Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum
Moscow region, Zvenigorod, Ratekhinskoe shosse, 8, Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery
Phones: +7 (498)715-84-42
Web site: http://zvenmuseum.ru/
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the 17th century at the place of this ancient monasteryZvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum, founded in 1920, is located in one of the most famous monasteries of the Moscow region: the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. The iconostasis of the Nativity Cathedral, created by the order of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, is the pearl of the museum collection. The main exhibition premises are located in the Tsaritsa’s Chambers, built specially for Tsaritsa Maria Ilyinichna, for the purpose of praying on her visits to the monastery. Here, the 17th century boyars’ chambers have been reconstructed, and there is the Ancient Zvenigorod permanent exhibition, dedicated to the history of the city and unique architectural monuments.
The exhibition complex of the museum is located in the Tsaritsa’s Chambers, a unique 17th century monument of civil architecture, which has preserved its original layout with the porch decorated with white stone carvings. There are two permanent exhibitions here. The Ancient Zvenigorod exhibition recounts the history of the city and the monastery through archaeological finds, collections of paintings, documents, and arts and crafts. The Chambers of the Noble Boyar Lady exhibition is a reconstruction of 17th century chambers of a noble woman, including the Front Chamber, the Feast Chamber and the Parlor. The third museum room hosts temporary exhibitions of works by Soviet and contemporary artists and masters of decorative and applied art. In the office building of the museum there is the Salon of Folk Artistic Craft of the Moscow Region, where you can purchase items from Gzhel, Dulyovo, Zhostovo, and Pavlovsky Posad. The museum staff conduct tours not only around the museum and monastery premises, but also around the ancient Zvenigorod Kremlin, around Zvenigorod town and its surroundings, and around the Nativity Cathedral.
Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum was created shortly after the 1917 revolution at museums located in the Savvino-Storozhevsky monastery and at the suburban estates of Vvedenskoye and Ershovo. In September 1918, it was decided that a museum would be opened at the Vvedenskoye estate, with exhibits collected from the surrounding estates of Vyaz, Nazarov, Korallov, Ilyinsky, Usov, Porechye, Podushkin and Ershov. In 1920, at the opening ceremony, artists from the Bolshoi Theater staged a performance and the excavations of an 11th century burial mound, discovered on the territory of Vvedensky were displayed. Antique furniture, paintings, cutlery and sculptures were displayed in the rooms of the estate. Around the same time, a museum of landlord domestic life was held at the Ershovo estate. Some time later, there was an idea to open a museum of church painting and architecture of the 17th century on the territory of the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. In 1921 it welcomed its first visitors. In 1922, all three museums were united within the walls of the monastery under the general name of the Museum of Church Antiquity and Landlord Domestic Life. The museum collection includes expositions of ceramics, weapons and art metallurgy, along with Russian and Western European paintings and prints. The work of the museum was interrupted twice – in 1927 and in 1939 – and as a result, the collections were almost completely lost. In 1944, the museum opened to the public again and now there are about 50,000 exhibits in its collection. However, only a few items among them are from the first museum collection. On the year of the 600th anniversary of the monastery, celebrated in 1998, 16 buildings were transferred to monastery ownership, as the monastery resumed its activities. The Zvenigorod Museum has only one exposition room left, that is, the Tsaritsyn Chambers, built in the middle of the 17th century for Tsaritsa Maria Ilyinichna, the wife of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, for access to the relics of Monk Savva. Later, the museum assumed ownership of another 19th-century building.
The Vvedenskoye and Ershovo estates belonged to representatives of the famous families of the Lopukhins, the Golovins, the Yakunchikovs, the Sheremetevs and the Gudoviches. In 1919, the buildings of the monastery were under the jurisdiction of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs of the USSR (the NKVD), and a “concentration camp of correctional labor for handicapped children” was set up in the monastery under its supervision. In 1927, it was decided that the premises of the museum would be transferred under the jurisdiction of the Commune House for Homeless Children, and therefore the collection had to be moved out within a day. Within 12 hours, all the items of the museum collection were moved to the monastery cathedral. However, in the rush of the move, many of them were broken.