The 700-room Great Kremlin Palace, built as an imperial residence between 1838 and 1849, is now an official residence of the Russian president, used for state visits and receptions. However, unlike the Russian tsars, the president doesn’t have living quarters here. Apart from the Armoury, it’s not open to the public.
The huge palace incorporates some earlier buildings such as the Hall of Facets, Terem Palace and several chapels. Although vast, the building has never received great praise, being criticised as ‘barrack-like’ and ‘pretentious’. Several ceremonial halls are named after saints, including St George, St Vladimir, St Andrew, St Catherine and St Alexander. St George’s Hall is mainly used for state awards ceremonies, while major international treaties are signed in St Vladimir’s Hall.