Mythic Russia

Heroic roleplaying in a mythical medieval Russia

Old Moscow in Miniature — February 6, 2016

Old Moscow in Miniature

I’m a sucker for a nicely-done diorama, and the (otherwise rather sparse) Moscow Ancient and Medieval exhibition at the Museum of the History of Moscow on Zubovskii bulvar has several, charting the progress of the city, as it became more expansive but also denser.

IMG_6672The first (above) gives a sense of Moscow at the time of Mythic Russia, with the Kremlin fortress complex to the left, and the Kitai-Gorod (‘Chinatown,’ but nothing to do with China) to the right. As is clear, the city is as much as anything else a concentric constellation of little compounds and houses with their own small holdings.

The museum also has models of cities later, into the 17th century and beyond, as it acquired more and large stone cathedrals, as the Kremlin became increasingly developed, and as scattered farmhouses become replaced by streets.

IMG_6671Overall, it’s not a great museum, but well worth two hundred rubles and an hour’s browse. Very little of the explanatory information is in English, but between what little is there and the dates, even so you can puzzle things out. There are also some excellent maps of the city’s expansion; again, here is the one closest to the Moscow of Mythic Russian times.