The Patriarch's Palace is one of the best and rarest monuments of Moscow mid 17th century's civil architecture. The Palace was erected in 1653-1655 by Russian masters on Patriarch Nikon's order on the place of more ancient constructions of the Metropolitan and later Patriarch's residence in the Moscow Kremlin.
Nowadays, the Cross Chamber, the Front Anteroom, the refectory and the Twelve Apostles' Church house the exposition, exploring the history and peculiarities of the Russian culture through the 17th century. Precious housewares, jewelry, ceremonial hunting equipment, ancient furniture and items of ecclesiastical embroidery presented here were created by masters of Russia, European and Eastern countries. The majority of items were made in national traditions by Russian masters of Moscow Kremlin Workshops and masters from Yaroslavl, Kostroma and other towns.
They represent one of the most important periods of the Russian history that was marked with changes in the outlook and way of living of the Russian people before reforms of Peter the Great.
The gilded iconostasis of the 17th-18th centuries made of carved wood in the home church of Twelve Apostles is of particular interest. It is a wonderful example of carving.
A collection of icons showing the development of icon-painting in the 17th century is placed in the church. The works of the leading royal icon painters Simon Ushakov and Feodor Zubov present the new tendencies in painting.
The museum's exposition shows the new artistic taste of the Russian society in the 17th century and the singularity of the spiritual life of Rus on the edge of the modern history.