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10 October 2018–12 December 2018

Sergiyev Posad, The Sergiyev Posad State Historical and Art Museum and Heritage Site

Organized by:
The Sergiyev Posad State Historical and Art Museum and Heritage Sitev
The Sergiyev Posad State Historical and Art Museum and Heritage Site, The Moscow Kremlin Museums, The State Russian Museum, The State Historical Museum



The exhibition “Iron and Courage. Anniversary of the Truce of Deulino” initiated by the Sergiyev Posad State Museum and Heritage Site commemorates the date when the Truce of Deulino was signed between the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Tsardom of Russia in 1618. That treaty was signed four hundred years ago in the village of Deulino situated by the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius, thus putting an end to the Time of Troubles that had been shaking the Russian state during twelve years. One of the key moments of that period burdened by the Russian-Polish War was an unsuccessful siege of the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius in 1608-1610. Military and moral meaning of that confrontation served as a crucial point in the Time of Troubles and laid the foundation of the following revival of the Russian statehood.

In the first place the exhibition glorifies fortitude and courage of the defenders of the cloister of St Sergius of Radonezh, one of the most venerated saints in Russia. For the first time in the Russian museum practice, an attempt was made to reconstruct the arsenal of the Trinity Monastery, which arms and armour helped the besieged soldiers, bowmen, gunners, monks and peasants to defend the ancient monastery. A great part of the arsenal was lost, but a considerable quantity, the most ancient one, was transferred to the Moscow Armoury Chamber on the order of Emperor Nicholas I. Among them were memorial sabres of the Time of Troubles’ heroes Prince Dmitry Pozharsky and citizen Kozma Minin, which now have a worthz place being part of the permanent display of the Armoury Chamber.

Thus, one of the key pieces at the exhibition is the saddle that according to the monastery legend belonged to Prince Dmitry Pozharsky; later it enriched the monastery treasury.

Thanks to the inflow from the Lavra, the Moscow Armoury Chamber became the owner of the largest collection of battle-axes in the world—special polearms that originated in Russia at the turn of the 16th-17th centuries and became a distinctive feature of Russian infantry. On display are five battle-axes of different types. They originate from the monastery treasury and were almost certainly made by the monastery masters in the 17th century.

The earliest military piece presented at the exhibition is the harquebus—a gun with a flintlock, which trunk was forged long ago before the Time of Troubles, probably before the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the middle of the 16th century. The mark СЕР (meaning Sergius) verifies that the harquebus was undoubtedly made in the armoury workshops of the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius. Another sample of the armoury workshop masters is the chain armour made of relatively small flattened rings.

Altogether there are eleven pieces of arms, armour and harness on loan from the Moscow Armoury, which had been originally kept in the armoury storage of the Trinity Monastery of St Sergius. Along with the pieces from the Kremlin collection, the display includes the 16th- and 17th-century items from the Sergiyev Posad Museum and Heritage Site, the State Hermitage Museum and the State Historical Museum, which create the complete image of one of the richest and largest Old Russian fortress arsenals.