The building of the State Historical Museum is on the northern side of the Red Square, opposite St. Basil`s Cathedral. It is the largest national museum of Russian history and culture, its exhibitions covering all periods in the history of Russia, from ancient times to 20 century.
Emperor Alexander III issued the order on the foundation of the museum on February, 21 1872. The construction of the museum was commissioned to the well-known architects V. O. Sherwood and A. A. Semenov. The interior finish was also commissioned to the famous painters of the period, such as Aiwasowski, Vasnetsov, Repin and Korovin.
The ceremonial opening of the museum took place on May, 27 1883. All visitors enter the museum through the main seni, with its wall and ceiling decorated by the genealogical tree of Russian princes and tzars, from the first ancient Russian princes to the tzars and emperors of the Russian Empire.
A great number of exhibits (over 4,5 million) was gathered in 39 halls of the museum. The halls are arranged in a chronological order. In the first halls you can see the artifacts brought from the diggings of the early man sites, which were conducted on the territory of Russia. Then you can have a look at the exhibits of the Bronze Age (dolmens, idols and cult objects) and the early period of the ancient Russian state.
Separate halls are assigned for an interesting exposition of articles and decorations from gold and precious stones. The exposition contains many decorations, crowns and cult objects, coins, orders and the other curious exhibits.
Each hall is devoted to a separate period in the history of the Russian state. Many exhibits are related with the outstanding historical events: the Battle of the Ice, the Mongol invasion and the Time of Troubles. There you can see the weapons and armour of warriors, objects of religious cult and many other things. In the halls of the first floor there were gathered the exhibits belonging to the period of the Russian Empire, from the reign of Peter I to the beginning of 20 century.