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Church of the Twelve Apostles

Another stunning religious building in the Kremlin, this church stands out from others with its unique artifacts and impressive icon collection.

Located within the Patriarch’s Palace, the Church of the Twelve Apostles gives visitors an intimate look into the country’s past. Delve into the history of the Russian Orthodox Church and learn about everyday life in the palace, the former home of religious leaders.

Learn about construction of this palace, spearheaded by Patriarch Nikon in the 1650s during a time of religious turmoil and disagreement between the Russian royals and the church. The architects took inspiration from designs of the regions of Vladimir and Suzdal, which are home to many celebrated churches. Once built, the patriarch used the complex as a place to meet esteemed visitors. His own family worshipped here as well.

Look at the church from the outside. You’ll be able to recognize several features common to traditional Russian church architecture, chief among them the elegant silver cupolas. However, the real treasures here lie inside so be sure to go in and explore.

Find the Chamber of the Cross to see the site where Patriarch Nikon once carried out his business. The chamber covers an area of 3,010 square feet (280 square meters) and now features an exhibit of 17th-century objects that help illustrate Russian and Eastern European ways of life during this era. Examine special devices used for hunting, religious artworks, domestic objects and accessories worn by people of the time.

Don’t miss the church’s iconostasis, which features fine works dating as far back as the 17th century. Originally housed in the Ascension Cathedral, it was moved here in 1929 to replace the lost former iconostasis. Gold wall carvings and chandeliers create a decadent atmosphere.

To visit the Church of the Twelve Apostles, go to the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square near the Alexandrovsky Sad metro station. Cathedral Square has an entry fee and is open every day except Thursday.


Guide to Exploring around Church of the Twelve Apostles


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Best Lodging Options Near Church of the Twelve Apostles

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Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow ¥16,883
Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow

Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow

15/1 Mokhovaya Street, bld. 1, Moscow
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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    Hotel Metropol Moscow ¥15,722
    Hotel Metropol Moscow

    Hotel Metropol Moscow

    2 Teatralny Proezd, Moscow
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Maly Theatre and Bolshoi Theatre. TsUM — Central Universal Department Store and Revolution Square are also within 10 minutes. Teatral'naya Station is 6 minutes by foot and Ploshchad Revolyutsii Station is 6 minutes.

      Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel ¥9,826
      Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel

      Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel

      26/1, Tverskaya Street, Moscow
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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        Sadovnicheskaya Hotel ¥5,511
        Sadovnicheskaya Hotel

        Sadovnicheskaya Hotel

        Sadovnicheskaya 20 str. 1, Zamoskworieczje, Moscow
           
          5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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          Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel ¥17,865
          Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel

          Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel

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            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kuznetsky Most and Bolshoi Theatre. Moscow Kremlin and State Historical Museum are also within 15 minutes. Kuznetsky Bridge Station is 7 minutes by foot and Teatral'naya Station is 8 minutes.

            Four Seasons Hotel Moscow ¥47,661
            Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

            Four Seasons Hotel Moscow

            2 Okhotny Ryad Street, Moscow
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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              The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow ¥35,374
              The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow

              The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow

              Tverskaya Street 3, Moscow
                 
                5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                This family-friendly Moscow hotel is located in the historical district, within a 10-minute walk of Manezh Square, Bolshoi Theatre, and GUM Department Store. TsUM — Central Universal Department Store and St. Basil's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Okhotny Ryad Station is only a 2-minute walk and Teatral'naya Station is 4 minutes.

                The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya ¥25,056
                The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya

                The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya

                12, Nikolskaya Str., Moscow
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bolshoi Theatre, State Historical Museum, and Lenin's Mausoleum. Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Kitay-gorod Station (Kaluzhsko-Rizhskaya Line) is 6 minutes by foot and Ploshchad Revolyutsii Station is 6 minutes.