HALL 8. CEREMONIAL HORSE HARNESS OF THE 16TH - 18TH CENTURIES

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Hall 8. The Armoury ChamberThe collection of items of the ceremonial horse harness, preserved in the Armory Chamber, has no analogues in other museums around the world in terms of size and artistic value. It was formed in the 16th - 17th centuries, constituting the so-called Stables Treasury. The collection is basically formed of items made in the workshops of the Stables Office of the Moscow Kremlin.

The Stables Treasury held a special place in the Tsar’s Treasury. Precious horse trappings, made by the Kremlin masters, were preserved here, as well as valuable horse harnesses, imported to Russia as diplomatic gifts and trade supplies. Saddles, stirrups, various adornments and horsecloths, crafted by Russian, Iranian, Turkish, Polish and German masters, are exhibited in the hall.

During the 16th - 17th centuries riches of the Stables Treasury have been incorporated into the solemn court ceremonies, serving as precious adornments, demonstrating the Tsar's wealth and power during  military campaigns and parades, as well as meetings with foreign ambassadors and their seeing-off. The Stables Office was an ancient and the most numerous palace establishment, counting more than 700 workers in the 17th century. It was in charge of preserving and replenishment of the Stables Treasury, organization of Tsar's campaigns and other processes incorporating the use of horses.  There were more than 150 saddle, carriage and sledge horses for Tsar, kept in the sovereign's stables; 50 horses served for Tsarina and princesses; 100 horses were intended to be used by ambassadors; three thousand horses were used in ceremonial turn-outs and more than 40 thousands in military campaigns. The building of Stables Office, its workshops and treasuries were situated in the Moscow Kremlin on the spot of today’s Armoury Chamber building.

Key exhibits of the hall are displayed in two central showcases - No.53 and No.54. They are gifts of the 18th century, witnessing Russia’s military glory and commemorating victories of Russia in Russo-Turkish wars for the access to the Black sea and the liberation of dependent Christian peoples from the Turkish rule.

Plan:

Plan. Hall 8.