The building of the museum resembles an ancient Russian tower, rises on Red Square. Also, the museum complex includes the mint and the building of the Moscow Duma, located nearby. At the wall of the building overlooking Manezhnaya Square, visitors are greeted by a monument to Marshal Zhukov. The famous commander is depicted on horseback, and the horse's hooves trample on the banners with the fascist swastika.
Historical museum building
It is interesting that the museum building is completely designed in the style of the old Russian architecture of the 16th century, although it was built much later - from 1874 to 1881. This requirement was the main one in the competition, which was held by the Moscow Duma on the orders of the monarch Alexander 2.
According to the voting results, the project of the architect Sherwood and engineer Semenov was recognized as the undoubted winner of the architectural competition. The building successfully fit into the old architectural ensemble of the square and became a real "home" for almost 4,5 million unique exhibits.
A little over 10 years ago, the museum staff completed the design of the permanent exhibitions. Now exhibits dedicated to the history of the state from ancient times to the beginning of this century are located in 39 halls of a two-story building. Museum tours start from the second floor. Here, visitors can get acquainted with various household items and historical artifacts relating to the primitive era, the heyday of Kievan Rus and princely fragmentation, the struggle against the Tatar-Mongol yoke, the unification of territories under the control of the Romanov dynasty, the development of Siberia. Of particular interest are exhibits related to the culture of the pre-Petrine era.
The exhibitions on the third floor of the museum tell about the political, cultural and economic features of life in Russia since the reign of Peter the Great.
The museum building has recently undergone a large-scale reconstruction. At the same time, all the original interiors have been preserved, but modern amenities have been added to them: for example, an elevator for the disabled, as well as information stands and interactive monitors on which exhibits are demonstrated.
It is worth allocating a lot of time to visit the museum: after all, in order to get around all its halls, you will need at least 4000 steps (about 3 km). If you examine each exhibit for about a minute, it will take about 360 hours to explore the entire collection.
The museum constantly hosts interactive lectures for schoolchildren, theatrical shows, and also organizes the work of historical, archaeological and drama circles.
The exposition of the historical museum and its halls
The museum has several large departments, each of which is dedicated to a specific historical era or type of art and allows you to get an exhaustive picture of them. The collection of this cultural institution is made up of several halls.
Hall of archaeological sites
It is considered the oldest in the museum. It houses more than 1,5 million exhibits illustrating the development of crafts and culture in Russia from the early Iron Age to the Middle Ages. In the collection of the department, hunting tools and implements, jewelry and other works of art are widely represented. Of particular interest are treasures of money, many of which were kept in the ground for several centuries.
The real "highlights" of the exhibition are the Borodino treasure, the treasure of the Church of the Tithes, as well as rhytons, a gold bracelet, a bronze dagger, a kanfar and a hryvnia dating back to the 2nd century BC. BC e. - 5 in. n. e. Such exhibits are practically not found in other museums.
Hall of wood and furniture
In it you can get an idea of how furniture looked like in Russian estates of the 18th - first half of the 19th century, as well as see the products of the leading furniture factories of the Russian Empire in the 19th - first half of the 20th century. Among the exhibits there are interior items made according to the sketches of leading architects and painters. The collection includes wooden utensils, carved boards, spinning wheels, mica windows, chests with images of secular themes from the 16th-20th centuries.
Separate exhibitions display works of domestic church art of the 18th-20th centuries (altar gates, chandeliers, external crosses, carved icons, etc.) and masquerade sleighs that belonged to the Russian emperor. Fans of the unusual will be delighted by the largest deck of playing cards in the country and a unique collection of lacquer miniatures.
Hall of Precious Metals
Its exposition presents jewelry made by European masters (manufactured by Poland, Italy, Sweden, France, Great Britain, etc.), as well as works by Russian masters of the Silver Age. A special place among them is occupied by exhibits created by employees of the world-famous firms Faberge, Ovchinnikov, Bolin and others. On separate stands there are presented silver utensils of the 17th-18th centuries, church vessels, medieval icons and liturgical literature in precious frames.
Hall of Old Russian Painting
Most of its collection consists of works of ancient Russian icon painting of the 14th - 17th centuries, as well as icons in the Byzantine and post-Byzantine style, dated from the 18th - early 20th centuries. Their authors are artists who lived and worked in such famous centers of religious painting as Novgorod, Pskov, "Russian North", Moscow.
Hall of visual materials
It contains about 600 thousand exhibits. Among them are not only canvases of outstanding painters of Russian origin from the Middle Ages to the present day, but also miniatures, photographs, sculptural compositions, graphic sketches.
Hall of cartography
There are no analogues of this collection in any museum in Russia. Here are collected cartographic materials that allow you to get a complete picture of the change in the borders of the state during the 16th-20th centuries. These are medieval Western European maps of Muscovy, and Russian printed and handwritten maps, and modern atlases.
Hall of ceramics and glass
Collections of Russian porcelain, rough ceramics, majolica and semi-faience of the 18th - 20th centuries are considered to be its decoration. The exhibition presents jugs, figured vases, dishes, kvass, etc. Also in the collection are wonderful examples of facing ceramics: fireplaces, stove tiles, icons of the Savior Not Made by Hands and the Crucifixion.
At the exhibitions of the museum, visitors can see rare editions printed in Russia in the 15th - 20th centuries. Among more than 200 thousand exhibits there are books on religious studies, philosophy, history and art of Russia and other countries, linguistics, ethnography, archeology and many other disciplines. A special place in the fund is occupied by manuscripts and early printed books, some of which were created as early as 1 AD. e. The most famous of them are the annals of Ivan the Terrible, the Izbornik of Prince Svyatoslav, the Khludov Psalter, the scandalous case of Patriarch Nikon, the Mstislavovo, Andronikovo and Yuryev Gospels.
Hall of Metal and Numismatics
The halls with this collection contain agricultural and industrial tools, household items, decorative elements, lamps, religious utensils and other items. All of them are made of black or non-ferrous metal, horn plates, amber, mother-of-pearl, modern alloys. The numismatic department stores more than 1,5 million banknotes and coins from different countries, which makes it possible to trace their evolution.
The museum also has rooms dedicated to the history of the Russian national costume and weaponry, and a special section of documentary sources on the history of the country.
Historical Museum visit and ticket prices
How much is a ticket to the Historical Museum on Red Square? It depends on which category of visitors you belong to. Today the ticket price is:
- 400 RUB for an adult (regardless of citizenship);
- 150 RUB for students, persons aged 16-18, pensioners with Russian or CIS citizenship, holders of IYTC and ISIC international cards;
- 700 RUB general ticket for families of both parents and 1-2 children under 16 years of age.
Opening hours of the Historical Museum:
From September to May, his collections of exhibits are available for viewing on Friday and Saturday - from 10.00 to 21.00, and on other days - from 10.00 to 18.00 (the museum is closed on Tuesday). The opening hours during the summer period remain the same, however, it operates seven days a week (the first Tuesday of each month is a cleaning day).
The ticket office closes 60 minutes before the museum closes.
Museum visitors can book one of the following excursions with a qualified guide:
- "Treasures of Antiquity and the Middle Ages";
- "History of Russia 18 - 19 centuries";
- “Treasures of Lost Civilizations”;
- "Masterpieces of the Historical Museum";
- "Masterpieces of the Golden Pantry";
- "Walking through the unique interiors of the museum."
All of them last 1,5 hours on average and cost RUB 3000 - RUB 4500 (for a group of 15 people).
If you prefer to walk through the halls on your own, there is also an economy option: for only 300 RUB you will be given an audio guide, which contains interesting facts about the most significant exhibits.
How to get to the museum
It is very easy to get to the Historical Museum. To do this, you need to get off at one of the three metro stations - "Okhotny Ryad", "Teatralnaya" or "Ploschad Revolyutsii" - towards Red Square.
The Historical Museum is a great opportunity to spend your leisure time with benefit, having learned a lot of fascinating facts about the distant past of Russia.