The Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin has reopened for visiting after restoration. For many centuries, the palace played a significant role in the country’s life: sessions of the Zemsky Sobor, which was the 16th and 17th century Russian parliament, were convened there and Russian noblemen met there to take crucial decisions. At present, the Faceted Chamber is one of the Russian president’s reception rooms. The building has survived numerous fires and reconstructions. The architects’ goal was to restore the 17th century interiors when the frescoes were painted by icon painter Simon Ushakov.
The Faceted Chamber was laid down by Italian architect Marco Fryazin as a throne room for ceremonial receptions in the new palace of Grand Prince Ivan III. The construction was completed by Lombardy architect Pietro Antonio Solari in 1491. The palace is built of bricks and the reception room is located on a high basement level. The Holy Vestibule adjoins the reception room from the west and the Red Porch is on the southern side of the Holy Vestibule.
The name of the palace comes from the design of the main eastern façade facing Cathedral Square in the Kremlin. The facade is covered with white stone blocks each of which has four facets. This stone dressing was typical of Italian architecture of the Renaissance period.
Restoration lasted for a year. The previous restoration was carried out in the 1960s, representative of the Federal Security Service Sergey Deviatov said.
“It was necessary to examine the foundation on which the palace rests and to prevent possible deformation and destruction. Certainly, it was important to preserve the unique appearance of the palace,” Sergey Deviatov said
All the vaults, ceilings, interiors and the inner volume of the palace have been restored according to the 15th century descriptions. The building has suffered from fire and has been reconstructed many times. Now it has assumed its original appearance, we can see it as the Italian architects built it.
In the 16th century the walls and arches of the palace were covered with frescoes which were painted over later on. Before painting his icons over the old patterns, painter Simon Ushakov made a detailed description of these patterns which was used by today’s restorers. As for the restoration of unique carpets and parquet floors, it required the effort of a large team of researchers. The parquet was made of over 10 kinds of wood according to samples which experts found in pictures and photographs. Experts from the UK were employed for the restoration of furniture fabrics.
The restorers have also reconstructed the secret room from which members of the royal family watched solemn events held in the Faceted Palace, Sergey Deviatov said.
“A window was cut in the wall for the children to be able to watch all ceremonies and acquire experience,” Sergey Deviatov said.
While the restorers painstakingly refurbished the interior décor, construction workers fortified the supporting frames and installed climate-control equipment.
During the restoration, architects discovered over 3,000 unique artifacts which are now at the disposal of Kremlin researchers.
© The Voice of Russia. 31 July, 2012