Russia: Moscow

The Moscow Kremlin


Kremlin: Tsarina's Golden Palace

Close to the Facets Palace is the Small Golden Palace built in the early 16th century. In the 1580s it became a reception room of the Russian tsarinas and was then called the Tsarina’s Golden Palace. The Gala Hall of the Palace was used by the tsarinas for large receptions in connection with marriage ceremonies, for funeral repasts when tsarinas died, and also for receptions of members of royal families of foreign states. The paintings of the Golden Palace show the holy wives and their life and are of great artistic and iconographic value. (There are episodes from the life of the Kieven Princess Olga, the first Russian Christian Princess, of St. Dinara, the Georgian tsarina who defeated the Persian tsar in the 11th century, and of the righteous Feodora, the wife of the Byzantine emperor Theophilus).

At the beginning of the 17th century, after all the fires and destruction of the “Time of Troubles” the Golden Palace, like all other palaces of the Kremlin, was in a decrepit state. During the 17th century its paintings were repeatedly renovated. Thus it was repainted in oils in 1796, to celebrate the coronation of Emperor Paul I, and restored at the same time as the construction of the new 19th century palace. The Kremlin restores undertook a complex and painstaking work to remove later additions, and it took them eight years (from 1970 to 1978) to uncover the original paintings of the Tsarina’s Golden Palace. The old paintings uncovered by restorers helped to restore the Throne Hall of Russian tsarinas to its original splendor.

The Golden Palace is less official and majestic than the Facets Palace. The inside looks like a precious painted box and it seems to retain the spirit of feminism and kindness, which is so characteristic of the Russian women in Old Rus, whose names are remembered by their descendants.




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