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Museum of Patriotic War of 1812

Museum of Patriotic War of 1812

The Museum of Patriotic War of 1812Russian: Muzey Otechestvennoy voyny 1812 goda or Музей Отечественной войны 1812 года opened its doors in 2012 in Revolution SquareRussian: Ploshchad Revolutsii or Площадь революции, the heart of Moscow. It tells the story of one of the most complicated stages in the history of Russia, its victory over Napoleon and its role in the release of Europe from its occupiers. The display is housed in an early 19th century building constructed in the “Russian” style. The 1800 square metre venue comprises 13 modern spacious halls, which house more than 2000 unique exhibits – collections of weapons, military uniforms and awards, military household items,  authentic documents and personal possessions of the participants of those battles, including both emperors’ (Alexanderreigned as Emperor of Russia from 1801 to 1825 and Napoleon) possessions. A visit to the museum will undoubtedly be fascinating for lovers of military history. The exhibition space is successfully supplemented with interactive touchscreen kiosks.

FIRST LOOK AT THE MUSEUm

178_image2_sAlthough the museum opened only a short time ago, its collection started taking shape more than 200 years ago. In 1903, a small museum was set up at the BorodinoRussian: Бородино train station to commemorate the great battle and its participants; a collection of the first exhibits was organised there. The State Historical MuseumRussian: Istoricheskiy muzey or Исторический музей opened a display occupying nine halls to commemorate the centennary of the Patriotic War of 1812. This formed the basis of the collection of the modern museum, with many collectors and public officials taking part in its creation.

The modern museum occupies two floors and 13 halls. There are about 2,000 exhibits on display. A tour of it will take no less than two hours. In every hall, visitors have access to interactive touchscreen kiosks (in Russian only) with all the events in chronological order, maps, illustrations, and films about certain stages of the war. The museum also describes the fates of two soldiers,  a Russian and a French. The crossing the River Neman and the beginning of the war are described, as is the story of the River BerezinaRussian: reka Berezina or река Березина, amongst other things.

181_image7_sThe museum is chronologically divided into two parts, one detailing relations between Russia and France in 1801-1812 and the other covering the 1812 campaign and the consequent wars in Europe. The exhibits exemplify the change of leaders and regimes, the rise and fall of the Napoleon’s empire and the wars which redrew the map of Europe. Certain halls cover the short periods of peace and the attempts of the two empires to repair relations, the emperors’ personalities, the structure of their armies and battle tactics.

The museum features many rare exhibits like Alexander I’s personal possessions, weapons and personal possessions of such Russian officers and generals as Kutuzov, Platov, Davydov, Bagration, and Dorokhov, as well as some French commanders. Here, you will find a collection of military medals, Marshal Davout’s baton captured by Russian guardsmen in the battle of KrasnoiRussian: Krasniy or Красный, Napoleon’s signet ring-shaped seals, portrait sculptures and paintings depicting him and his marshals, Marshal Ney’s telescope arm, the keys to 20 cities and fortresses won by the Russian troops, a collection of weapons, buttons collected on the field of BorodinoRussian: Borodinskoye pole or Бородинское поле, and other rarities. Экспонаты музея3The tremendously unique exhibits of the museum collection are Napoleon’s field kitchen, a lock of his hair and his death mask, as well as the sleigh he rode in from Moscow to Vilnathe former capital of Lithuania.

A huge collection of historical documents of the epoch is represented by notes, manifestos, orders of the Russian and French armies, engravings and paintings depicting  events of 1812 (by I. Mansfeld and A. Adam), and battle paintings. The most interesting among the latter are V. Vereshchaginone of the most famous Russian war artists’s works from his 1812 collection.

If the Russian history is a subject of your interest and you want to know, for example, what is the oldest church in Moscow, what are the famous monasteries around Moscow, which style of Moscow architecture you can see only in this town, you can read on our website pages about Red square Moscow and “History and Architecture”.

THE MUSEUM DISPLAY

538_image9_sThe museum opens with a rare fresco – a part of G. Smiradsky’s panel picture “St. Alexander Nevskythe Prince known for military victories over German and Swedish invaders, he was canonized as a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church”. This panel picture is all that is left of the Cathedral of Christ the SaviourRussian: Khram Khrista Spasitelya or Храм Христа Спасителя founded in 1839 during the rule of Emperor Nicholas I, who was Alexander I’s brother. The cathedral was erected to commemorate the victory over the Napoleon’s France, and was blown up in 1931 by Soviet authorities.

The first floor is fully dedicated to the military campaign of 1812. The vast halls are overflowing with exhibits. Among them are French uniforms and military equipment, many endowed with symbols of the army – the Napoleonic eagles. One of the most interesting objects of this section is the field kitchen of the Emperor’s army. 60 field kitchens in total were made, however, only one has survived.

The commander in Chief of the Russian troops, His Highness M.I. Kutuzov played a special role in the victory. The museum displays the commander’s personal possessions: his 1st class St. George’s ribbona widely recognized military symbol in Russia, gilded cutlery, a telescope arm, a leather suitcase, a barrel-shaped samovara heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water he took to the field, and the Archangel Michael’s icon.

173_image13_sThe centrepiece of the museum is the Battle of Borodino Hall, called the Battle by the Moscow riverRussian: Moskva-reka or Москва-река in France. It illustrates in detail all the stages of the decisive battle, presents some weapons, maps, and personal possessions of P. Bagration and D. Dokhturov. Historians still disagree about the outcomes of the Battle of Borodino. The museum has tried to collect as many exhibits and documents as possible, offering visitors an opportunity to determine the true winner of that battle on their own. After the Battle of Borodino, the French captured Moscow. The city was plundered and was then set alight. These events served as the prologue to Napoleon’s fall. You will see orders of the French authorities, paintings of the fire of Moscow, and household items. One of the most valuable exhibits of that time is Napoleon’s preserved field bed on which he slept during his stay in Moscow. Later, he abandoned it during his retreat from Russian.

Napoleon's BedThe section dedicated to the victorious campaign of the Russian army in Europe in 1813-1814 features objects which are directly related to Napoleon’s defeat: the candles which lit the room when he signed his abdication in 1814, a souvenir vase made of a pendant from the chandelier which was in the room where he abdicated, Napoleon’s sword which he gave to Count Shuvalovan Imperial Russian statesman when before leaving for exile in the isle of Elbe.

The exhibits of the halls dedicated to the fight of the anti-French coalition against Napoleon display objects demonstrating the power of France in Napoleon’s time. In the centre of the hall, there is a reproduction of the Vendome’s column which is claimed to have been cast from barrels of the Russian and Austrian cannons (in fact, the column is made of stone and decorated with bronze bass-relief).

The Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 is truly unique. Its every exhibit tells the story of the enormous effort put into the victory over the conqueror, of the way that the morale and sincere faith of the Russian people helped them to triumph despite their hardships, save their homeland and facilitate the freedom of Europe from under Napoleon’s grasp. For these reasons, people at the time considered considered this victory to be a miracle and built churches to commemorate the event.

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total number of grades: 5, average rating: 4.40 (from 5)
Location

Within Garden Ring

Nearest Metro Station

Teatralnaya, Okhotny Ryad, Ploshchad Revolyutsii

Address

2/3 Revolution Square, Moscow

Website

http://1812shm.ru

Museum Opening Hours / Ticket Office Opening Hours

From September 1 to May 31:
Mo: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)
We: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)
Th: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)
Fr: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. (ticket office till 8 p.m.)
Sa: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. (ticket office till 8 p.m.)
Su: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)

From June 1 to August 31:

Mo: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)
Tu*: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)
We: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)
Th: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)
Fr: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. (ticket office till 8 p.m.)
Sa: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. (ticket office till 8 p.m.)
Su: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. (ticket office till 5 p.m.)

*Except first Tuesday of the month

Days off

Tuesday

Ticket Price

From 150 to 400 rubles depending on visitor's category and programme of visits.
Amateur video filming and photography without a flash are included in the ticket price.

Visiting Rules

Standard.

Additional Information

An audio guide is offered for an additional fee.
There is an opportunity to buy tickets online.

Gallery

Bust of Napoleon
Museum exhibition
Members of the Bureau of the 1812 Anniversary Exhibition in the Historical Museum on 8 September 1912
Nicholas II visiting Moscow City Duma
Nikolay Aleksandrovich Alekseyev. Moscow mayor between 1885 and 1893
Napoleon I
Museum room
Museum room
Museum room
Museum exhibition space
Museum exhibition space
Architect Dmitry Nikolayevich Chichagov
Alexander I of Russia
Museum exhibits
Museum exhibits
Museum exhibits
Throne of Alexander I of Russia
Napoleon's bed
Keys of the conquered cities
Medal commemorating the year 1812
Museum exhibition
Baton of Marshal of France Davout
Field kitchen
Napoleon's lock
Museum exhibition
French cannons
Left Right

Featured reviews

Visitor rating:   4.5

February 2017
I went to the museum, just walking around Moscow, and spent more than 3 hours there. The exhibition is organized in chronological order since 1801, but unfortunately, the interactive presentation does not cover a topic of disagreements or goals pursued by the French Emperor, which became the primary cause of the war. The exhibition will evoke a warm response from those who are interested in military attributes: uniform, cold steel and firearms, awards of both Russian and French armies. Unfortunately, there are few exhibits dedicated to the people's militia and partisan war. The exhibition ends with Vereshchagin's paintings with scenes about the events of the War of 1812.

February 2017
The space is well-organized, a lot of air. The whole exposition is very interesting. There is much media information for fans. The only thing that I did not like is that information written on the glass panels, is difficult to read because of glaring.

January 2017
It's very interesting museum! The epoch, welfare, munitions, weapons and equipment of both sides are showed visually. You can clearly see the various events of this period with the aid of multimedia technologies. The museum itself is quite spacious, there are souvenir gifts, downstairs there are a cloakroom and toilet rooms.

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