Hall of Facets


Named for its Italian Renaissance stone facing, the Hall of Facets was designed and built by Marco Ruffo and Pietro Solario between 1487 and 1491, during the reign of Ivan the Great. Its upper floor housed the tsars’ throne room, the scene of banquets and ceremonies. The hall is 500 sq metres, with a supporting pillar in the centre. The walls are decorated with gorgeous murals of biblical and historical themes, although none are original. Alas, the building is closed to the public.

Access to the Hall of Facets was via an outside staircase from the square below. During the Streltsy Rebellion of 1682, several of Peter the Great’s relatives were tossed down the exterior Red Staircase, so called because it ran red with their blood. (It’s no wonder that Peter hated Moscow and decided to start afresh with a new capital in St Petersburg.) Stalin destroyed the staircase, but it was rebuilt in 1994.

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