Cavalry Escorts of the Russian Tsars
in the 16th—17th centuries

Section 1
In Ancient Rus, these functions were partly performed by the sovereign's retinue (druzhina), which was later replaced by the princely court. After establishment of the Moscow State during the Second Kazan Campaign in early 1550, young Tzar Ivan IV was accompanied by a special "Tzar's and Grand Duke's Regiment" (later renamed into the Sovereign's Regiment), composed of thousands of boyars, nobles and boyar scions of Moscow, Dmitrov and Ruzsky districts. Another well-known military force of the 16th century was the Oprichnina, founded in 1565 by Ivan IV the Terrible in a form of a personal guard unit.

As from the 16th century, ryndas guarded the Tsar in the royal chambers and during ambassador's receptions, standing at his throne or behind it. The ryndas and their assistants, podryndas, served as the Tsar's mounted squires in the Sovereign's Regiment.

The main part of the Mounted Escort of the Sovereign's Regiment was made up of mounted zhiletzs. Typically, they were sons of stolniks, who were alternately called from their estates to perform court service in Moscow. As necessary, the royal stablemen, falconers (nobles of the "falconer rank") were involved in various ceremonies, forming a unit of hundreds of mounted men.

The Stirrup (Stremennoy) Prikaz (later renamed into the regiment) was one of the oldest among Streletsky Prikaz (Streltsy Regiment) in the 16th—17th centuries. It was called so because its soldiers were permanently keeping guard. This formation served both in dismounted and in mounted state, depending on the situation.

The section presents pieces of clothing, protective armament and weapons of the nobles of the Sovereign's regiment, as well as ceremonial horse trappings, including unique items from the collection of the Moscow Kremlin Museums. Pieces of painting and graphics present the first security formations and their leaders in the period before Peter the Great.

Part of the documentary (rus)
on the topic of section 1
Visit the exhibition
The exhibition runs from July 23 to October 18, 2021
every day, except Thursday, from 11.00 to 19.00