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State Historical Museum

State Historical Museum - Friends of the Project

The State Historical Museum is the largest historical museum of Russia. Its numerous exhibitions range from the pre-historic to present-day Russia.

The museum was being built from 1875 to 1881 under the supervision of architect Vladimir Sherwood. The walls of the Historical museum are made of red brick just like the walls of the Kremlin. The Museum’s towers resemble those of Kremlin. The halls were decorated by the foremost architects.

The spot where the museum now stands was formerly occupied by the Moscow University.

The Museum was opened in 1883. The newspapers wrote: “The events of the past, the great deeds of our ancestors will be represented before thousands of people, will be discussed all across our vast Motherland and will be inherited by our children and grandchildren”.

Chronologically the collection of the State Historical Museum ranges from palaeolith to contemporary days. The specific collection exhibits the “typical items which gradually lead spectators into the routine of bygone years” (I.E. Zabellin is quoted saying). The museum's holdings include: archeology, numismatics, wood, weapons, metal and synthetic material, gems, glass, ceramics, manuscripts and old printed books, written sources, textile and costumes, maps, visual materials, book pools. The museum's holdings are replenished during the historic expeditions, bought at auctions and from private collectors.

The Museum’s exhibitions include large historical and historical and cultural events; cycles of exhibitions united by one idea, religious exhibitions, vintage exhibitions; exhibitions under the auspice of the international partners and museum exchange exhibitions.

The State Historical Museum holds the exhibitions at the regional museums, participates in the international cultural programs with the independent exhibition projects and separate exhibits. At the exhibitions the Museum provides publishing, advertising and souvenir goods designed in one style.

At present time the museum is completely restored in its original appearances, partially reconstructed and its engineering equipment meets the modern requirements. It is equipped with a lift for physically challenged people and wheelchairs.

In 1996 the museum’s collection numbered 4 373 757, and archives contained over 12 000 000 papers. Thus the museum is the largest in Russia. In 2008 the museum's staff was awarded with the Symbol of Science medal.

To make the historical events represented through exhibits clear for the visitors, all the halls are equipped with information stands. Besides, there are a lot of information screens and monitors. They showcase the items which were not included in the exposition or the exhibits that the visitors can’t see. For instance, there is a book in the showcase which can’t be touched but the pages are turned over on a screen.

All in all, the exhibition collection contains about 22 000 items. To walk around the museum one has to make 4 000 steps which equals to 3 km. If one spends a minute on every item, it will take 360 hours which is only 0,5% of the total museum collection.

SHM documents...

Museum address:

1/2 Red Square, Moscow 109012, Russia (metro stations: Okhotny Ryad, Ploshchad Revolutsii, Teatralnaya).

Open hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday:
10 am – 6 pm, booking office opens till 5 pm

11 am – 8 pm, booking office opens till 7 pm

New exhibition hall: 11 am – 7 pm, booking office opens till 6 pm
Tuesday is a day off
First Monday of every month is a cleaning day

For excursions call: +7 495 692 37 31
Cultural and educational department: +7 495 692 06 68


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Words Of Wisdom
Calligraphy is the flower of a man′ s soul.