of particular value in the collections and make the museum a treasure-house.
- Museum collections
- Russian state regalia
- Armour and arms
- Ceremonial horse harness
- Royal carriages
- Russian gold and silverware
- Foreign gold and silverware
- Ceramics and glass
- Clocks and watches
- Orders and medals
- Numismatics and Bonistics
- Oil paintings
- Wooden sculpture
- Manuscript and early printed books
- Architectural details