CROSS CHAMBER (KRESTOVAYA PALATA)

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Exposition in the Cross Chamber of the Patriarch`s Palace

The ceremonial Cross Chamber (The Hall of the Cross) is also known as the Chrism Chamber. It is situated on the second floor of the Patriarch’s Palace. For the first time, an enormous room of 280 squire metres (3000 sq. feet) had a vaulted ceiling with no supporting pillar, which was a novelty in the 17th-century Russia. An iconostasis was installed against the eastern wall with a big Cross nearby. The floor was laid with encaustic tile; windows were of thin colored mica. It was the place where church Councils took place, bishops were elected and proclaimed, foreign ambassadors and tsars were received, ceremonial receptions and feasts were held. In 1763, it was renamed into the Chrism Chamber, after a stove for making chrism was built there. The holy oil was used for ceremonies of christening, coronation or a consecration of newly-built churches. The ritual of chrism-making was performed there until 1918.

From 1963 on, the Cross Chamber houses the Museum of Applied Art and Life Style of 17th-century Russia displaying items from the collections of the Armoury and the Cathedrals of the Moscow Kremlin. There is a rich collection of Old Russian household articles, belongings of Patriarch Nikon and Patriarch Filaret, collection of table-top clocks and watches, jewellery and many other magnificent accessories. Items of royal processions and hunting tackle are also of particular interest.

The exhibits give a better idea of the Old Russia’s cultural legacy and traditions. 

Stove for making chrismKadka (tub)Vessel for chrism