The Patriotic War of 1812 is an important event in the history of Russia. Napoleon army, numbering about 500 thousand people, invaded Russia on June 24, 1812. 5 months later, on November 17, 1812, a battle took place on the Berezina River, when only 20 thousand soldiers of the French army were able to leave Russia.

In this review on the online travel guide Geomerid you can read about all the important memorials and museums dedicated to the events of the Patriotic War of 1812:

1.    Borodino Battlefield

•    Borodino Museum
•    Rayevsky Battery
•    Spaso-Borodinsky Monastery
•    Shevardinsky Redoubt
•    Monuments on the Borodino field

2.    Memorial of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Smolensk
3.    Borodino panorama in Moscow
4.    Kutuzov hut in Fili
5.    Memorial of the War of 1812 in Maloyaroslavets
6.    Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Moscow
7.    Triumphal Arch in Moscow

Borodino Battlefield

On August 26, 1812, the main battle of Napoleon's army with the Russian troops defending Moscow took place on the Borodino field. Neither army won the battle but the Russian continued to retreat. Then they left Moscow, and a bit later the French army was driven out from Russia.

Borodinskoye Field is 12 kilometers to the southwest of Mozhaisk. Now there are over 70 monuments and obelisks on the territory of several thousand hectares. Among them you can single out the main places you must visit. They are: the Battle of Borodino Museum, the Spaso-Borodinsky Monastery, the Rayevsky redoubt, where the main monument devoted to the Russian soldiers is located, as well as the Shevardino redoubt, where the monument «To the Fallen of the Great Army» devoted to the French soldiers killed on Borodinskoye Field is located.

Read more about Borodino Battlefield

• Borodino Museum

The main monument on the Mound Height, where the Raevsky battery was located, was installed in 1839. A small house was built next to it, where veterans of the war with Napoleon lived. They were keepers of the relics of the Russian army and guides on the Borodino field. Later, the Museum of the battle of Borodino was created on this site.

In 1912, a new building of the Museum was built according to the project of the architect Voeykov. It is built in the tradition of Russian manor houses with a mezzanine and neoclassical portico. It contains finds from the Borodino field. It is very interesting to see the uniforms of Russian soldiers of various divisions. The most valuable relics are the banners and standards of various regiments that participated in the battle of Borodino. There are personal belongings of Alexander I, Kutuzov, Napoleon, as well as participants of the battle of Borodino. In the Museum you can see many portraits of the heroes of the battle of Borodino.

Read more about Borodino Museum

• Rayevsky Battery

At the top of the Mound Height was located the Rayevsky battery. This was the key point where the decisive events of the battle of Borodino unfolded. In 1839, the main monument to Russian soldiers was installed here, and the Borodino Museum was opened nearby.

A battery of 18 guns and the 7th infantry regiment, commanded by General Nikolay Rayevsky, were located on the Mound Height. Main attacks of Napoleon`s army were directed here during the day. The capture of this height meant the domination of the artillery over the field of battle. The main monument on the Mound Height, where the Raevsky battery was located, was installed in 1839. The ashes of General Bagration were reburied nearby. He was mortally wounded during the battle of Borodino and died a few days later.

Read more about Rayevsky Battery

• Spaso-Borodinsky Monastery

The Spaso-Borodinsky monastery was founded by Margarita Tuchkova. Her husband, General Tuchkov, was killed during the battle of Borodino on Bagration fleches. She tried to find his body, but could only find his ring. At this place, she founded a monastery and became its abbess.

In 1817, Margarita Tuchkova received permission from the Emperor Alexander I and 10 thousand rubles for the construction of the Church. After that, she bought three tithes of land on the Middle Bagration fleches. In 1818, she built a small Church of the icon of the Saviour Image of Edessa. This was the regimental icon of the Revel regiment, which was led by her husband. Next to it, she built a small house. In 1826, after the death of her son, she freed her peasants and finally moved into this house. Widows who also lost their husbands in the battle of Borodino began to come here. In 1839, the Spaso-Borodinsky monastery was opened here.

Read more about Spaso-Borodinsky Monastery

• Shevardino Redoubt

Shevardino redoubt was an important fortified height where the Old and New Smolensk roads converged. Without capturing this redoubt, Napoleon could not deploy his troops to battle on the Borodino field, where the Russians were just completing their fortifications. Later, during the battle, it was the headquarters of Napoleon, where he commanded his troops.

The battle for the Shevardino redoubt was on August 24. It preceded the main battle of Borodino on August 26. The redoubt was defended by a detachment under the command of General Andrey Gorchakov. At the foot of the redoubt, during the battle of Borodino was the headquarters of Napoleon, where he commanded the troops. In agreement with Emperor Nicholas II, in 1912, the French erected a monument on this site. The inscription on the monument: Aux Morts de la Grand Armee (To the Dead of the Grand Army).

Read more about Shevardino Redoubt

• Monuments on the Borodino field

There are more than 200 monuments in different places of Borodino field. The monuments are dedicated to various regiments or divisions that repelled the attacks of Napoleon`s army on these places on August 26, 1812 during the battle of Borodino.

The first monument on Borodino field was erected by the widow of General Tuchkov in 1818. The mass appearance of monuments in different parts of Borodino field was associated with the celebration of the centenary of the Patriotic war in 1912. The celebration was nationwide, and preparations were led personally by the Emperor Nicholas II.

He suggested that the military units that took part in this battle should erect monuments to their ancestors. In 1912, 34 monuments were erected. The largest monument was erected near the Spaso-Borodino monastery: "Grateful Russia to its Defenders". After that, the number of monuments on Borodino field began to grow rapidly and now there are more than 200 of them.

Read more about Monuments on the Borodino field

Memorial of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Smolensk

Heroes Memory Public Garden stretches along the wall in the south of the historical center of Smolensk. It is devoted to the defenders of Smolensk during the War of 1812, as well as during the Great Patriotic War. This public garden between the Thunder Tower and the Mokhovaya (Moss) Tower was opened by centenary of the victory in the War of 1812.  It was opened on August 6, 1912, during a visit of Emperor Nicholas II to Smolensk, and was given the name «The Public Garden of the Memory of the Heroes of 1812».

Initially, there was installed the bust of the army commander Mikhail Kutuzov. And on the fortified wall there were installed 19 memorial plaques devoted to the military units, which distinguish themselves in the Battle of Smolensk. To our days there remained only ten cast-iron plaques. On September 10, 1913 in the center of the public garden the noted Eagle Monument was installed. It symbolizes the defenders of the country.

Read more about Memorial of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Smolensk

Borodino panorama in Moscow

he museum-panorama «Battle of Borodino» is on the Poklonnaya Gora. It is on the site of the hut of a peasant Frolov where the military council at Fili was held. At the council Kutuzov took a decision to leave Moscow in September 1812. There on Poklonnaya Gora Napoleon also waited for a delegation of the nobles with the keys to Moscow no one had ever brought him.

The main exhibit of the museum is a circular panorama of the Battle of Borodino of 1812 depicting one of the attacks of the French cavalry against the positions of the Russian army. The height of the panorama is 15 meters, with the length of 115 meters. A circular building was constructed for it so that you could walk along the canvas and see all the details of the battle. 

The monumental canvas was created by a painter Franz Roubaud who was born in Odessa in the family of French traders. Apart from the panoramic canvas, there is also an interesting museum dedicated to the war of 1812. We recommend also visit a small wooden hut, which is behind the big museum building. There was the hut of a peasant Frolov where the military council at Fili was held. After the Battle of Borodino, Kutuzov led the Russian army to Moscow, however, in this hut it was decided not to defend the capital, but to leave it in order to save the army. 

Read more about Borodino panorama in Moscow

Kutuzov hut in Fili

Kutuzov Hut is a small museum in the Fili district of Moscow. It is located at the place where the commander-in-chief of the Russian army Mikhail Kutuzov gathered a military council in a peasant hut on September 1, 1812. They discussed the condition of the Russian army after the Battle of Borodino, as well as the opportunity of protecting Moscow. 

The Council in Fili is familiar to many people from the painting by the artist Alexey Kishenko "Military Council in Fili" (written in 1880). The painting depicts Mikhail Kutuzov and 10 generals. They discussed the very difficult issue of the surrender of Moscow to Napoleon`s troops. To some generals, the fact of the surrender of the ancient capital seemed humiliating. They thought it would undermine the morale of the soldiers. However, another major battle for the Russian army would be disastrous. 

Kutuzov said at the Fili council: "With the loss of Moscow, Russia has not yet been lost." He also believed that "the French army would dissolve in Moscow like a sponge in water." A month later, his assumptions were fully confirmed. Napoleon realized that he had fallen into a trap and began to seek peace with the Russians. Realizing the impossibility of wintering troops in burnt Moscow, Napoleon began to retreat. 

Read more about Kutuzov hut in Fili

Memorial of the War of 1812 in Maloyaroslavets

The small town of Maloyaroslavets is located in the Kaluga region, 110 kilometers from Moscow. During the Patriotic War of 1812, it became the third place after Borodino and Smolensk, where battles took place that had a decisive influence on the course of the war. In the bloody Battle of Maloyaroslavets, Russian troops blocked to French army the way to Kaluga. 

Maloyaroslavets became the city where Russian troops blocked the way of Napoleon`s army to Kaluga. The battle began on October 12, 1812. The city of Maloyaroslavets changed hands 8 times, as new regiments of Russians and French approached. The battle subsided by nightfall and the city remained behind the French, but the Russian troops withdrew to the south, blocking further advance on Kaluga. Russian troops numbered 90 thousand people, Napoleon had 70 thousand people. Napoleon understood that without a new general battle he would not be able to break through to Kaluga. He decided to turn onto the ruined Smolensk Road to leave Russia. 

The first memorial dedicated to the battle of Maloyaroslavets was a monument in the form of a cast-iron column, opened on October 29, 1844. Next to the Monument, cannons were installed and a small square was created.  

Read more about Memorial of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Maloyaroslavets

Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Moscow

There is a red brick building near the State Historical Museum on Manezhanya Square. This beautiful building was erected on the initiative of mayor Nikolai Alekseyev in 1892. It was built by the project of Dmitry Chichagov. His project seamlessly blended with the style of the nearby Historical Museum, which was constructed 10 years earlier.

The building was first occupied by Moscow City Duma. And in the 1930th it was converted into the Central Lenin Museum.In the 1990th the Lenin Museum was closed. For some time, there were held the exhibitions of the Historical Museum in the building. In 2012 it was decided to open the Patriotic War of 1812 Museum there. It houses the exhibits related to the war such as belongings of Kutuzov and Napoleon, as well as pictures devoted to it.

Read more about Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 in Moscow

Triumphal Arch in Moscow

The Triumphal Arch in Moscow is dedicated to the victory of the Russian army in the Patriotic War of 1812. It was erected in 1966 in the middle of Kutuzov Avenue, on the old Smolensk Road. Nearby is the top of Poklonnaya Hill, where Napoleon was waiting for the keys to Moscow, and now Victory Park, dedicated to the events of WWII, is located here. 

The first wooden Triumphal Arch in Moscow was built in 1814 for the ceremonial reception of Russian troops returning from a foreign campaign. The stone Triumphal Arch in Moscow was located on Tverskaya Zastava Square until 1936, but due to the need to expand the carriageway of one of the main city streets, it was decided to dismantle it in order to erect arch elsewhere. These plans were prevented by the WWII. 

The city authorities returned to the idea of recreating the Triumphal Arch in Moscow only in 1966. Using materials from the first arch was already impossible, but the new arch was built as an exact copy of the old one. It was erected on Kutuzov Avenue next to the Kutuzov Hut in Fili and the Borodino Panorama.

Read more about Triumphal Arch in Moscow