The Moscow Kremlin is one of the largest architectural ensembles in the world. It is home to the Moscow Kremlin State Museum of History and Culture.
The first Kremlin walls were built in the mid-12th century. Two hundred years later, Moscow became the capital of a small princedom and since that time, the Kremlin has been the residence of Russia`s rulers. Today, part of the Kremlin is occupied by presidential offices; this area is closed to visitors. But during our tour, you will visit the majestic whitestone cathedrals of Blagoveshchensky (the Annunciation); Arkhangelsky (built in the name of Archangel Michael); and Uspensky (the Assumption), where every tsar and emperor of Russia was crowned; the Church of the Deposition of Our Lady`s Robe; the Patriarch`s Chambers with the Church of the Twelve Apostles; and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower Ensemble.
You also visit the Armoury and the Diamond Fund. The Armoury was first established as an arms and armour workshop attached to the royal court. Jewellers and icon painters arrived later. The work of the Kremlin masters ceased under Peter the Great , and in the 18th century, the Armoury became a royal treasury. It was the first museum in Moscow .
Now the Armoury is a world–renowned museum, a unique treasure–house containing a wealth of articles of decorative and applied arts of Russia , European countries and of the Orient of the 4th to 20th centuries. The Armoury is located in a building specially erected for it by architect Konstantin Ton in 1840–1851.
Now, it displays ancient arms, the tsars' crown jewels and many magnificent works of art. Here, you will see unique specimens of Russian and foreign craftsmanship, royal regalia and gifts from ambassadors. You will admire the famous golden "cap" of Vladimir Monomakh, used to crown all Russian tsars until Peter I, and the imperial crown of Catherine I, made of gilded silver. The Armoury has the finest collection of old English silverware in the world, made by London silversmiths of the 16th and 17th centuries, Faberge Easter eggs and a unique collection of carriages spanning the 16th and 18th centuries. The collection makes it one of the most impressive museums in Moscow .
The Diamond Fund's amazing exhibition displays unique state treasures, including a large imperial crown of gold and silver, 4,936 diamonds and pearls made for the coronation of Catherine the Great; the huge, world-famous Orlov (189.62 carat) and Shah (88.7 carat) diamonds; and the Big Bouquet, a magnificent piece of jewellery set with diamonds and emeralds from the 18th century. The exhibition also features a collection of Yakut diamonds and masterpieces by modern jewellers.