The area adjacent to the Kremlin wall on the north side of the Borovitskaya Tower in the last quarter of the 15th century was the court of the appanage Prince Mikhail Andreevich of Vereya. Next to this courtyard, behind what is now the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, there were the yards of Italian architects, invited by Tsar Ivan III to develop the Kremlin – Pietro Antonio Solari, who built the Kremlin walls, towers and the Faceted Chamber, and Aristotle Fioravanti, who designed the Assumption Cathedral. The latter's desire to leave Russia for his homeland brought him into disgrace with the Great Prince.

At the end of the 15th century, this area became part of the Great Prince’s Court. When the new masonry palace was built, the Stable Yard, or Argamak Stables, was established here. In 1673, a new stone building of the Stables Office was erected in the place of the present Armoury Chamber, which included the Sedelnaya (saddle), Sannaya (sleigh), Karetynaya (coach) and Kolymazhnaya (carriage) State Chambers.

The surviving pictures of the Stable Yard show its appearance in the early 19th century. It was a large, irregularly shaped two-storey building with an enclosed courtyard. The west wing, facing the courtyard, was attached to the castle wall. The eastern wing, curved at an obtuse angle, was almost 110 metres long. The main façade of the building faced the Great Prince’s Palace and the Church of St John the Baptist. In the central part, facing the entrance to the Royal Forecourt, there was a gate to the inner courtyard with a tower-like superstructure topped by a polyhedral hipped roof. Next to it was a porch and staircases under two hip roofs, leading to the second floor of the building, where the Saddle Chamber was located. History has preserved the names of the builders of this part of the structure, who worked under the supervision of the bricklayer Yakushka Sharygin.

Arched window openings in rectangular niches were evenly distributed in two rows across the façade. A cornice ran along the top of the wall and between the storeys. The restrained architectural forms of the Stables Office are typical of household buildings of the second half of the 17th century. The hipped gate tower and entrance porch added picturesqueness to the building.

In 1840, during the construction of the Grand Kremlin Palace designed by architect K. Ton, the building of the Stables Office was demolished and the Armoury Chamber, as a part of the new palace, was built in its place in 1844-1851. The building of the Armoury Chamber to a certain extent repeated the outline of the old building.

Stables Office on the Kremlin’s plan of the 18th c.View of the Kremlin from the Moskva River

Stables Office (left), Grand Treasury and Kolymazhniye Gates (right)Stable