MUSEUM OF THE MOSCOW KREMLIN ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE

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All the pilgrims who visited the Kremlin's shrines would remember forever their climbing to the bell-chamber of the ‘Ivan the Great’. From the bell tier, they could see the whole of the first capital city. It had been that way till 1918 when the Kremlin became a ‘forbidden city’—church services in its churches and bell-ringing in its belfries stopped. Unlike the churches and palaces, ‘Ivan the Great’ didn’t become a museum, more likely, it became an exhibit on the Kremlin territory. Only 90 years later, in 2008 the first visitors entered the renovated Bell Tower. It became a museum, and the key exhibit was the Bell Tower itself, with its unique interior space. 

The museum reveals the history of nine centuries of the Moscow Kremlin—the changes in its boundaries and fortress fortifications, construction and reconstruction of its palaces and churches, many of which are non-extant today. There one can see precious fragments of the Kremlin buildings known only from chronicles, and try to imagine the appearance of the Kremlin churches and monasteries that disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century.

 

Exposition on the ground floor of  the ‘Ivan the Great’ Bell Tower  Through-the-wall stairs of the ‘Ivan the Great’ Bell Tower

The museum presents a synthesis of three expositions which include architectural fragments, selected with the ray of light, are transferred into the electronic exposition as images; highlighted details of the bell-tower interiors; electronic exposition — the projection of the images to the surfaces of the walls, which creates a real architectural space.

First bell ringing tier of the ‘Ivan the Great’ Bell Tower

As the ‘Ivan the Great’ Bell Tower has been the composition centre of the entire Kremlin ensemble for the last five hundred years, it was chosen to house ancient artefacts. Besides, the features of its multi-tier construction allow visitors, like an archaeologist, climb from the lower ‘eldest archaeological layers’ to the upper ones, most similar to our time layers. The organization of space in the Bell Tower has become a model of the Kremlin history.