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Irkutsk Museum of Decembrists


Irkutsk Oblast
Irkutsk, per. Volkonsky, 10; Dzerzhinskiy str., 64
Phones: +7 (3952) 20-75-32
Web site:
Irkutsk Museum of the Decembrists is the only memorial museum outside the Urals dedicated to the life of the Decembrists and their families in Siberian exile. The 30-year long exile of the Decembrists takes a special place among the many glorious pages of Irkutsk history. In Siberia the destiny of the “state criminals” was connected with the governorate city of Irkutsk.


The museum is located in the historical center of Irkutsk. The museum includes two noble estates with memorial houses of Princes S. P. Trubetskoy and S. G. Volkonsky, the only ones of their kind that have been preserved on the territory of Eastern Siberia.
The Irkutsk Museum of the Decembrists traces its history back to 1970, when the House-Museum of S. P. Trubetskoy was opened in a house built in Irkutsk in the 1850s after restoration. After a second restoration in 2006-2011, the Trubetskoy House was opened to the public with an updated exhibition "Fate reflected the Era". The entire first floor of the house is occupied by historical interiors of the noble life of the mid-XIX century. Part of the exhibition, located in the basement (basement), is dedicated to the thirteen-year hard labor and exile of the Decembrists to Siberia. A special feature of the Trubetskoy house is that it is built according to the canons of classicism, the wood features elements that are traditional for stone architecture.
In 1985, the restored House-Museum of S. G. Volkonsky was opened on the next street. The original house was built in 1838 in the village of Urik, Irkutsk province, where the Decembrist and his family were on the settlement. After receiving permission to move, the Volkonskys moved their house to Irkutsk, where it still stands today. The house, built in the tradition of classic noble mansions of that time, is also marked by the features of Siberian wooden architecture. The decoration of the street facade is two bay windows. All the rooms on each floor of the Volkonsky house, as well as the Trubetskoy house, are connected by doors and form a circular enfilade. The traditions and life of the Volkonsky princely family are represented by partially recreated historical interiors of the house.
Today, the museum's collections number about thirteen thousand exhibits. These are objects of applied art and everyday life, sculpture, graphics and paintings, rare books and archaeological items, clothing and accessories. The central place in the museum's collection is occupied by memorial relics. In the collection of the Museum of the Decembrists real thing I. I. Pushchin, N. In. Basargin, D. I. Zavalishin, G. S. Batenkov, I. I. Gorbachev, I. V. Poggio, P. A. Mukhanov, P. F. Gromnicka, P. V. Avramov, families Volkonsky, Trubetskoy, mansion, Yushnevsky, Ivashevich, Kuchelbecker and Fonvizina.
The pride of the museum's memorial collection is the musical instruments that belonged to Maria Volkonskaya – a pyramidal piano (1792, Vienna), an amazing grand piano by the Belgian master Lichtenthal (1831, St. Petersburg) and a rare music box made in Switzerland in the middle of the XIX century. Other memorial items also attract attention in the exhibition: the shackle rings of the Volkonskys; icons from the family of N. M. Muravyov; furniture of the Decembrist D. I. Zavalishin; a shawl that belonged to Maria Volkonskaya; books with autographs of S. G. Volkonsky and S. P. Trubetskoy and beaded embroidery of the Decembrists.
One of the most amazing memorial relics in the museum is the shawl of Maria Nikolaevna Volkonskaya. A wool shawl with a printed pattern "Turkish bob" was given to the museum in 1970 by an Irkutsk woman, Marina Perfileva. According to the donor, this shawl was given by Maria Volkonskaya to the Irkutsk orphan Varvara Rodionova for the wedding. Shortly after entering the museum, the relic was stolen and was considered lost forever. However, in the early 2000s, the Trans-Baikal Regional Museum of Local Lore purchased a similar shawl for its collections. When comparing it with the pictures of the shawl stolen in Irkutsk, it turned out that they are identical. In 2012, the shawl was returned to the Irkutsk Museum of the Decembrists. After the restoration, the relic took a permanent place in the exposition of the Volkonsky Memorial House.


Volkonskys’ House.

Prince Sergey Grigorievich Volkonsky — major-general, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812 — was convicted for 20 years of penal servitude with the consequent forced settlement in Eastern Siberia, where he spent 30 years of his life, with 18 years of those spent in this mansion (1838-1856). The house was built in accordance with the traditions of the classical nobility mansions. The mansion was the place where the literature, musical and theatrical parties were conducted, visited by almost all the exiled to Siberia Decembrists. The original look of the house was restored. The mansion of Prince S.G. Volkonsky now house the historic-memorial museum of the Decembrists, featuring their original belongings. The museum is the place to conduct the traditional “Decembrists’ evening parties”, “Night in the Museum”, “Pushkin’s Days”, celebration of Shrovetide, just as it used to be celebrated by the owners of the house; celebrations of other dates, remarkable for the Decembrists. In the nearby square there is the monument to the wives of the Decembrists.

Trubetskoys’ house.

Decembrist Sergey Petrovich Trubetskoy — prince, colonel of Preobrazhensky regiment, the hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, the participant of the overseas military campaigns, one of the initiators of the secret societies. He was convicted to be decapitated. The capital punishment was later changed for the penal servitude, which lasted for 13 years.

In Siberia the Prince was studying of the peasantry and volost (a type of regional subdivision in tsarist Russia) government of Eastern Siberia; agriculture, gardening, medicine, ornithological and meteorological observations, pedagogics (education science). He also participated in the development of the golden mines. The exposition tells about the 30-year period of the Decembrists’ exile in our region.

Interesting Facts

When visiting the Irkutsk Museum of the Decembrists, you can use an audio guide based on the program izi.TRAVEL. The audio guide in Russian or English can be downloaded on your own mobile phone or on a museum playback device.

The museum offers visitors an extensive excursion program:
– sightseeing tour of the Trubetskoy House-Museum
– - sightseeing tour of the Volkonsky House-Museum
– - excursions with elements of 19th century etiquette,
- walking tour "Historical and Memorial complex "Decembrists in Irkutsk",
- bus tour " Irkutsk-a historical city»,
– bus tour "of the Decembrist the village".