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Imperial Russia

Armed Forces of Russian Federation



St. Petersburg, Russia


This web site has been prepared as an unofficial display of selected material from the great Museum of Artillery, Engineers, and Signal Troops in St Petersburg, Russia by members of the Xenophon Group Int. We want to acknowledge the gracious assistance of the museum Director, Colonel V. Krilov, the curators and department heads, especially Mr. A. Kulinski, and the members of their staffs during our frequent visits to this marvelous museum. Without their special permission to examine and photograph artifacts among the millions held in closed areas not open to public view this display would not be possible.

The museum traces its origin to the prescient objectives of Emperor Peter I, who decreed that an especially historic captured mortar be preserved at a time the Russian army was desperately melting down all possible metal to cast new cannon. Jacob Bruce, the Tsar's chief of artillery followed through by organizing the acquisition and safe storage of historically important weapons. The Artillery Museum was founded by a government UKAZ in 1756 as the Main Artillery and Fortifications Museum. In 1868 the collections were moved to the Crownwork Arsenal of the Peter and Paul Fortress, built by the architect P. I. Tamanski. The museum was named Artillery Museum in 1903 and in 1963 it was merged with the Central Historical Military Engineer Museum. A section on the history of military signaling was created in 1965. The collection is housed in 13 halls containing 15,000 square meters of floor space. The museum collections include many unique pieces of artillery, rocket weapons, small arms, and cold weapons. It has a large collection of military engineer and signal equipment and many displays and dioramas illustrating the history of these branches. The museum also has outstanding collection of military flags and standards, military awards and decorations, medals, uniforms and accoutrements, and combat equipment. It has a large collection of combat art and graphics displays, sculpture, and paintings. The archive has an extensive collection of documents dating back to the 16th century. Large weapons and equipment including vehicles are on display outside, in the courtyard. The museum conducts an educational program of lectures, displays, and meetings.
Xenophon Group conducts tours to this museum, which enable the participant to meet with curators and have access to the large parts of the museum that are not open to the general public. For information please contact Xenophon. To view our extensive web sites on Russian history and general military history or for information on other Xenophon Group activities and publications please go to Xenophon Group. To make comments or discuss the museum and this web site please leave us a note on our guestbook..

Selected photographs of the museum collection

It is our intention to prepare a full description of the museum's history and current holdings. To this end Micha Jelisavcic is translating hundreds of pages of documentary text and several hours of oral descriptions obtained during our visit in July 1998. As this will take some time, we, meanwhile, want to let everyone see the photographic illustrations made during visits in 1991, 92, 93, and 1998. With the understanding that the present captions are inadequate and are being replaced as rapidly as possible, please go to


We have additional photos taken at the museum in 2005 here.
to view our on-going production work. As the sections describing individual parts of the museum are prepared they will be highlighted with links for the following categories.










This section is now open at exhibition.

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