- TOWERS OF THE KREMLIN
- BUILDINGS IN THE KREMLIN
The foundation of the Faceted Chamber was laid in 1487 by Italian architect Marco Friazin as a throne hall for state receptions in the new Great Prince’s Palace of Ivan III. The construction was finished in 1491 by Pietro Antonio Solari, a Lombard architect.
The throne hall of the brick building is a one-pillared chamber, covered with four cross-shaped vaults. It stands on the high semibasement. The west side of the hall is adjacent to the Front Holy Anteroom. The staircase — Red Porch — leads to the Anteroom. The square-shaped chamber with vaults, propped by the walls and the central pole, presents the frequent hall type of Russian civil architecture of XV-XVI centuries. During the two centuries, the Faceted Chamber with total area of 495 sq. km. had been the largest hall in Russian architecture.
The Chamber was given its name after the architectural design of the main eastern facade facing Cathedral Square coated with faceted white-stone blocks. Such a way of stone’s dressing was typical for Italian Renaissance’s architecture. The building was topped with its present-day low three-pitched roof in the XIX century. The windows with frames in Baroque style were added in the last quarter of the XVII century.
The chamber's building with its decorated main facade produces deep chiaroscuro forming the architectural look of Cathedral Square.
In the XVIth century, the walls and vaults in the chamber's interior were painted with frescoes. In 1668, Simon Ushakov recommenced painting and made detailed descriptions of frescoes' scenes. The original frescoes have not survived. The present-day ones were created in 1881 by icon-painters from the town of Palekh, who relied on the Ushakov's descriptions.
In 1838-1849, while the construction of the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Faceted Chamber was included into the new complex of palace buildings and connected with the Vladimir Hall through the Holy Anteroom. At the moment, the Faceted Chamber is an official ceremonial hall in the residence of the President of the Russian Federation.