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9 June – 10 August 2022

State anteroom of the Armoury Chamber

Organized by
The Moscow Kremlin Museums

The Moscow Kremlin Museums, State Historical Museum


Портрет Петра I

The exhibition "1872 Peter the Great's Anniversary in Moscow" coincides with the 150th Anniversary of the Polytechnic Exhibition, which marked the Emperor’s 200th Anniversary and became the most outstanding and grandiose project ever undertaken within the Moscow Kremlin. In 1872, for the first time in history, the Kremlin, its surrounding gardens and the embankment were transformed into a real city of science, technology and art. Its plan, opening the exhibition in the state anteroom of the Armoury Chamber today, shows the scale of this first pavilion-type exhibition in Russia.

The Polytechnic Exhibition was designed by the Imperial Society of Amateurs of Natural History, Anthropology and Ethnography as a show of applied natural sciences and engineering, but after it was decided to mark by it Peter the Great’s anniversary, the concept changed significantly – over twenty sections on diverse subjects were organized. The display in the state anteroom shows three of them: Historical, Military and Sevastopol.

A prominent historian, Director of the Armoury Chamber and Rector of the Moscow University, Sergei Mikhailovich Soloviev, played a special role in organizing the Polytechnic Exhibition. In the spring of 1870, he was made Chair of the Historical section of the exhibition. While preparing Peter the Great’s anniversary in Moscow, Soloviev gave a course of free lectures on the history of the first Russian Emperor's reign, which are now well known as "Public Readings about Peter the Great". The show in the Armoury Chamber presents a photographic portrait of the scientist from the Moscow Kremlin Museums collection, made by the famous artist-photographer M.M. Panov, who was awarded the Grand Gold Medal of the Polytechnic Exhibition for his works.

Visitors will see large-format photographs of the Military and Sevastopol sections of the Polytechnic Exhibition made by photographic studios of M.M. Panov and I.G. Diagovchenko, which were presented to Emperor Alexander II. Works of another photographer, M.P. Nastyukov, given on loan by the State Historical Museum, depict views of the Historical section and the grand opening of the Polytechnic Exhibition on 30 May 1872. One can see them on the screen.

Unique pieces from the collections of the Moscow Kremlin Museums, which were part of the Historical and Military sections of the Polytechnic Exhibition, will also be on display. Among them are: the Order of St Andrew awarded to Peter the Great, badges of Swedish officers which became trophies of the Battle of Poltava, and officer badges of the Preobrazhensky and Semyonovsky regiments designed by Peter the Great himself in memory of the courage shown by the Guards at the Battle of Narva. Rarely exhibited glass objects deserve special attention, viz an engraving on the Battle of Poltava - the only known example of this genre on glass, magnificent goblets and a beaker with the images glorifying the sovereign. It is noteworthy that the portrait of Peter the Great by artist Johann Gottfried Tannauer, which has been welcoming visitors in the state anteroom of the Armoury Chamber for many years, was also one of the items shown in the Historical section. Two rare breech-loading rifles and a 17th-century rifle were among the artefacts transferred from the Armoury Chamber to the Historical Museum of the Polytechnic Exhibition Military section. A richly illustrated album by Heinrich Hoppe represents a link between the two dates – 1672 and 1872.

The exhibition which marks the Emperor’s 350th Anniversary reminds the public of the monarch’s jubilee in 1872 and provides an insight into the role played by the Armoury Chamber and its outstanding director in immortalizing the historical memory of Peter the Great.


The exhibition is held in the state anteroom of the Armoury Chamber from 10:00 to 18:00 daily except Thursday.

  • 1000 rubles
  • 500 rubles for all under-16s

Tickets can be purchased:

  • online (only full price tickets)
  • at the ticket office in the Alexander Garden on the day of the visit.
    Ticket office operating hours - from 9:00 to 17:00