The Arsenal is located in northwestern part of the Kremlin between the Troitskaya and Nikolskaya Towers. It was built by the order of Peter I instead of the former Zhitny homesteads burnt during the great fire in Moscow in 1701. The building was used to store weapons and military equipment, and was suppose to be a museum (mainly for war trophies).
This is an austere and expressive building with a large courtyard. Its architecture is distinguished by monumentality and simplicity. It was built after a long break. The construction of the building began in 1702, but was interrupted by the war with Sweden. The completion of the construction lasted from 1722 until 1736 under the Empress Anna Ioannovna. The Arsenal had been badly damaged by fire in 1737, but was fully restored. The Arsenal is a remarkable example of architecture of Peter's time. The structure consists of two floors and is finished by the cornice with a frieze of carved white stone. Spaced far apart windows with large esconsons highlight the severe power of the walls. The total height of it is more than 30 meters. In the middle of the 19th century the building was supposed to host the Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812, in connection with which the powerful walls of the building were decorated with stucco military attributes. Along the southeastern facade of the Arsenal you will find 875 trophy guns taken by Russian troops from Napoleon's army. In 1960, along the southern wall the cannons, cast by Russian craftsmen in the 16th – 17th centuries, were installed. Almost every cannon has a mark showing the date of casting, the name of the master and the weight. Retreating from Moscow in 1812, Napoleon's troops blew up a part of this grand building. In 1816-1828 it was rebuilt by the architect Osip Bo