The towering red brick walls of the Kremlin hide a multitude of palaces, armouries and churches, making this one of the most memorable places to visit in the Russian capital. Dating back to 1147, the Kremlin, whose name translates as “fortified town” is now one of the largest museums in the world and a must-see on any Moscow itinerary.
When planning your visit, think of it in terms of four sections: what’s accessible with a regular ticket, with a concert ticket or with a private guide and what’s off limits. With a regular entrance ticket, you’ll be able to see the Tsar Bell that never tolled, which stands at the foot of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, as well as the Tsar Cannon which never fired.
You can explore the Kremlin’s elegant cathedrals and study the exterior of both the Presidential and Great Kremlin Palaces. And of course, amongst other things, in the Kremlin’s Armoury Museum you’ll see some of Faberge’s famous exquisitely decorated eggs alongside state regalia, carriages and historic weapons. Access to the State Kremlin Palace can be achieved with the purchase of tickets to a concert, or the ballet.
To get inside the Presidential Palace, you’ll need an invite from Vladimir Putin himself, but if it’s a nose around the Great Kremlin Palace you want, then Just Go Russia can help. Access is only possible on an exclusive tour arranged by a travel agency such as us; it’s not cheap, but it is very special indeed. If it’s bragging rights you’re after, then read on.
The Great (or Grand, as it’s also known) Kremlin Palace dates from the middle of the 19th Century and once served as the Royal residence in Moscow. Within its structure, you’ll find over seven hundred rooms, nine churches and the earlier Terem Palace. Today it’s the venue used for state and diplomatic receptions, so be flexible with the date of your visit as you may need to reschedule if the President needs his palace back.
The Great Kremlin Palace leads to the Palace of Facets. Taking its name from the distinctive eastern façade which features horizontal rows of stones, the palace is the remnant of a much larger Royal palace. Inside, the building is lavishly decorated with rich frescoes which tell aspects of the history of the Russian state, as well as intricate, gilded carvings. It’s no surprise to learn that its sumptuous banqueting hall is used to this day for formal state receptions.
Parts of the Palace of Facets have a more sinister history. On the south side is the Red Porch, an external staircase where the Tsars would have walked on the way to their coronation, the last of which was that of Nicholas II which took place in 1896. But back in 1682, during the Streltsy Uprising, some of Tsar Peter the Great’s rebellious relatives were thrown to their deaths down this very same staircase. Stalin demolished it, but it was rebuilt in 1994. Extensively restored in 2012, the Palace of Facets remains one of most enthralling of the Kremlin’s hidden treasures.
To arrange your private tour of the Great Kremlin Palace and the Palace of Facets, speak to a Just Go Russia representative today.