The Peter I House Museum in Vologda is the oldest museum in the city. It was founded by the city authorities on May 30, 1872, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Tsar Peter I. The Peter I Museum is a small stone one-story house that has been preserved since the 17th century on the banks of the Vologda River.
Until the end of the Northern War in 1721 Vologda remained an important trading city on the navigable river of the Severodvinsk trade Route. In those years, all trade with Europe was carried out through the seaport of Arkhangelsk. Peter I understood the importance of building the northern fleet, and also paid great attention to the development of trade, so he visited Vologda 5 times. When he came to Vologda, he always stayed at the house of the Dutch merchant Goytman.
According to chronicle sources, the family of the merchant Goytman settled in Vologda in 1652. They built for themselves a one-story stone chamber 11 x 12 meters near the cargo dock. The thickness of the walls of the house reaches 1 meter, so the living space was quite cramped inside, but Peter the Great was used to such houses. If you look at the Peter I House Museum in St. Petersburg or the Peter I House Museum in Kolomenskoye, you can see that he felt comfortable in houses of this size.
The first time Peter I visited Vologda in 1692, when he was inspected Kubenskoe Lake. He wanted to organize a training base for the northern military fleet, but the lake was not suitable for these purposes. In 1693, Peter I stopped in Vologda on his way to Arkhangelsk. In 1694, Peter I also visited Vologda in preparation for the Northern War and supervised the work on the production of ropes.
In 1702, Peter I visited Vologda in the midst of the Northern War. He received information about the impending Swedish attack on Arkhangelsk. On the bank of the main navigable arm of the Northern Dvina River in Arkhangelsk, Peter I decided to build the Novodvinsk Fortress. Many materials for this fortress were brought from Vologda. The attack of the Swedes took place in 1703, but the fire of the fortress did not allow them to even approach the shore.
The last time Peter I visited Vologda in 1721, together with his wife Ekaterina, on the way to Olonets Spa for treatment. In memory of all the events during the tsar`s visit to the city, the Peter I Museum in Vologda was created here. The house was bought from the merchant Vitushechnikov and an exhibition dedicated to Peter I was opened inside. A cannon was installed in the courtyard of the museum.