How to get
The Arsenal building is located in the northern part of the Moscow Kremlin, next to the Senate Palace. Before entering the Kremlin, you can reach them on foot from the Moscow metro stations “Alexander Garden”, “Lenin Library” and “Borovitskaya”. To get to the Arsenal, you must overlook the Alexander Garden, cross the Kutafya Tower and the Trinity Bridge. The two-story Arsenal building is located outside the Trinity Gate, north of Trinity Square.
The Arsenal building (Zeichhaus) has a long history of construction. Its construction began in 1702 on the initiative of Pedro I in accordance with his plan. The arsenal was supposed to be used not only as a military warehouse, but also as a warehouse for military trophies and ancient weapons in museums. The largest building in Moscow at the time of Peter occupied the northern corner of the Kremlin between the Troitskaya and Nikolskaya towers, freed from the buildings after the fire of 1701. It marked the beginning of the extension of the construction ladder in the Kremlin.
Before Napoleon’s troops withdrew from Moscow in 1812, the Arsenal was blown up, the northeast end was destroyed to the ground, the rest of the building was damaged. The restoration works of the project by the architects A. Bakarev, I. Mironovsky, I. Tamansky and E. Tyurin began in 1814 and ended in 1828.
History of construction and reconstruction.
Translated from German, “Zeichhaus” means “military house.” The reason for the construction of a new weapons house was a fire that occurred in Moscow in 1701. The northern part of the Kremlin territory suffered the fire, and Gosudarev Zhitny Dvor was burned, which from the days of white stone Moscow was used to Store grain reserves.
The new Arsenal did not last long. In less than a year, there was a great fire in the city, which went down in history as Trinity or Great. The wind-driven flames destroyed almost the entire center of Moscow and seized the Kremlin territory. The arsenal, like other buildings and palaces, received significant damage: all its wooden parts, as well as the roof, were completely burned.
The arsenal is inscribed precisely in the northern corner of the Moscow Kremlin and looks like an elongated trapezoid. With two sides, it is adjacent to the Kremlin wall. The longest facade of the building extends from the Corner Arsenal Tower to the Trinity Tower, through which all tourists enter the Kremlin. The opposite facade extended from the Nikolskaya tower to the center of the Kremlin territory. It opens to the Senate Square, separating the Arsenal from the majestic Senate Palace.
The building is next to a blank wall, so when it was erected, the lighting problem had to be solved. To always have enough light in the Arsenal, the height of the Kremlin wall was reduced by almost half.
One of the entrances to the courtyard is located next to Trinity Square. Visitors entering the Kremlin through the Trinity Tower can see the southern entrance arch, located in the center of the representative facade. It is decorated with a beautiful porch, made in the traditions of Baroque and classicism. Another entrance through the courtyard is next to the Senate Square. This area is closed to visitors.
The Kremlin Arsenal was built in the style of late classicism and from all sides it looks very monumental. This is facilitated by the strict white stone decoration of the facades, two rows of paired window openings and corners finished with rust. The yellow building is also decorated with embossed images of banners and weapons.
Outwardly, the Arsenal resembles an ancient fortress. This impression is created due to the deep slopes of the arched windows, a gently sloping roof and powerful walls, the thickness of which reaches 2.84 m. Although the building has only two floors, it rises to 30 m, which corresponds to the height of a 10-story building. .
Today, the Arsenal is an object that is closed to tourists, and you cannot enter it. The historic building houses the services of the Kremlin commander’s office. In addition, the Presidential Regiment is stationed here. The soldiers and officers who serve in it ensure the protection of the territory of the Kremlin and the Red Square, the gathering of eminent guests, and also carry a guard near the Eternal Flame and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
To the left of the entrance arch to the Arsenal you can see a commemorative plaque in which the names of the military personnel of the Kremlin garrison are immortalized. They died during the night bombing during the Great Patriotic War.
Today, the two facades of the Arsenal have a curious museum collection. The first exhibits were taken to the newly built Tseikhauz by Peter I. These were captured weapons obtained by Russian troops near Poltava and Smolensk.
Today, artillery pieces were assembled near the building: 14 Russian guns and 15 guns made abroad, thrown in the XVI-XVII centuries. In addition, 754 captured weapons conquered by the Russian army were installed during the battles of the Patriotic War of 1812. Among them are guns, howitzers and mortars manufactured in France, Austria, Holland, Prussia, Italy and Spain.
The greatest interest among tourists is caused by old Russian weapons mounted on high carriages. The best gunsmiths of his time: Andrei Chokhov, Yakov Dubinin and Martyan Osipov worked on its manufacture. These teachers were able to launch not only weapons, but also sound bells. Each of the weapons shown near the Arsenal has its own unique design and even a name: “Aspid”, “Troilus”, “Gamayun”, “Unicorn”, “Eagle” and “Persian”. In the weapons you can see embossed inscriptions that speak about the master, the weight of the gun and the moment the launch was made.
Unfortunately, visitors cannot see the complete collection of weapons displayed near the Arsenal, as they can only approach the building from Trinity Square, that is, from the south side.