State Historical Museum

This museum of impressive proportions is a repository of the milestone artifacts of Russian and world history, from primeval times to the present. The collection holds close to 5 million items and 14 million priceless documents. The State Historical Museum, which owes its existence to Emperor Alexander III, took 11 years to be created. The building in Red Square opened to the public in 1883. It is possible to explore the whole thing in one day, but it hardly makes sense to try: there are just too many exhibits. It is believed that if you spend about one minute on each exhibit, you will need about 400 hours to see the whole collection. Visitors are advised to pay special attention to the ornate axe with the Rurik dynasty symbol, Napoleon's saber, the Codex Mosquensis II (a 9th-century Greek text of the Gospels), Blaeu's copper globe, which is taller than two metres (seven feet), crafted for Charles XI, the King of Sweden, at the end of the 17th century, and many other incredible items.