Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812
Situated between Teatralnaya station and the entrance to the Kremlin, is an interesting museum dedicated to the war of 1812, fought between the Napoleon’s army and Russia.
The very first exhibits contain artefacts and interactive maps, describing the early stages of the war. Some noteworthy items include the many swords, pistols and clothing owned by both the Russian and French generals. It is also possible to see original letters written by Napoleon, specifying his plan for the invasion of Russia. However, if you’re intent on reading them, it’s a good idea to bring a French speaker along with you.
Upstairs the exhibit continues in a similar format. However, it suddenly changes to what could be mistaken for an exhibit in the Tretyakov gallery. These paintings illustrate many key developments of the war and are ordered chronologically. The gallery starts with paintings of the successful invasion by Napoleon’s army, before displaying the eventual devastation caused by the Russian winter.
Furthermore, the museum uses scenes from an on screen adaptation of War and Peace to present another approach to help visualise the war’s development over time. Like the previous paintings, the clips portray numerous scenarios, from the early battles, to the winter conditions and its effects on the soldiers. This is not something I have seen before in previous museums. Nevertheless, it provides an intriguing insight into the possible thoughts and feelings of those who were involved. The variety of mediums used by the museum to depict the war proves to be vey effective.
Prices and Opening times
A standard adult ticket costs 350 roubles, and taking pictures is free. Students with valid ID can purchase a ticket for a reduced price of 100 roubles. Opening times are 10:00 – 18:00 with last entry at 17:30.
Lawrence Toye, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow