In this tour we will take you into the very heart of Russia - the Kremlin. You will explore the grounds of this ancient fortress which is so central to the country’s history, and visit the majestic cathedrals where the tsars were crowned and where many of them are buried. You will also discover the wonders of the Kremlin Armory - one of Moscow’s oldest museums, with its incomparable collection of armor and weapons – most of which dates back to the 15th and 16th Centuries, along with Russia’s ancient coronation regalia, state carriages used by rulers including Boris Godunov and Catherine the Great, and fabulous collections of historic jewelry, ceremonial costumes and gold and silverware. You will have lunch in a traditional Russian restaurant, and, afterwards we will take you along Old Arbat - one of the city’s most historic and fashionable streets. With its many museums, theaters, old churches and antique shops, as well as cafes and restaurants, this pedestrian street has long been a favorite meeting place for Muscovites and visitors alike. Finally - you will take a cruise in a luxurious river boat along the Moscow river, one of the most relaxing ways to discover the city. You will enjoy dramatic views of many of the city’s main sights: the Kremlin and the sinister House on the Embankment, the Christ the Savior Cathedral, Novodevichy Convent and the grand University building, and much more!
- English-speaking guide for the entire programme
- Entrance fees to museums
- Ticket to the 2,5-hour cruise on a modern boat from the Radisson flotilla (Royal class)
- Guided tours as per the programme
The Armoury Chamber preserves ancient state regalia, ceremonial tsar's vestments and coronation dress, vestments of the Russian Orthodox Church's hierarchs, the largest collection of gold and silverware by Russian craftsmen, West European artistic silver, ceremonial weapons and arms, carriages, horse ceremonial harness.
The State Armoury presents more than four thousands items of applied art of Russia, European and Eastern countries of the 4th - early 20th centuries. The highest artistic level and particular historical and cultural value of the exhibits have made the State Armoury of the Moscow Kremlin a world-wide known museum.
The Kremlin Armoury keeps ancient state regalia, the most valuable of which is Monomakh's Cap, the main royal cap of Russian grand dukes and tsars, a symbol of autocracy in Russia. The Monomakh's Cap was used for the coronations of Tsars (including Tsar Ivan the Terrible) for 178 years.
The Diamond Fund exhibition was opened in 1967 on the territory of the Moscow Kremlin. It is a subdivision of the Gokhran of Russia. Treasures of the Diamond Fund of the Russian Federation represent a collection of unique nuggets of precious metals and precious stones of historical and artistic value, as well as a collection of unique jewelry and other items made of precious metals and precious stones. The collection is undoubtedly one of the most significant and largest collections in the world. It is the most famous part of the State Fund treasury.
The Diamond Fund is a unique collection with a long path of development closely associated with the history of the Russian state. It includes masterpieces of jewelry art of the 18th-20th centuries, rare gems, insignia, gold and platinum nuggets of historical, artistic, scientific and material value.
Judging by the Tsar Cannon's calibre of 890 mm, it was given its name as the world’s biggest cannon. The gun's tube's weight is about 40 ton, its length is 5,34 m. The cannon's surface is adorned with the cast figured friezes, vegetation ornament, memorial inscriptions and an equestrian image of Tsar Feodor Ioannovich. In 1835, the Tsar Cannon was fixed on the carriage specially cast for it at the Berdt’s factory in St. Petersburg. Four hollow decorative cannonballs were made at the same time.
The Tsar Cannon has never shot. Mostly of symbolic impact, it was never used in a war.
Initially, the Tsar Cannon was fixed on Red Square near the Spasskiye Gate. In 1706, it was moved into the Kremlin, fixed at first in the Arsenal’s inner yard and then at the main gate (with another cannon). In 1835, the two cannons were staged on the new bases, specially cast on the project of A. Bryullov. In 1843, the Tsar Cannon and other old Russian cannons were placed in front of the Armoury Chamber’s old building in the opposite of the Arsenal. The captured cannons were left by the Arsenal.
In 1960, when the Palace of Congresses (now it is called the State Kremlin Palace) was under construction, the building of the Armoury Chamber (architect I. Yegotov) was dismantled. The old cannons were transferred to the Arsenal building. Later the Tsar Cannon was fixed on its present-day place. The Tsar Cannon, its base and cannonballs were renovated in the 1970s.
The bell was formed and cast in a special moulding pit at Ivanovskaya Square to the east of the 'Ivan the Great' Bell Tower.
Woodcarvers from St. Petersburg – Vasily Kobelev, Pyotr Galkin, Pyotr Kokhtev, Pyotr Serebryakov and the moulding master Pyotr Luokovnikov were commissioned to make the relief ornamentation. The name of the sculptor was discovered not long ago – it was Feodor Medvedev who got educated in Italy. Preparatory works took almost two years. At the end of 1734, the masters began the heating of metal in specially built furnaces, but soon the leakage was found out. At the same time, the fire destroyed wooden lifting constructions above the bell. The work was recommenced, but when Ivan Motorin died in August 1735, his son was entrusted with the work.
The Tsar Bell was finally cast in November 1735. However, it still remained in the moulding pit. In May 1737, a terrible fire known as Troitsky broke out and spread to the Kremlin buildings. During the fire extinguishing, cold water fell on the bell itself. Temperature difference caused its crack, and a huge piece of 11.5 ton broke off.
The repeated attempts to lift up the bell were a failure. In 1836, the work was commissioned to French architect from St. Peterburg Auguste Montferrant, who designed the lifting construction and an octal sandstone pedestal for the Tsar Bell. The first lifting was a failure; then the device was improved and the Tsar Bell was pulled out from the moulding pit at last. It remains there up till now as an example of the art of casting.
The Tsar Bell is decorated with bas-relief portraits of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich and Empress Anna Ioannovna; it is adorned both with floral ornament in the baroque style and images of saints, angels and inscriptions telling the story of the bell.