The Moscow Kremlin Museums offer you guided tours in Russian and with a translator of yours. The tours present general information about the architectural ensemble of the Kremlin, the treasures of the world-famous Armoury Chamber, ancient Kremlin's cathedrals and their historical burial places, ensembles of wall-painting, collections of Old-Russian icons and the museum of Russian culture of the 17th century in the halls of the Patriarch's Palace.

For information on booking guided tours for organised groups please contact:
Excursion office at the Alexandrovsky Sad (Alexander garden, Kremlin, Moscow, Russia). Open daily from 9.00 to 17.00 from 15 May to 30 September; 9.30 to 16.00 from 1 October to 14 May.
Tel: +7 (495) 695-41-46, +7 (495) 697-03-49.
Excursion office on the map.

Pre-orders of guided tours are available via travel agencies.

TERRITORY OF THE MOSCOW KREMLIN

The centre of the Moscow Kremlin is occupied by the main and most ancient square of the city - Cathedral Square, which still retains its original form - a unique complex of masterpieces of medieval architecture. Found in the early 14th century, the Cathedral Square saw the construction, destruction and rebuilding of churches and chambers, witnessed all the perturbations within the history of the Russian State. Nowadays, the architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square consists of the Assumption Cathedral, Archangel Cathedral, Annunciation Cathedral, the Church of Laying Our Lady's Holy Robe, the Patriarch's Palace, the Faceted Chamber, Golden Tsarina's Chamber, churches of the Terem Palace and the 'Ivan the Great' Bell Tower complex.

Вид Кремля с Большого Каменного моста

You can take a walk along the oldest Moscow Spasskaya (Saviour) street, where gorgeous tsars’ coming-outs and sacred processions took place in olden times. You can also view the oldest square of Moscow - Cathedral Square - where the unique medieval architectural town-building complex has saved. You can visit Ivanov Square that has been the business and civic center of Russia.
You will see eminent monuments of Old-Russian architecture, such as the Assumption Cathedral, the Annunciation Cathedral and the Archangel’s Cathedral, the Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe, the Ivan-the-Great Bell-Tower complex, the Faceted Chamber and the Patriarch’s Palace.
Inside the Moscow Kremlin there is the Tsar Bell, which was the last gigantic bell to be cast in the Kremlin. Here there is the biggest intact bell of European type - the Assumption. Up till now the Assumption Bell adorns the Assumption Belfry (Uspenskaya Zvonnitsa). Its sound can be heard far outside the Kremlin walls during church services in the Kremlin's cathedrals.
Near to the Tsar Bell there is the famous Tsar-Cannon, a unique example of Russian casting, although close to mortars, but of a specific kind of artillery cannons. No other monuments of this kind have been preserved.
The Moscow Kremlin is a unique historical and cultural museum-preserve. In 1990, it was included into the World Heritage List of UNESCO. This way, the monuments of the Moscow Kremlin were declared to be a part of the world heritage and the Russian government took additional commitments to the international community in their preservation.

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ARMOURY CHAMBER

The Armoury Chamber, a treasure house, is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace's complex. Its collection incorporates more than four thousands items of applied art of Russia, European and Eastern countries of the 4th-early 20th century. The highest artistic level and particular historical and cultural value of the exhibits made the State Armoury a world-wide known museum.

Здание Оружейной палатыThe history of the museum's collections dates back to the edge of the XIV century when the Moscow Princes' treasury was set up in the time of absorption of the Russian lands around Moscow. Its cradle was the ancestral reliquiae of Ivan Kalita (Money-bag). Some of them became symbols of the Russian rulers' power in course of time. The treasury was enriched with gifts from monarchs of Western and Eastern countries, presents from state and church figures, rich merchants and individuals.
A worthy source for filling the treasury were Kremlin workshops. Things of everyday use and ceremonial items, precious horse harness and royal carriages, dishware and dress, cultic and ceremonial objects, service and ceremonial armours and weapons were manufactured there.
The name of a workshop — the Armoury — was later given to the royal museum. It was set up in 1806 on the order of Alexander I on the basis of old treasury-stores and Kremlin workshops. The first building for the museum was erected in 1810 on the project by I.V. Yegotov. The building that houses the exposition nowadays was projected in 1851 by court architect Konstantin Ton, who also created the Grand Kremlin Palace.
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ASSUMPTION CATHEDRAL

The Assumption Cathedral was built in 1474-1479 by Italian architect Aristotle Fioravanti as the main Russian cathedral. The most significant ceremonies took place in the main cathedral of the State: coronations of tsars and emperors, inaugurations of hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Успенский соборThe Assumption Cathedral was a burial place of Metropolitans and Patriarchs. The reliquaries of Russian hierarchs, canonized by the Russian Church, are marked with special marquees.
The cathedral was painted by the best masters. On the altar wall the oldest frescoes of the Moscow Kremlin have been preserved. They show the images of ascetic monks and were painted in 1481 by the team of famous icon-painter Dyonisios.
The cathedral is adorned with a magnificent ensemble of wall-painting, created in 1642-1643. The devotion of the cathedral to the Holy Day of Assumption determined the program of painting. It illustrates the magic birth of Virgin Mary, her childhood and Acathistus — a solemn chant in honour of Our Lady. An interesting point of the murals is the depiction of Oecumenical Councils, that affirmed the fundamentals of the Christian belief, in the lower tiers of the walls. According to the tradition, at the western wall of the cathedral there is the traditional composition «The Judgment Day».
In 1653, on the order of Patriarch Nikon a five-tiered iconostasis was made. In the local and deesis row there are real masterpieces of Old-Russian icon-painting of XII-XVII centuries. The oldest one is the icon “Saint Georgy” of the XI-XII centuries. The cathedral icon “The Assumption of Our Lady” was created to the consecration of the cathedral.
In 1551, a praying-seat was made for Ivan the Great. The bas-reliefs on its walls illustrate a legend about the transfer of symbols of the state power and royal regalia — «The Cap of Monomakh» and barmas from Byzantium to Rus. The Monomakh's Throne is a true masterpiece by Russian carvers.
The functions of the Assumption Cathedral have made the cathedral an invaluable historical monument and a treasury of the Russian National culture.
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ARCHANGEL CATHEDRAL

The Archangel Cathedral was built in 1505-1508 by Italian architect Aleviz Novy on the place of a small white-stone cathedral of the 14th century. The cathedral is devoted to the Archangel Michael, the protector of soldiers and rulers in their feats of arms. For many centuries it served as a dynastic necropolis of the Moscow great princes and tsars. Great Princes Ivan Kalita, Dmitry Donskoy, Ivan III, Ivan the Terrible, Tsarevich Dmitry, Tsars Mikhail and Alexey Romanov were buried there. There are 47 tombstones and two reliquaries in the dynastic necropolis. The cathedral's pillars and walls are covered with portraits of Moscow sovereigns and their glorious ancestors.

Архангельский соборFrom the XIVth to XVIIIth century the cathedral served as a burial place of Moscow Princes and Tsars. The unique dynastic necropolis houses 46 tombs. At the southern wall there are the tombs of Ivan Kalita (Money-bag), Dmitry Donskoi and Ivan III. At the northern wall there are the tombs of Princes fallen into disfavour. The first Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible was buried in the tsar’s reliquary in the altar part of the cathedral. The tombs of Tsars from Romanov dynasty are located near the pillars.
The cathedral is adorned with a majestic ensemble of wall-paintings of the mid XVII century. A unique point is the circle of ideational portraits of princes buried in the cathedral. The theme of glorification of the state power sounds in the depictions of Moscow rulers’ Saint ancestors.
On the cathedral's pillars there are images of Kiev Prince Vladimir, Princess Olga, Andrei Bogolyubsky, Alexander Nevsky and his son Daniyl, who founded the Moscow dynasty.
The four-tiered iconostasis of the Archangel’s Cathedral was created in the second part of the XVII century. It is crowned with carved «Crucifixion».
The cathedral's icon «Archangel Michael with glorious works», a unique monument of the heroic epoch of the Battle on the Kulikovo Field created at the edge of the XVth century, is of special interest.
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ANNUNCIATION CATHEDRAL

The Annunciation Cathedral, built in 1485-1489 by Russian masters, was a private chapel of the great princes and Moscow tsars. It was a part of a palace complex. Its north-western gallery was the palace's front entrance. The ensemble of monumental painting of the cathedral of Ivan the Terrible's epoch and the ancient iconostasis are of great value. Many of the researches consider the icons of the Deisis to be painted by the famous icon-painter Theophanes the Greek and a part of the icons of the Festive row to be created by the greatest Russian medieval icon-painter Andrei Rublev.

Благовещенский соборThe vaulted ceilings of galleries are adorned with multi-figure composition “The Tree of Jesse”, Jesus Christ’s genealogy. Just take notice of images of Antique poets and philosophers Homer, Aristotle, Vergil, Plato, who were considered the precessors and nunciates of the doctrine of Godman.
The majority of cathedral's murals are devoted to Apocalypse, the ancient prophecy of the doomsday and Judgement Day. On the pillars of the tsars’ home church there are the depictions of Moscow rulers' Saint ancestors: Kiev Prince Vladimir and Olga, Boris and Gleb, Vladimir Great Prince Alexander Nevsky.
The wall-paintings on pillars including 'portraits' of Byzantine Emperors present the idea of Moscow being the successor of Constantinople, a new holy town — «the third Rome».
A true adornment of the Annunciation Cathedral is the multi-tiered iconostasis. Its deesis and festive row are formed with the most ancient icons of the XIVth-XVth centuries. Because of high artistic merits and peculiarity of painting technique some icons are supposed to be created by famous Theofan the Greek and great artist of Ancient Rus Andrei Rublev.
The floor of the Annunciation Cathedral is unique in its kind. It is made of jasper that dates back to the mid XVI century, when according to the legend, it was brought here from Rostov the Great.
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CHURCH OF LAYING OUT LADY'S HOLY ROBE

The delicate one-dome church was built in 1484-1485 by Russian masters as a private chapel or Russian Metropolitans and Patriarchs. Its iconostasis and wall-paintings form a magnificent architectural ensemble. There is a permanent exhibition of Russian wooden sculpture in its gallery.

Церковь РизположенияThe cathedral was devoted to the festival of Laying Our Lady's Fair Robe, which had been celebrated in Byzantium since V century. On the legend, the Fair Robe (vestment) of Our Holy Lady was brought to Constantinople from Palestine. The Robe was considered to be miraculous holy to protect the town from enemies. The church’s icon depicts the laying of the halidom for storage to the imperial court cathedral.
The iconostasis of 1627 has been preserved in the Church of Laying Our Lady's Holy Robe. The majority of icons were painted by court icon-painter Nazary Istomin Savin.
The iconostasis and murals form the artistic ensemble. The church was painted in 1644 by tsar's painters Sidor Pospeev, Ivan Borisov and Semyon Abramov.
The wall-paintings illustrate the life story of Virgin Mary and Acathistus, a solemn chant in honour of Our Lady, the cresset of belief and people's protector in front of God.
On the church’s pillars there are Saint Russian Princes and Metropolitans depicted to emphasize the idea of union and agreement of Church and State.
In the church's gallery there is a unique exhibition of Russian wooden carving of XV-XVII centuries. The exhibition presents carved icons, crosses and small folding icons, which were usually taken to far journeys and military campaigns. The oldest sculpture is the image of Saint Georgy, the protector of the Russian army.
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PATRIARCH'S PALACE

The Patriarch's Palace is one of the best monuments of Moscow mid-17th century civil architecture. The Palace was erected in 1653-1655 by Russian masters on Patriarch Nikon's order on the place of ancient constructions of the Metropolitan's 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.

Патриаршие палаты с церковью Двенадцати апостоловThe Patriarch's Palace was built in 1653-165 by Russian masters for Patriarch Nikon, the head of the Russian Church. According to the tradition the ground floor housed household services and the second floor housed the Patriarch's living quarters. On the second floor there were ceremonial quarters. The main one is the Cross Chamber. Here church councils and feasts in occasion of the reception of the Tsar and foreign guests were held. In the XVIII century a special oven for making aromatic oil - chrism for church ceremonies in all Russia appeared here.
Nowadays, the Patriarch's Palace houses the museum of applied art and life of Russia of the XVIIth century: in the Cross Chamber, the Front Anteroom, the refectory and the Twelve Apostles' Church.
The museum explores the history and peculiarities of the Russian culture through the XVIIth century. Precious housewares, jewellery, 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 Jaroslavl, 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 Peter the Great's reforms.
The gilded iconostasis of the XVII-XVIII 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 XVII century is placed in the church. The works of the leading tsar's isografs (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 XVII century and the singularity of the spiritual life of Rus on the edge of the modern history.
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