In 1913, on the Farm Road, one kilometer from the Alexander Palace, the construction of the Ratnaya (Martial) Chamber was begun, which was to become the museum of the history of Russian weapons (now World War I Museum). It was planned to place there a collection of weapons, ammunition, awards and documents on the history of the wars in which Russia took part, as well as trophies from battlefields.
The basis of the collection was the collection of weapons, military documents, paintings and icons that were presented to Emperor Nicholas II at the anniversary exhibition of 1911 in Tsarskoye Selo. This collection was presented to the emperor by Elena Tretyakova, widow of S. Tretyakov, brother of the founder of the Tretyakov Gallery.
The complex of buildings of the Martial Chamber was built in the architectural style of the Pskov-Novgorod chambers of the 15th century. In 1914, the World War I began and it was decided that an exposition dedicated to this war would be placed here. In 1917, the museum was opened, but a year later it was closed.
The reconstructed museum dedicated to the World War I (the only one in Russia) was opened there only on August 4, 2014, at the hundredth anniversary of the war. Now two floors are open for visiting there, as well as an exhibition of military equipment in the courtyard of the complex.
Today the museum has more than fifteen thematic exhibitions dedicated to the World War I, such as: the outbreak of war, military operations, positional war, holders of the St. George Cross, the imperial family during the war, and many others. There are a lot of authentic exhibits of those times.