It is one of the largest artillery museums in the world and a real paradise for little and not very little boys. This is the museum that will showcase just why the Russian army was victorious in numerous wars. Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, Russian Artillery Museum includes precious collections of various military weapons from over 54 countries around the world. It also provides a wonderful history of the Russian military, famous generals, epic battles, and the weapons that helped Russian armies achieve status as a military powerhouse.
The impressive museum collection occupies 13 rooms with a total area of over 17,000 square meters and 850,000 exhibits. Among the collections you will find uniforms, awards, models of weapons and fortresses, and a gigantic collection of books and documents about weapons and famous Russian battles. The museum also contains an impressive collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. You can also find exhibits of art retelling Russia’s heroic past, portraits of Russian Emperors, Grand Dukes, famous commanders, and soldiers and officers who distinguished themselves in battle.
Here are some of the interesting artifacts and weapons you will find at the Artillery Museum in St Petersburg.
- An outdoor exhibit including more than 250 units of artillery and rocket launching systems, and military engineering and signal equipment which are displayed on open platforms. It includes Russian and foreign artillery units, both ancient and contemporary ones: self- propelled, towed and anti-aircraft artillery units, including those that use nuclear ammunition.
- Lenin’s personal armored car.
- Personal weapons of Napoleon Bonaparte.
- There is a special section in the museum devoted to the Kalashnikov rifle: «Kalashnikov — A Man, a Weapon, a Legend». The Artillery Museum holds the most impressive collection of Mikhail Kalashnikov’s arms, personal belongings, documents, and photos. Several of the arms are single copy, experimental versions of Kalashnikov’s work.
- A collection of more than 1,200 cannons and mortars. The caliber of the cannons range from 20 to 420 mm.
- Military uniforms of Russian Emperors including Peter the Great, Grand Dukes, Catherine the Great, and Soviet Armed Forces.
- The largest collection of steel weapons in Europe, and possibly in the world (swords, sabers, daggers, etc). This exhibit includes a saber of Peter the Great, a sword of Alexander I, sabers of Alexander III and Nicholas II. There is also a rare saber from a French general who fought in the War of 1812.
- A firearms exhibit from the most prominent gunsmiths of the world including a German fortress gun from 1420. This exhibit also includes foreign rifles from the 15th to 20th century. Armor worn medieval knights from the 16th to 18th centuries including Japanese Samurai armor from the 17th and 18th centuries. You will also find armor from Iran, Turkey, India, Mongolia, and China.
- One of the most complete collections in the world of sights for artillery guns of the 18th − 20th centuries. This includes artillery meteorological instruments, range-finders, aiming circles, and stereo-telescopes.
- A full library collection starting from the 16th century which contains more than one hundred thousand different books — numerous Russian and foreign publications on the history of artillery and engineering art, including regulations, manuals, reference books, collections of orders and circulars, and monographs.
The travel agency GrandPetersburg offers package holidays to St Petersburg (Russia), during which you will see the artillery museum and many other interesting places.