Kremlin Armoury Museum – Medieval Costumes

Catherine the Great wedding Dress,Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow;Kedieval Costumes Kremlin Armoury Museum

Medieval Costumes in the Kremlin Armoury Museum.

Yesterday I watched the movie Marie-Antoinette and the costumes in the movie had me in awe. I couldn´t help to think back to the time when we visited the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow, where I had the opportunity to see medieval costumes up close. This is what I will be focusing on in this blog entry.

The Kremlin Armoury Museum and costumes from medieval times

I am sure regular readers of my blog have noticed that I always combine a bit of history with my travel adventures. You can imagine how much I have enjoyed the visit to this extraordinary museum.

Security is very strict and the museum is not open to the public every day. We had quite a long wait to get into the museum. There is an upper and lower floor and exhibits are arranged into themed areas. The first room have a collection of Imperial court dresses and costumes. They are all behind huge glass windows.

These costumes are priceless and absolutely gorgeous. There is a noticable and abrupt stylistic change between the traditional Russo-Byzantine designs of earlier reigns and the later Western European fashions, introduced by Tsar Peter the Great in the early 18th century in an attempt to modernize the Russian state.

The Kremlin Armoury Museum and costumes from medieval times

The showcase presents coronation dresses of Russian Empresses, Emperors’ full uniforms, coronation mantles, the wardrobe of Peter II, masquerade costumes of Catherine I and Nicholas II and various accessories, i.e. fans, lorgnettes, snuffboxes, watches, swords and walking sticks.

The Kremlin Armoury Museum and costumes from medieval times
Ward robe from Peter II

Part of the collection on display is a black caftan worn by Peter the Great whilst he was working in the shipyards in Amsterdam. You can also see his gold brocade robes and jewellery that he wore to his coronation.   But the most impressive (for me) was the cerise coronation dress of Catherine I and the wedding and coronation dresses of Catherine the Great.

The Kremlin Armoury Museum and costumes from medieval times
Coronation dress of Catherine I
Catherine the Great wedding Dress,Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow;Kedieval Costumes Kremlin Armoury Museum
Coronation dress of Catherine the Great

Her wedding dress was magnificent. It had a tiny 18 inch waist, a wide hoop skirt and an immense silver lace cloak coveredwith jewels.Visitors can also see an exquisite ermine-trimmed cape worn by the wife of Nicholas II, Alexandra.This room also contains samples of ecclesiastic vestments and fabrics from throughout the Tsarist history. Included in these exhibitions is a pale blue and silver ceremonial robe made for Metropolitan Peter in 1322.

There is also a jewel-encrusted robe given to Metropolitan Dionysius by Ivan the Terrible himself! Another beautiful item is an Italian velvet cape, decorated with pearls and a diamond emerald cross, which was given to the Metropolitan Platon, by Catherine the Great.Andrey had to drag me away from this room. I could have stayed there for days. But this museum has so much to offer and indeed you have to move on to the next room! For sure, if I could time travel, I would like to be one of those ladies in one of those beautiful dresses!

The Kremlin Armoury Museum and costumes from medieval times
Wedding dress of Catherine the Great

Check out the feathered lining along the inside of the sleeves. There is a bejewelled cape that goes with it (not pictured).

The Kremlin Armoury Museum and costumes from medieval times
Russia 1896. Cape worn by Alexandra, wife of Emperor Nicholas II.

Where:Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow,Russia
When: April 2008

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


  1. OMG!!! Those are really beautiful dresses!!! I would love to have a wedding dress just like that of Catherine the Great but on second thought, maybe I would end up like a Cinderella instead of looking like a queen considering my petite frame. LOL Thank you for sharing Nelieta. XOXOXO

  2. Stunning! favorite was the one right after the coronation dress for Catherine the Great. These dresses are amazing. They are elegant and respectful of the feminine form, making it elusive and making the observer wonder and appreciate…a contrast to dresses nowadays when it seems like women like to reveal more and more and the material in dresses get less and less.

  3. I'm a dressmaker and I know the amount of work needed in making this stunning garments sure the people who made these beautiful clothes were artist and consumated artisans.

  4. An individual built a number of advantageous facts presently there. I did searching with regard to inside the challenge and also noticed lots of men and women could agree inside your web page.

  5. Thank you Anonymous, glad you like the facts presented. My husband is Russian so I have learnt a lot from him and double check the facts 🙂

  6. Oh my, my early love was costume design and I harbored a dream that someday I would be costume designer for the movies or stage. Loved this article, and I too would have had to be dragged away. The detail is magnificent!

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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