Chambers of the Romanov Boyars

Moscow hosts one of the oldest Russian museums, which is the Chambers of the Romanov boyars. Their family had been ruling Russia for more than three centuries.

Some historians agree that the Chambers of the Romanov boyars (16th-18th centuries) situated on Varvarka Street in Moscow became the first home for the future Russian Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov (often called the first Romanov) who was born in 1596 and spent there his early years.

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The Chambers of the Romanov boyars 

The Old Tsar’s Court 

Before Mikhail Romanov was elected a new tsar, his family had been well-known and powerful Moscovian boyars (the highest rank of the Russian nobility back then).

Since the Romanovs had certain blood ties they were among the most likely candidates to ascend to the throne. As a result, the Romanov boyars fell in disgrace.

After Mikhail Fyodorovich was chosen a new Russian tsar, the Romanovs moved to the Moscow Kremlin. Then the Chambers of the Romanov boyars on Varvarka Street were called the Old Tsar’s Court instead of the Kremlin – the New Tsar’s Court.

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The Chambers of the Romanov boyars 

The Chambers of the Romanov boyars as a part of the Znamensky Monastery 

The Romanovs decided to build Znamenskaya Church right on the territory of their manor.

Later Znamensky Cathedral was built instead of the old church, and the Romanov’s manor became the property of the Znamensky Monastery founded in this area.

Finally, in 1856 the Chambers of the Romanov boyars were turned into a museum.

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The restorative bricks of 1856 are wider than original ones 

The Emperor Alexander II bought the Chambers of the Romanov boyars from the Znamensky Monastery, restored them and opened a museum in 1859.

The Chambers of the Romanov boyars

After the Chambers of the Romanov boyars were carefully restored their three stories and even a basement are open to visit. Interestingly, the lower the stone setting lies the older it is.

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The Chambers of the Romanov boyars with a skyscraper in the Stalinist style in the background 

In other words, the basement is the oldest part in the Chambers of the Romanov boyars.

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The basement in the Chambers of the Romanov boyars 

The exterior of the Chambers of the Romanov boyars is truly amazing. It is a bright house erected by noble men on a common street of Moscow.

The Chambers are built in the classic Moscow style, with the two lover stories being made of stone and the third one being made of wood.

The interior of the Chamber of the Romanov boyars conveys the atmosphere of a house belonging to rich boyars. There is a dining room, a library, a study and a classroom for the host’s sons.

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The dining room

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The classroom for the host’s sons 

The third and the last storey was given to the women’s part of the house that was taken great care of. Besides private quarters there was a bright room with big windows so that women could do their traditional duties, for example, needlework.

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The room in the women’s part of the house

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The attic

The interior comprises authentic items and things from the corresponding epoch.

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Old female shoes

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The weathercock on the tower of the Chamber of the Romanov boyars is made in the form of a griffon, which is the Romanovs’ coat of arms. It has dents left by bullets in the course of the tragic events of 1917.

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The Romanovs’ emblem has been put on the building just recently when heirs of the famous dynasty visited Moscow 

Please, note that the entrance to the Chambers of the Romanov boyars is not on Varvarka Street. In order to get inside you will need to go downstairs and enter the building from the back door.

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