Museum complex «Palaty» (Chambers) is located in a long 3-floor building is between two old cathedrals, those of Assumption and St. Dmitry, at Lipki Park in the very center of Vladimir. The classic style building with columns was erected in 1785.
For two centuries the building was occupied by local public offices. The last officials left the building only at the end of the 90th of the past century and it was given to the museum. The rooms of the ground floor were given to the children museum center. Vladimir picture gallery is on the first floor. There you can see the most valuable collection of icons and frescoes, as well as the pictures of many famous Russian painters.
The original frescoes of Vladimir Assumption Cathedral are at least as valuable. The oldest surviving fresco, «The Bloomed Cross», dates back to 1161. Another fresco, «Prophets», was painted a bit later, in 1185. For the past centuries the cathedral was repeatedly ruined and burnt, so the preservation of such old frescoes is very important. The museum has also some frescoes by Andrei Rublev and Daniel Chorny.
The Icon of Mother of God of St. Maximus is the oldest item of the collection. It was commissioned by the metropolitan of Kiev in 1299. Formerly, the icon hang above the tomb of Maximus at the Assumption Cathedral. There remained few such old icons in Russia.
The Icon of the Mother of God of Vladimir by Andrei Rublev (15 century) is also stored at the museum. It is the earliest copy of the icon brought from Constantinople in 1130. The original of this icon is stored at the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. However, the copy by Rublev is also of great value. And the third most important icon is «The Virgin of Kykkos» by the famous icon painter Simon Ushakov. It was painted in 1675. The name of the icon derived from Kykkos Monastery in Cyprus.
You can see the pictures of many famous Russian painters in the numerous rooms of the museum. You can see there the portraits of Argunov, Rokotov and Tropinin (18 century) and the canvases of Perov, Re-pin, Vasnetsov, Savrasov, Serov, Korovin, Aivazovsky and many other painters of 19 century. Several rooms of the museum are devoted to the painters and sculptors of 20 century.