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Danilovskiy Monastery

Danilovskiy Monastery

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The Terem Palace in the Kremlin

After the conflagration in 1635, Russian master builders Bazhen Ogurtsov, Antip Konstantinov, Trefil Sharutin and Larlon Ushakov built new brick chambers for the tzar on to the parts of the older wooden palace erected by the architect Alevisio Fryazin in 1499-1508.

The Terem Palace in the Kremlin

If you take a close look at the facade of the palace, you will see that the middle window of the upper storey, in the tzar's study, is decorated with a particularly at tractive white-stone surround. It was called the Petition Window. From here a box was lowered into which anyone could put a petition which the tzar himself supposedly read and considered. Petitions would lie in wait for a long time and the box came to be known as the Long Box among the common people and gave rise to the saying, "to leave one's business to the Long Box".
The Terem Palace helps one form an idea of everyday life in the palace at the time. The old basement built by Alevisio housed service facilities, as well as storerooms and cellars. Part of the Terem Palace was occupied by palatial workshops where ceremonial vestments, clothes and linens for the tzar and his family were made and kept. The Tzar's living quarters, the Terems, occupied three upper stories. Adjoining them on their south side was a vast open place known as the Boyar Square. From here, a stairway led to the Upper Saviour Square, the entrance to which was screened off by the famous Golden Grille, skilfully forged from copper, painted and gilded. It is reminiscent of the Copper Rebellion, shocked Moscow three hundred years ago.

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