HISTORY

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The Patriarch's Palace and the Twelve Apostles' Church

According to the chronicles, Metropolitan Peter received a place for his estate to the north of the Assumption Cathedral on the territory of the Kremlin from Moscow Prince Ivan Kalita in the first half of the 14th century.

In 1450, Metropolitan Jonah built the Church of the Deposition of the Virgin’s Robe and the first stone palace in the Kremlin on that spot. Due to fire in 1473, the residence was completely burnt out and Metropolitan Gerontius had to rebuild it. In 1484-1485, makers from Pskov erected a new Church of the Deposition of the Virgin’s Robe, which still stands there. All the later metropolitans and since the late 16th century—patriarchs developed their dominions and built wooden and stone constructions in the Moscow Kremlin.

During Polish and Swedish invasion and the fire of 1626, the Patriarchal Court was damaged. Patriarch Filaret restored the Cross Chamber and the Refectory, as well as constructed wooden cells and churches.

A new stage of construction was started in 1643 at the times of Patriarch Joseph. There were built the Cross, the Golden, the Cell and the Treasury chambers, and a series of utility areas. The work was coordinated by Antipa Konstantinov, one of the builders of the Terem Palace.

The next period in the life of the Patriarchal Court in the Kremlin is linked to the name of Patriarch Nikon. In autumn 1652, there was started the dismantling of the old chambers, the Church of the Miracle Workers of Solovki, and the buildings at the former court of Boris Godunov bestowed on Nikon by Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich. By the end of 1655, there were built new chambers and a church, and the interior was being decorated for the next three years, till Nikon left the Patriarchal See in July 1658. The ground floor of the palace was used for housekeeping needs; staterooms and the private chapel was on the first floor, while the second floor housed private quarters of the patriarch.

Later Patriarchs reconstructed and decorated the palace in a varying degree as well.

With the elimination of the patriarchate and the institutions of the Holy Synod, the Moscow Synodal Office was located there in the 18th-19th centuries. It was followed by changes in the layout, interior decoration and exterior of the palace.

The Patriarch’s Palace being the rarest monument of Moscow civil architecture of the mid-17th century was transferred to the jurisdiction of the museum in 1918. A long-standing process of scientific conservation had begun and the original image was restored in the main. The first permanent display was open on the first floor of the palace in 1967.

In 1980-1985, regular large-scale scientific and conservation works, which resulted in the current exposition of the museum, were carried out.

The exposition was somewhat modified in 2010. And in 2013, several paintings of the 17th century illustrated on the walls of the anteroom and the Prikaz Chambers were uncovered.