For an inside look at the extravagance of the Russian tsars, pay a visit to the Kremlin Armoury. Housed in a mid-19th century building inside the Kremlin, the Armoury Chamber displays a wide variety of items from the tsars’ treasury, including ancient state regalia, ceremonial dress and the largest collection of gold and silver by Russian craftsmen.
Spread out over nine halls on two floors, the Armoury is home to more than 4000 items of applied art of Russia, European and Eastern countries of the fourth to the early 20th centuries. On display are Russian gold and silverware, including works by Petersburg and Moscow masters and the famous Faberge eggs. You will see European and Oriental ceremonial weapons, guns crafted in Persia and Turkey and Russian arms dating back to the 12th century. Exhibits also feature ambassadorial gifts from Germany, England, Sweden, Poland and France, including a unique collection of English Renaissance silver and French dinner and tea sets.
Also of interest are clothes from the tsars’ wardrobes, including coronation dress and accessories, crowns, scepters and orbs from the 13th to 18th centuries, and the thrones of Ivan the Terrible and the Romanov tsars. Royal carriages from the 16th to 18th centuries, including that of Catherine the Great, complete the collection, which provides a fascinating look into Russian imperial history.
The Armoury is located within the Kremlin but requires a separate ticket. Admission is at four times each day and tickets go on sale just 45 minutes before each admission. The Kremlin is easily accessible by Metro, with the closest stations being Borovitskaya (Боровицкая) and Biblioteka imeni Lenina (Библиоте́ка и́мени Ле́нина).