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October, 26, 2010 – March, 09, 2011

the One-Pillar Chamber of the Patriarch's Palace

Organized by:
   the Moscow Kremlin Museums

01# Badge of the Order of the Elephant (Minor elephant)The project introduces to the audience a magnificent collection of foreign orders from the Armoury Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin, which is considered to be one of the most interesting and well represented collections in the world. It presents the highest orders of Europe and East which are the delicate pieces of workmanship as well as historical monuments, which reveal peculiarities of the Russian award system through several historical periods. The highest European and Eastern decorations, conferred to Russian monarchs starting from Peter I, played an important role in the process of establishment of diplomatic relations of the Russian Empire with other countries.

Most part of the presented articles belonged to Emperors and Empresses and other members of the House of Romanov. The exhibition is distinguished by the exposed insignia of the oldest military- monastic Order of St John of Jerusalem (or the Order of Malta), which was transferred to the Armoury Chamber for further preservation on orders of Emperors Paul I and Nicholas I.

The exposition comprises about 300 exhibits, including various insignia (stars, crosses and chains of different orders), portraits of the Emperors, their order costumes, award documentation, statutes of the orders and photomaterial. For the first time our visitors will see archival documents, relating to award presentation ceremonies and conferment of the foreign orders to Russian Emperors.

The exhibition project explores the history of various orders in the time of the last Emperor Nicholas II, Empresses Maria Fyodorovna and Alexandra Fyodorovna, as well as heir apparent Cesarevitch Alexei Nikolaevich. It also shows the results of research and restoration works, carried out in the Moscow Kremlin Museums for in-depth study of the collection of foreign orders.

The exhibition helps to understand their important role in the creation of the Imperial image of the Russian monarchy and the growth of its might, both in Russia and abroad. Foreign orders awarded to the Russian rulers of the XVIIIth — early XXth centuries reflect a complicated and contradictory history of relations between Russia and the foreign countries and serve the symbols of recognition of the place the Russian Empire occupied in the world.

General partner of the project is Gasprombank

Financial support was provided by E.ON Ruhrgas