Palace of Facets of the Moscow Kremlin (or Granovitaya Palace)

Marco Ruffo, Pietro Solario

Located between the Cathedral of the Dormition and the Annunciation Cathedral, this palace is the oldest preserved secular building in Moscow. The importance of this building was due to the fact that on state occasions the tsar sat enthroned in its grand vaulted hall. Thus the room was known abroad by reports from various ambassadors. Celebrations were also held in this hall. Its name derives from the rusticated character of its exterior. The Italian architects designed a building resembling palaces in their native country; thus it looks like early Renaissance palaces, even though its windows were altered in the 17th century. Brumfield says that the diamond rustication "had an enduring appeal in Russian architecture during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but it was rarely applied in stone. Local architects preferred to paint the facets on brick walls as gaudy trompe l'oil" (101).


Decorative windows

Brumfield explains that in 1682 Osip Startsev modified the details and windows, enlarging the narrow windows and adding the carved columns and entablature.

Works Consulted or Quoted:
William Craft Brumfield. A History of Russian Architecture. Seattle: University of Washington P, 2004.
George Heard Hamilton. The Art and Architecture of Russia. New Haven: Yale UP, 1983.

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