Historical Museum, Moscow Museums
State Historical Museum
The name of this museum speaks for itself. This is the main museum of Russia, its biggest national treasure, and the repository of historical relics of global scale. Besides, it is among the five largest museums in the world. This is a huge collection, the only in the country in size and completeness, representing the history and culture of multinational Russia from the earliest times to the present day. In addition, the building of the State Historical Museum is a unique historical and architectural monument. The museum was established by personal instructions of Emperor Alexander II in 1872. In 1883, on the day of the coronation of Emperor Alexander III, it was opened to visitors.
The museum building was erected in the center of Moscow, on the Red Square in 1875-1881. The walls of the State Historical Museum are made of red bricks, like the walls of the Kremlin. The building is also decorated with towers, similar to the Kremlin’s. The visitors are met in front porch. Its architecture creates the atmosphere of medieval Russia.
The collection of the State Historical Museum contains 4.5 million pieces related to the history and culture of Russia from ancient times to the present day. Visitors can see only 20 thousand exhibits. The whole exhibition is classified by thematic showcases. One of the central parts there is the genealogical tree of the sovereigns of Russia with the portraits of almost all the Russian princes and tsars.
The part titled “The internal politics of ancient Russian state” exhibits such interesting things as bark letter referring to the 12th century, the seals of Russian princes, the ring with the image of the Prince's emblem etc.
The exhibition called “East Slavic Tribes of the 11th – 13th centuries” introduces costumes and ornaments of East Slavic tribes.
Another display, “Paganism in Russia - Christianity in Byzantium” shows all sorts of amulets worn by Slavs believing in their power with images of pagan idols carved from stone.
The interior decoration of each room corresponds to the artifacts shown: the room of Kievan Rus is decorated with paintings similar to ones used in the Sophia Cathedral in Kiev; Vladimir hall is decorated with reliefs copies from Dmitry Cathedral in Vladimir; Moscow hall is decorated with ornaments from the famous Monomakh’s Crown. The details stylistically reproduce the details of architectural and artistic decorations of the presented ages. The halls were decorated by Moscow architects and artists such as Bondarenko, Aivazovsky, Vasnetsov, etc.
The museum has its permanent exhibition called “The relics of the history of the Russian State” displaying rarities - the monuments of archeology, numismatics, and cartography, icons, portraits, engravings, photographs, manuscripts and printed books, old weapons, rare examples of ancient textiles, garments, uniforms, remarkable works of applied art. In 1986-1997 the museum went through refurbishment and restoration. Upon completion of all works the museum halls were opened for visitors looking the same as in the late 19th - early 20th centuries. The historic interiors were restored; at the same time, the museum meets all the requirements of our days. The rooms contain information materials and a large number of monitors.
The structure of the museum consists of the branches: Novodevichy Convent, St. Basil's Cathedral, Holy Trinity Church in Nikitniki, The House of the 16th – 17th centuries in Zaryadye, and the complexes of Izmailov and Krutitskoye.