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Palace of Patriarch Nikon (its place in the ensemble of the Kremlin, history of construction and architecture).
Palace of Patriarch completed the ensemble of the Sobornaya square, closing its line on the northern side. It was constructed on the order of patriarch Nikon in the middle of the XVII century. Patriarch Nikon supervised the construction works personally. This palace was to conform to all his requirements and political views.
In the XVII century the Patriarch palace and the five cupola cathedral of Twelve Apostles was built (1635-1656). They were constructed by the Russian masters Antip Konstantinov and Bazhen Ogurtzov on the order of patriarch Nikon. The complex includes many residential and civil structures with huge ceremonial halls as well as small rooms for personal use.
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Outer décor of the building uses the same features as the décor of the Kremlin cathedrals, so the Patriarch palace looks like a natural element of the ensemble of the Sobornaya square. The southern facade of the church of the Twelve Apostles that faces the square, is decorated with belts of arches resembling the style of the Dormition cathedral. Décor of the drums of the cupolas of the patriarch's church matches the décor of the cupolas of the Archangel cathedral standing across the square.
First floor of the building has servicing facilities and patriarch's offices, second floor has chambers: ceremonial Cross chamber, Stolbovaya chamber, office quarters, ceremonial entrance, dining room, church of the Twelve Apostles. The Cross chamber has a special stove for preparing mirrh. The third floor has personal quarters of the patriarch and home church of apostle Philipp.
Since 1675 preparation of mirrh took place only in Moscow once in two-three years. Mirrh was used for ceremonies of baptizing, consecration of the new cathedrals, coronation.
After abolition of the patriarchs in 1763 the Cross chamber on the 2nd floor was rearranged to be used as a workshop to produce mirrh. That is why it is also called mirrh workshop.
The Patriarch's palace is less spacious than tsar's palace, but its place in the center of the Kremlin points at the high position of the head of the church at the tsar court.
In the end of the XVII century the palace became dilapidated, as Peter I introduced a department of religious affairs know as the Sinod that was under tsar's control. Now the palace houses the museum of applied art of the XVII century.