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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 Savoy Moscow ¥17,818
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