State Historical Museum

State Historical Museum showing interior views

State Historical Museum

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Take a walk through many different eras of Russian history at this expansive museum on Red Square.

The State Historical Museum contains a huge collection of items from throughout Russian history. Exploring its artifacts will help you piece together the story of this complicated country. Follow the chronological exhibits, which contain everything from domestic objects to weapons and artworks.

Visit the museum that Emperor Alexander II ordered to be built. It first opened in the late 19th century. The museum is also associated with Emperor Alexander III, for it opened on the day of his coronation and bore his name for many years. Russia’s elite and merchant class gifted many artifacts to the museum. The State Museum Foundation and defunct museums in the 1920s and ’30s provided other items.

Observe the building’s façade. Created by architect Vladimir Sherwood, the structure is a prime example of Russian revivalism, a style with a distinctly Gothic feel. Note two somber towers rising up on each side of the deep red building which looms over Red Square.

Step into the museum to begin an adventure through Russian history. In the room dedicated to the Stone Age, over 2 million years of history are condensed into one neat package. See exhibits of tools, plants and even human skulls from the time. The series of rooms document the evolution of man through to weapons and house wares used in the Bronze Age.

Find just about any period of time you are curious about here. Don’t miss the room devoted to Siberia in the 16th and 17th centuries; it describes Russian exploration in the region through maps, clothing and hunting tools.

Learn about Peter the Great, one of Russia’s most well-known leaders. Peter ruled from 1682 to 1725 and had a huge impact on Russia’s relationship with Europe as well as its military capabilities. See army attire from this period and many medals awarded during his military exploits.

The State Historical Museum is open every day except Tuesdays and the final Monday of each month. The attraction has an admission fee. Take the subway to Okhotny Ryad to get here.

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