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The collection of the rarest ancient carriages of Russian rulers is one of the basic Moscow Kremlin Museums’ collections. It counts about 24 items and embraces wide chronological frames from the 16th to the 18th century.

Both Russian and foreign art critics consider the Kremlin collection of carriages, so unique and entire, to be world famous and to possess one of the leading places among the most eminent identical collections in the world. Like few other collections, it contains unwieldy carriages and closed sleighs of the 16th-17th centuries—the oldest carriages that survived till nowadays. Almost all the collection’s items are masterpieces of world art, which have no analogies. Unlike the major part of other countries’ collections, the Kremlin's collection possesses a wide variety of types of carriages and demonstrates innovative achievements in carriage construction. It owns nearly all the kinds and constructions of Russian and European carriages of the 16th - 18th centuries, such as unwieldy carriages, closed sleighs, Coupé, Berlin carriages, sedans, and carriages with a wide body. Such stylistic trends as late Renaissance, Baroque, Regency, Rococo and Classicism are reflected in the artworks.

The carriages were created in the largest European art centres - Moscow, Saint Petersburg, London, Paris, Vienna and Berlin. Thus the development of the European carriage-making, with its specific technique and a bright artistic system can be traced within the Armoury Chamber collection. I.Bezmin, J.Hoppenhaupt, J.Buckendal, A.Drillerosse, Ph.Caffieri, S.Boutler, J.Linelle, N.Pineau, J.Michelle, F.Boucher are among the genius creators of these brilliant artworks, who contributed significantly to the development of carriage-making. Their names have gained immortality in the world history.

As the carriages of the Armoury Chamber are not only artistic but also historical monuments, they seem to relate the past of Russia, its contacts with other countries and the ways Russia gained international authority. The carriages were used in court everyday life. They were an essential part of royal processions, receptions of foreign ambassadors, royal hunting, and other official state ceremonies, the organization of which was linked to the state politics, ideology and diplomacy.

A considerable part of carriages has a memorial character as they are connected to the names of famous Russian and foreign political figures, who left a significant mark in history. The artworks collection process, tightly linked to the history of the Moscow Kremlin, took several centuries.


See also: Explore the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums online