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Palace of Facets

Palace of FacetsThe two-story renaissance-style Palace of Facets, one of Moscow's oldest civic buildings, was constructed by Ruffo and Solario between 1487 and 1491. It took its name from the elaborate stone facets decorating its exterior. State assemblies and receptions were held here - Ivan the Terrible celebrated his victory over Kazan in 1532 in this palace, and Peter the Great celebrated here after defeating the Swedes at Poltava in 1709. After Ivan III, all wives including the crowned czarinas were barred from attending State ceremonies and receptions in the Hall of Facets; a small look-out room was built above the western wall, from which the women could secretly watch the proceedings. The Red Staircase, which led from the Assumption Cathedral to the palace's southern wall, was reconstructed in 1994; it had been destroyed in the 1930s under Stalin.  Peter acquired his dislike of Moscow when the Streltsy (palace guards) revolted in 1682, and the future czar (then only aged ten) witnessed the murder of family members who were hurled off this staircase onto sharpened pikes below.  In  1812, Napoleon also watched his attempted burning of Moscow from here. Today the Hall is used for State occasions. Entrance to the Palace of facets is by special permission only.

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