Monomakh's cap is a chief relic of the Russian Grand Princes and Tsars
The oldest public museums of the world opened their doors first during the Italian Renaissance. The oldest such museum in Russia, the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg, was a collection of curiosities brought together from Tsar Peter the Great’s travels; it opened to the public in 1727. The Armory Chamber of the Kremlin serves as one of the oldest in Moscow.
Being a part of the Kremlin's Grand Palace Complex this museum is housed in the 1851 building and presents a collection of more than 4,000 items of Russia's applied art, religious artefacts, and the famous Monomakh's cap - the ancient state regalia.
Proposed by Tsar Alexander I in 1806 as a Western European-inspired modern public attraction, this collection of weapons, jewelry, and Imperial household artifacts was finally open to the public after a building was constructed for it following the Fire of 1812 (its treasures were kept in Nizhny Novgorod during Napoleon’s occupation). The building that currently houses the Kremlin Armory, opened in 1852, was designed by Imperial architect Konstantin Thon, who also designed the Cathedral of Christ the Savior for Tsar Nicholas I.
Visiting the Armory Chamber is an integral part of any trip to Moscow, no matter the time of year. Serving as a modern treasure house, it is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace Complex. The armory began as the arsenal of the Moscow Kremlin as early as 1508, where were housed the finest of Muscovite gunsmiths, jewellers, and painters. Their resulting collection was later served as the Kremlin’s Great Treasury, and included many of the precious items that have been preserved for centuries. Later, in Soviet times, the treasures of the Patriarch’s vestry joined it, as did a large number of precious icons from across Russia. Despite the fall of the Communists, these historical church items remain housed among the state artifacts.
The Kremlin Armoury is a definite must-see. It has famous Faberge Eggs, jewellery, gifts to the Russian Tsar's and so much more.
A large number of the exhibits were originally created in the Kremlin’s workshops during the Imperial period, while others were the gifts of other nations given through their ambassadors. The Armory is charged with preserving ancient state regalia, the ceremonial vestments and coronation dress of the Tsars, and the vestments of the Hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church. This state museum also houses the largest collection of gold and silver works created by Russian craftsmen, artistic silver from Western Europe, ceremonial weapons and arms, Imperial carriages, and ceremonial harnesses worn by the horses that pulled them.
In total, there are more than 4,000 pieces of applied art from Russia, Europe, and the Far East kept by the State Armory, from as early as the 4th century, and as late as the Russian Revolution. The high artistic level and the historical and cultural value of the exhibits have made the State Armory of the Moscow Kremlin a world renowned museum.