On July (1) 12, 1768 the Empress Catherine II founded the Expedition for Building the Kremlin (Kremlin Expedition) which was charged with building of a new palace in the Kremlin. This establishment later managed construction and repair works in all Imperial palaces of Moscow and its outskirts.
Since its very foundation the Expedition was ran by the Russian architect V. I. Bazhenov, who made a draft of reconstruction of the Moscow Kremlin and erection of a grand palace on its territory. He planned to turn the Kremlin into an enormous state and public center with city’s central streets meeting here. To build the Kremlin Palace prikaz buildings, part of the south wall and towers facing the bank of Moskva River were demolished. In 1775 due to lack of funds construction works were brought to a halt, while the wall and towers were restored.
Soon the scope of activities performed by the Kremlin Expedition grew to include all imperial palaces of Moscow. Later on under its authority were placed limestone quarries in the village of Myachkovo and Lyubertsy, and a number of brickworks were opened in Moscow. Heads of the Kremlin Expedition were running the Master and Armory chambers.
In different years the Expedition for Building the Kremlin was in charge of construction and repair works in the Moscow Kremlin, in palaces of Moscow and its outskirts (Lefort Palace, Petrovsky Travelling Palace, Slobodskoy (Sloboda) Palace, Tverskoy Palace, in villages of Kolomenskoye and Tsaritsyno), in the gardens and greenhouses, and besides, it kept the School of Architecture. At different times the team of architects of the Kremlin Expedition included such prominent architects as M. F. Kazakov, K. I. Blank, I. V. Yegotov, Ye. S. Nazarov, Carlo Rossi, O. I. Bove.
After the fire in the Kremlin, which started during the Patriotic war of 1812, the Expedition conducted restoration works of the historic monument.
In 1831 the Expedition for Building the Kremlin was reorganized into Moscow Palace Office, which was abolished in 1886 with its key functions passed to Moscow Palace Department.
Lit.: Василий Иванович Баженов (1737-1799) // Люди русской науки: Очерки о выдающихся деятелях естествознания и техники / Под ред. С. И. Вавилова. М., Л., 1948; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://library.istu.edu/hoe/personalia/bajenov.pdf; Высшие и центральные государственные учреждения России: 1801—1917. T. 3: Центральные государственные учреждения. СПб., 2002. С. 157—158; Краткое рассуждение о Кремлёвском строении // ЦГИАЛ. Фонд Академии художеств. 1770. Дело 26. Бумаги Баженова и Коржавина; Мастерская и Оружейная палата в ведении Экспедиции Кремлёвского строения (1806-1831 гг.) [Электронный ресурс] // Государственный историко-культурный музей-заповедник Московский Кремль. 1997-2014. URL: http://www.kreml.ru/ru/history/museums/1806-1831/; Слово на заложение Кремлёвского дворца // Сумароков А. С. Полн. собр. соч. М., 1787. Ч. 2.
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