Tourist Information Center Partnership Project

The All-Russian Historical and Ethnographic Museum


Tver Oblast
Tver region, Torzhok, st. Staritskaya, 1
Phones: +7 919 061 18 49
Web site:


The museum collection numbers over 80,000 items. In the center of the collection is a collection of ancient Russian birch bark letters (XII century), including a unique letter with an excerpt from Kirill Turovsky's "Word of Wisdom".

The VIEM expositions tell about the rich history of Torzhok and the country, vivid examples of Russian Orthodox and noble culture, the experience of organizing national life and management.

The expositions are accompanied by thematic, overview, theatrical excursions, interactive classes and lectures, master classes for children and adults. Several educational and enlightening projects have been developed - the subscription "Museum Investigations with the Mouse Ferkula", "Theater of Shadows", etc. There are souvenir shops at all objects of the museum.

VIEM holds ethnographic holidays all year round, as well as annual festivals - "Novotorzhsky frontier", "Pancake with pryokom", "Kuzminki in Torzhok".

The museum is developing dynamically: an open-air exposition "Novotorzhsky Kremlin" has been created, a unique craft workshop "Istok" is working.

The museum is located in the historical center of the city in several buildings-architectural monuments of the XVIII – XIX centuries.

Museum rows
In the heart of the city is located our flagship-Museum Rows, the central building of the museum quarter, which includes the Ethnographic Center and the House of Russia. It was here, at the confluence of the Creek Zdorovets and the Tvertsa river, began Torzhok. You can learn more about the history of one of the oldest cities in Russia and its neighboring territories at the exhibition "History under Your Feet". The exhibition, based on the materials of the archaeological study of Torzhok, introduces the history of its origin, illuminates various aspects of the life of the city from the Mesolithic to the XVI century.
You will be surprised by the texts of a unique collection of birch bark letters (originals), according to the number of which (19!) Torzhok ranks third in Russia after Novgorod and Staraya Russa. No less interesting are the weapons of the XII–XIII centuries, reminiscent of the heroic defense of Torzhok from the hordes of Batu Khan in 1238 there is also exhibited crafts and life of the people of Torzhok XII--XVII centuries. On a specially equipped stand, you can make your own archaeological excavations and determine the age and purpose of the discovery.

The exhibition "Walking in the old Torzhok" will tell about the life, customs and occupations of the Novotors of the late XIX – early XX centuries. The walk starts from the train station, passes through the streets and squares of the city and ends at the city boulevard – the main place of recreation for citizens. Along the way, you can look into the shops, and go to visit someone from the residents of old Torzhok, look through the album of the district young lady.

The life of the city during the Great Patriotic War is illustrated by the exhibition "Torzhok frontline". Since October 1941, with the beginning of the Battle for Moscow, Torzhok became a frontline city for two years. As a result of systematic bombing, it was almost completely destroyed. The inhabitants of the city experienced all the most difficult and dramatic events that took place during the war: general mobilization, bombing, construction of defensive structures, backbreaking work in the rear. The exhibition recreates the office of the head of the city military enlistment office, presents unique photo and film documents showing how the city became after the Luftwaffe raids. The central place in the exhibition is occupied by the Hall of Military Glory, dedicated to the Great Victory and the residents of Torzhok who passed through the difficult roads of the war.
In the Museum's rows, in the hall of rotating exhibitions, more than 10 exhibitions related to history, ethnography, and art are held annually, formed both from the museum's own collection and in cooperation with partners – federal and regional museums, public organizations, cultural foundations, contemporary artists and collectors.

Ethnographic Center

The ethnographic center of the museum is located in the city estate of the XIX century on the oldest and most picturesque street of Torzhok-Klimentovskaya (now Lunacharsky Street). Novotorzhsky merchant's mansion is a place of comprehension of the Russian national character in all its palette.
Here they carefully restore rituals, holidays, revive crafts, study peasant design and oral folk art. At the expositions of the center, you will get acquainted with the traditional way of life in peasant families, trace life from birth to marriage, learn how to build a house, what games children played, what our ancestors ate and drank, how to celebrate holidays and many other interesting details of life two centuries ago.

The Hospice of the Borisoglebsky Monastery

Novotorzhsky Borisoglebsky Monastery is one of the three oldest monasteries in Russia. Founded shortly after the Baptism of Russia (founded in 1038), like two other ancient monasteries - Spasso-Preobrazhensky in Murom and St. George in Veliky Novgorod, it preserves the thousand-year history of Russia.
The founder of the monastery was the equerry boyar of the Holy Prince Boris Vladimirovich Efrem, one of the first Christian missionaries on the Upper Volga.
At the end of the XII century, a stone cathedral was built on the territory of the monastery in honor of Saints Boris and Gleb, which until the end of the XIII century remained the only stone church structure in the space between Novgorod and Vladimir.
The monastery is not only a meeting place for pilgrims who are striving for the most ancient Christian shrine, but also a place of strength for every person who wants to unravel the main thing in the Russian character.
You can get acquainted with the history of the monastery at the museum exhibition "The History of the Borisoglebsky Monastery", located in the former building of the Spiritual Board and school of the Borisoglebsky Monastery, later-the Hospice.
Here are the subjects of the XII–XVIII centuries, found during the architectural and archaeological research on the territory of the monastery: plinth (flat bricks) of the XII century, fragments of frescoes from XIII century, adorning the ancient Cathedral, the structural elements of the XVI–XVII centuries, icons delights of the saints of Ephraim and Arcadia. You will have an amazing opportunity to see what the Borisoglebsky Cathedral looked like in the XII century and learn the fate of the monastery of the Soviet period.
The exhibition "Genius of Taste" tells about the life and work of an outstanding figure of Russian culture of the XVIII century, our fellow countryman-architect (and not only!) Nicholas Alexandrovich Lviv, author of the main cathedral of the monastery.
Comparing his talent with Leonardo da Vinci, friends of Lviv called him "Our Leonardo" or "Genius of taste". N. A. Lvov was in many ways ahead of his time, and he was a "genius of taste" not only for his contemporaries, but remains so for us.
At the exhibition "The Image of the Saint, cast, ancient" you will see works of copper casting-crosses and icons of the XII-XIX centuries. This is a rare and little-studied area of Russian religious art with a special meaning of its symbolism.
Borisoglebskii monastery – an architectural dominant of the right Bank of Torzhok. What was the city like a century ago? A very atmospheric exhibition "Torzhok in photos" will introduce you to the picturesque views, its patriarchal world of the county town, as it was in the late XIX-early XX centuries. You will see the panorama of Torzhok and its inhabitants are depicted in old postcards and photographs. The exhibition is based on the materials of Novotorzhsk photographers.

House of Russia
The House of Russia is located in an old merchant's mansion built at the end of the XVIII century, the owners of which were the brothers Sergei and Yegor Elizarov.
For visitors to the museum, the House of Russia offers curatorial tours of various exhibitions and master classes. In addition, the House of Russia is the residence of the fabulous Novotorzhsk "Boots-skorokhodov".


Created on the initiative of Academician D.S. Likhachev in 1988 in Torzhok - "a small town with a big history." The museum is located in the historical center of the city in several buildings - architectural monuments of the 18th - 19th centuries.

Interesting Facts

The expositions are accompanied by thematic, sightseeing, theatrical excursions, interactive classes and lectures, master classes for children and adults. Educational and educational projects for children are being implemented, as well as craft and ceramic workshops. There are souvenir shops at all the objects of the museum, the historical "Warsaw Shop" and the museum cafe have been reopened in the Pozharsky Hotel.

The All-Russian Historical and Ethnographic Museum holds year-round ethnographic holidays, as well as annual festivals – "Pancake with pripek", "Kuzminki in Torzhok".

Torzhok is more than a thousand years old. It is as old as Cairo and Marrakech. Older than Tokyo and Berlin. The city, like Moscow and Rome, stands on seven hills.

On the territory of Torzhok, archaeologists found 19 birch bark letters of the XII century. This is one of the largest finds of documents in Russia, inscribed on birch bark.

Since the eighteenth century, the main road from Moscow to St. Petersburg – the "Sovereign's Road" – has been passing through the city. It is said that once, passing Torzhok on the way to the capital, Nicholas I stopped at the Pozharsky Hotel. There was a huge puddle near the carriage. But the mistress threw off her sable fur coat and laid it at the emperor's feet. Nicholas I appreciated not only this reception, but also the delicious signature dish of the hotel. Since then, "Pozharsky cutlets" have been fixed in the menu of the royal cuisine, and since 2019, the dish famous by A. S. Pushkin is again served in the cafe of the Pozharsky hotel.