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The Oldest Houses In Moscow: The Cellar At the Treasury Court
July 15, 2014 12:09


The cellar at the Treasury Court

Until recently, the oldest civil building of Moscow was considered the Facets Chamber of the Kremlin. Now we have another record - the so-called Underground Chamber of the Treasury Court.

From XIV century the cellar of the Annunciation cathedral served as the prince’s treasury, but over time the treasury became bigger than this cellar. In 1485 the spacious Treasury Court enclosed by a high was built to the east of the cathedral, it became the place where jewelry, curiosities, princely attire and the most revered shrines were kept and protected from fire and thieves. In XVIII century all the buildings of the Court were demolished, but at the end of XIX century the immured and forgotten cellar at the south-western corner of the cathedral was suddenly discovered. In a remarkable manner, this ancient building did not come to the attention of Soviet researchers.

Maybe because the remains of Moscow princesses and tsarinas were stored in the basement since 1929, from Evdokia of Moscow to Natalia Naryshkina. They were namely stored: 40 tons of stone coffins were dragged here by the museum workers in the days when the Kremlin Ascension Monastery was being destroyed. The beaten covers, heaps of bones in the corners – probably in the twentieth century they already understood that nobody should better see this.

The graves were remembered only in the year of the 2000 anniversary of Christianity, when the study of the basement began. This is a large brick vaulted hall, its construction began in 1485. Originally the building had a second floor and was adjoined to the wall of the former Arkhangelsk Cathedral built by Ivan Kalita.

The western wall contains the door into the hallway connecting the basement with another ancient room (which is whelmed now) and the broad white stone stairs. Now the stairs do not lead anywhere, but earlier they lead to the gate connecting the Treasury Court with the Sobornaya Square. Now the underground chamber is restored and is an official burial place of Russian Monarchesses. 


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Moscow Oldest Houses Moscow Varvarka Chamber Facets Chamber  

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