State Historical Museum

Moscow, Russia

The State Historical Museum is a museum of Russian history wedged between Red Square and Manege Square in Moscow. Its exhibitions range from relics of prehistoric tribes that lived on the territory of present-day Russia, through priceless artworks acquired by members of the Romanov dynasty. The total number of objects in the museum's collection comes to millions.

The place where the museum now stands was formerly occupied by the Principal Medicine Store, built by order of Peter the Great in the Moscow baroque style. Several rooms in that building housed royal collections of antiquities. Other rooms were occupied by the Moscow University, founded by Mikhail Lomonosov in 1755.

The museum was founded in 1872 by Ivan Zabelin, Aleksey Uvarov and several other Slavophiles interested in promoting Russian history and national self-awareness. The board of trustees, composed of Sergey Solovyov, Vasily Klyuchevsky, Uvarov and other leading historians, presided over the construction of the museum building. After a prolonged competition the project was handed over to Vladimir Osipovich Shervud (or Sherwood, 1833–97).

The present structure was built based on Sherwood's neo-Russian design between 1875 and 1881. The first 11 exhibit halls officially opened in 1883 during a visit from the Tsar and his wife. Then in 1894 Tsar Alexander III became the honorary president of the museum and the following year, 1895, the museum was renamed the Tsar Alexander III Imperial Russian History Museum. Its interiors were intricately decorated in the Russian Revival style by such artists as Viktor Vasnetsov, Henrik Semiradsky, and Ivan Aivazovsky. During the Soviet period the murals were proclaimed gaudy and were plastered over. The museum went through a painstaking restoration of its original appearance between 1986 and 1997.

Notable items include a longboat excavated from the banks of the Volga River, gold artifacts of the Scythians, birch-bark scrolls of Novgorod, manuscripts going back to the sixth century, Russian folk ceramics, and wooden objects. The library boasts the manuscripts of the Chludov Psalter (860s), Svyatoslav's Miscellanies (1073), Mstislav Gospel (1117), Yuriev Gospel (1119), and Halych Gospel (1144). The museum's coin collection alone includes 1.7 million coins, making it the largest in Russia.

A branch of the museum is housed in the Romanov Chambers Zaryadye and Saint Basil's Cathedral. In 1934 The Museum of Women's Emancipation at the Novodevichy Convent became part of the State Historical Museum. Some of the churches and other monastic buildings are still affiliated with the State Historical Museum.

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Category: Museums in Russia

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Noah Poropat (3 years ago)
i think tis is a museam with stuff from russia.
Gayan Chamara Chandrasena (3 years ago)
The State Historical Museum (GIM) is the largest national historical museum in Russia. Founded in 1872, the building on Red Square in Moscow was built in 1875-1883 by the architect Vladimir Sherwood and engineer Anatoly Semyonov. The site for construction was provided by the Moscow City Duma, ordering to demolish the building of the Main Pharmacy that stood there. The fund of the modern State Historical Museum has more than 5 million items and 14 million sheets of documentary materials. The permanent exhibition in the building on Red Square contains only 0.5% of the total collection. The number of visitors to the museum annually exceeds 1.2 million people. The staff is more than 800 employees. Currently, the museum association includes the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, the Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 and the Romanov Chambers. The State Historical Museum also owns exhibition halls on Revolution Square, storage facilities and restoration workshops in Izmailovo. The construction of a depository and exhibition center with an area of 120 thousand square meters is underway in the village of Kommunarka, New Moscow. Since 1990 it has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as part of the Red Square ensemble.
Anil Mehra (3 years ago)
Old historical museum of moscow Nice place
Qasim Imtiaz (3 years ago)
Love that museum. Specially the history of Russia, i really amaze to see.. i like the museum
Saurav Debnath (3 years ago)
Very cool museum! Certainly get the audio guide if you aren’t fluent in Russian. The rooms all have themes and it would have been better knowing that early on
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