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11 April 2019 –16 June 2019

Moscow, Russian State Archive for Military History

Organised by
               The Russian State Archive for Military History

The Moscow Kremlin Museums take part in the exhibition organised by the Russian State Archive for Military History to commemorate a remarkable date in the history of Russia—the 250th Anniversary of the Military Order of St George, which was founded by Empress Catherine the Great in 1769.

The Order of St George had four classes and was awarded for military merit. The principal decoration represents white enamelled cross pattée with a central red enamelled medallion bearing the image of St George on horseback slaying the dragon. The ribbon of the Order of St George is orange with three black stripes. The four-pointed star bears the monogram of St George "СГ" surrounded by the motto of the order "ЗА СЛУЖБУ И ХРАБРОСТЬ" (For Service and Bravery). There is also a presentation weapon bearing the badge of the order and the sign "For Bravery", the so-called St George Sword, ranked as the Order of St George but remaining an independent award. At the exhibition, the Moscow Kremlin Museums introduce a dirk of St George for naval officers, 1914 model. Naval officers wore such dirks instead of sabres with special uniforms.

The Kremlin Museums also show items related to St George’s Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, which is dedicated to the glorification of the Russian Army, as the Order of St George represents victory. The design of the future hall, signed by the chief architect of the Palace K.A. Ton, and the draft design of the door of the hall by painter F.G. Solntsev are shown at the exhibition as well.

The Grand Kremlin Palace was built in 1838-1849 by order of Emperor Nicholas I, who himself contributed to the concept of the new imperial residence. St George’s Hall is the biggest of the medallic halls of the Grand Kremlin Palace. Walls of the hall bear marble plaques with gold engravings of the names of meritorious military units and decoration holders. The exhibition includes the design of such a commemorative plaque, currently being the part of the Moscow Kremlin Museums’ collection. Another unique piece on display is the book containing a handwritten list of decoration holders from 1769 to 1826. This book in green morocco cover with gold embossing was preserved in a special casket in St George’s Hall.