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The Facets Palace, considered to be one of the major buildings in the Moscow Kremlin ensemble has undergone a large-scale restoration and is once again open to the public. The restoration which began in 2007 involved master craftsmen from Moscow and St. Petersburg who have painstakingly returned the unique architectural building to its original appearance.
The Facets Palace is famous for its throne hall which served the Russian monarchs from the end of the 15th century. Many historic events and ceremonies took place here. It was here that the future heirs to the throne were solemnly proclaimed. Tsar Ivan IV celebrated the capture of Kazan, and a century and a half later Peter the Great celebrated the victory of the Battle of Poltava. The famed Red Gate was used during the coronation ceremonies of later Russian tsars up to and including Nicholas II.
The last time the Facets Palace was restored was in 1968. Carpets from the Byzantine era took eight months to restore. Paintings and frescoes have been restored, as well as the elaborate floors made from no less than 16 types of the finest woods.
During the recent restorations, excavations were carried out in the basement which yielded yet another treasure trove of more than 3,000 items, among them valuable jewels and items made of gold. These have all been transferred to the Armoury Museum where they will eventually be put on display.
While the Facets Palace is now open to the public, admission can only be made through special arrangement with museum officials.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 23 June, 2012