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The Kremlin

The Armory

The Armory began in the early 16th century as a purely functional storehouse for the Kremlin's weaponry. However, within a few decades that original and prosaic structure had gained the added function of a workshop and repository for all sorts of treasures of the increasingly magnificent Imperial court. In 1813, following Napoleon's invasion, the Armory building became an exhibition hall and museum, though the Imperial arms and regalia had long since been removed by Peter the Great to St. Petersburg. It was only in 1851 that the collection was returned to Moscow, where it was installed in the current building, then new. Despite the loss of significant items in the collection during the early nineteenth century, the treasures contained within the Armory are overwhelming. From the chalice of Yuri Dolgoruky and the helm and armor of Boris Godunov to a stupendous collection of over fifty Faberge eggs, visitors are presented with an array of objects that is staggering in its historical interest and spectacular richness. Next door, at the Diamond Treasury, visitors can catch a glimpse of the infamous 190-carat Orlov Diamond.

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Sites within the Kremlin:
The Arsenal
The State Kremlin Palace
Tsar Cannon and Bell
Cathedral Square
Ivan the Great Belltower
Assumption Cathedral

The Church of the Deposition of the Robe
The Cathedral of the Archangel Michael
The Cathedral of the Annunciation
Cathedral of the Twelve Apostles and The Patriarch's Palace
The Terem, Faceted, and Great Kremlin Palaces
The Armory


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