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Armoury Chamber, Kremlin Museums


The great treasures in the Kremlin Museums are kept in the Armoury, a glittering storehouse of gold and jewelled arms and ceremonial vestments. There are two floors of robes, carriages, sleighs, Fabergé eggs and headwear including the sable-trimmed Crown or Cap of Monomakh that legend says was presented to Prince Vladimir of Kiev by his grandfather, Constantine IX Monomachos to support his Byzantine heritage, though it may have been a gift from Uzbek Khan of the Golden Horde to Ivan I. It was used in coronations until Peter the Great chose a Western-style crown. Many items come from Moscow’s royal workshops and from the Patriarch’s treasury. There are also diplomatic gifts presented to the Czars, particularly from Persia and 16th-17th century Ottoman Turkey, including two gold harnesses and saddles given to Catherine the Great by Sultans Abdulhamid I and Selim III.


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Issue 59, June 2019 Behind Closed Doors
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